• Going beyond the classroom
    Going beyond the classroom
  • Individual instruction
    Individual instruction
  • Learning by doing
    Learning by doing
  • Project based learning
    Project based learning

100% of our students complete a work experience in their chosen field and/or a research project before graduation.

At Emory & Henry, our student’s success is our first priority.  ~99% of our majors over the last decade have either entered graduate school, professional school, or the workforce within a year of graduation.  For a detailed analysis of our graduate outcomes click here.    The chemistry faculty have been recognized with four statewide awards for teaching excellence as well as several college wide awards.  Full time faculty within the department teach all classes and labs and use multiple instructional methods in our courses to maximize student learning and best prepare you for success after E&H. 

Chemistry @ E&H Class sizes in the Chemistry Department are typically 5-10 for 300/400 (junior/senior) level courses.  100/200 (first year/sophomore) classes range from 15-24.  The department maintains four labs with advanced instrumentation which is available for laboratory and research use by students.  In addition, there are two dedicated research labs for advanced projects.  We strive to have our first and second year courses staffed by a wide range of supplemental instructors (successful students from prior years that attend class and hold study sessions) and tutors.  The chemistry faculty adhere to an open door policy so that students with questions or in need of help may receive it directly from the faculty. 

For more information, contact James Duchamp.


  • Bachelor of Arts, Chemistry- Applied Health Sciences

    To prepare students for admission to pharmacy programs and careers in pharmacy.

  • Bachelor of Science, Chemistry

    To prepare students for graduate study related to chemistry or the health/medical professions and also for employment in various areas of chemistry.

  • Minor, Chemistry

    A student may minor in chemistry by completing Chemistry 111, 111L, 112, 112L, and four courses chosen from Chemistry 211, 212, 211, 212, 221, 230, 240, 312, 313, 330, 430X, and 433.

  • Bachelor of Arts, Chemistry- Teacher Preparation

    To enable students to meet Virginia requirements for licensure to teach chemistry.

  • Bachelor of Science, Chemistry- Teacher Preparation

    To enable students to meet Virginia requirements for licensure to teach chemistry.

  • Bachelor of Arts, Chemistry

    To prepare students for work as chemists in industry or as teachers.

Student Research

  • <h4 class="lw_blurbs_title">Synthesis of Long Chain Internal Alkyn-1-ol Synthons for Imidazolium-Based Ionic Liquids</h4><div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p><picture class="lw_image lw_image5758 lw_align_left"><source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/11/width/300/height/400/5758_IMG_0372.rev.1544799691.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/11/width/300/height/400/5758_IMG_0372.rev.1544799691.webp 3x" data-origin="responsive"/><source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/11/width/300/height/400/5758_IMG_0372.rev.1544799691.JPG 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/11/width/300/height/400/5758_IMG_0372.rev.1544799691.JPG 3x" data-origin="responsive"/><img width="300" height="400" alt="Nathan in lab" src="/live/image/gid/11/width/300/height/400/5758_IMG_0372.rev.1544799691.JPG" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/11/width/300/height/400/5758_IMG_0372.rev.1544799691.JPG 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/11/width/300/height/400/5758_IMG_0372.rev.1544799691.JPG 3x" data-max-w="1512" data-max-h="2016" loading="lazy" data-optimized="true"/></picture>Nathan Neisius (E&H ’19) completed an Honor’s thesis synthesizing ionic liquids. Nathan’s project was to synthesize long chain internal alkyne imidazolium-based ionic liquids to determine how internal alkyne units of unsaturation will affect the properties of the ionic liquids. Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, thin-layer chromatography, and infrared spectroscopy were utilized to evaluate the efficiency of syntheses. As of now, long chain internal alkyne imidazolium-based ionic liquids have yet to synthesized from this method. Conditions needed for the reactions and work-up have been partially optimized for future research students to finish synthesizing the desired ionic liquids.</p></div>
  • <h4 class="lw_blurbs_title">Exploring the phytoremediation potential of kale plants</h4><div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p><picture class="lw_image lw_image3190 lw_align_left"><source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/11/width/250/height/333/3190_IMG_4176.rev.1518454132.webp 1x" data-origin="responsive"/><source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/11/width/250/height/333/3190_IMG_4176.rev.1518454132.jpg 1x" data-origin="responsive"/><img width="250" height="333" alt="Holly Roth research" src="/live/image/gid/11/width/250/height/333/3190_IMG_4176.rev.1518454132.jpg" data-max-w="480" data-max-h="640" loading="lazy" data-optimized="true"/></picture>Holly Roth’s (E&H ’18) honors thesis research project focuses on measuring the phytoremediation potential of kale plants (<em>Brassica oleracea</em>).   Members of the <em>Brassica</em>(kale, cabbage, broccoli…) family function as “hyperaccumulators” and can extract and store high concentrations of heavy metals.  Holly has developed an experimental design for testing the uptake of lead and copper from contaminated soils by kale plants under several different treatment conditions including pH adjustment and EDTA applications.  Tissue samples from 50 plants grown under varying conditions will be analyzed for lead and copper using atomic absorption spectrophotometry, and the effects of pH and EDTA will be assessed.  </p></div>
  • <h4 class="lw_blurbs_title">Effect of atmospheric carbon dioxide on corrosion of porous silica</h4><div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p> Chemistry major B.G. Loper (E&H ’18) is studying the effects of atmospheric carbon dioxide on the corrosion behavior of porous silica glasses in unbuffered solutions.  B.G. is fabricating an environmental chamber that can be purged of carbon dioxide so that the effect can be easily measured.  The results are applicable to a range of industrial practices that utilize unbuffered systems to clean and/or treat materials.</p></div>
  • <h4 class="lw_blurbs_title">Biocatalytic Cyclopropanation of Fatty Acid Chains</h4><div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p> Chemistry and Spanish double major Xavier Marshall (E&H ’18) is attempting to prepare cyclopropanated derivatives of fatty acid chains, using the enzyme cyclopropane fatty acid synthase (CFA synthase) as a catalyst. These products would be useful synthetic building blocks in preparing cyclopropanated long-chain ionic liquids, which have shown promise as stationary phases for gas chromatography. CFA synthase, whose natural substrate is <em>cis</em>-unsaturated phospholipids in the membranes of <em>E. coli</em>, might be able to accomplish the cyclopropanation of <em>cis</em>-fatty acid derivatives more efficiently than can be accomplished <em>via</em> conventional organic synthesis. Xavier is preparing a variety of derivatives and formulations of oleic acid to try with CFA synthase.</p></div>
  • <h4 class="lw_blurbs_title">Microplastic Contamination in Virginia’s Holston River</h4><div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p><picture class="lw_image lw_image6314 lw_align_left"><source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/11/width/389/height/520/6314_Rafe.rev.1556030202.webp 1x" data-origin="responsive"/><source type="image/png" srcset="/live/image/gid/11/width/389/height/520/6314_Rafe.rev.1556030202.png 1x" data-origin="responsive"/><img width="389" height="520" alt="Rafe Hagee" src="/live/image/gid/11/width/389/height/520/6314_Rafe.rev.1556030202.png" data-max-w="389" data-max-h="520" loading="lazy" data-optimized="true"/></picture>Rafe Hagee (E&H ’19) completed an Honor’s thesis studying microplastic contamination in Virginia’s Holston River.  Rafe’s study focused on determining if microplastics were contaminating the three forks of the Holston River in Southwest Virginia. In order to assess contamination, he used plankton nets to collect microplastic particles. The nets were then processed in the lab to isolate the plastic particles for analysis. Additional analysis was done using Fourier transform Infrared Spectroscopy, and the results were compared to a reference film to ensure identification of the plastic particles.</p></div>
  • <h4 class="lw_blurbs_title">Microfluidic Flow Reactor for Chemical Detection</h4><div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p><picture class="lw_image lw_image6319 lw_align_left"><source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/11/width/400/height/626/6319_IMG_0964.rev.1556157415.webp 1x" data-origin="responsive"/><source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/11/width/400/height/626/6319_IMG_0964.rev.1556157415.jpg 1x" data-origin="responsive"/><img width="400" height="626" alt="Rebekah Watters" src="/live/image/gid/11/width/400/height/626/6319_IMG_0964.rev.1556157415.jpg" data-max-w="537" data-max-h="840" loading="lazy" data-optimized="true"/></picture>Senior chemistry, math, and physics triple major Rebekah Watters (E&H ’19) is designing, fabricating, and testing a system to detect triclosan, a common antibacterial added to consumer products.  Rebekah’s project combines chemistry and engineering by taking a process that normally requires multiple steps and large volumes (think about baking a cake with the volumes and number of steps) and reduces it to a system that fits in the palm of your hand and can be run in a single step.</p></div>