New Initiatives

The external review team for our 2014 Academic Program Review reported that our undergraduate and graduate programs are excellent and that we are doing a great job preparing our students for graduate/professional programs and jobs after graduating. However, we must continue to improve, and the Department and University have developed a strategic plan called the 2020 Plan. There are 32 items in the plan, including (1) external internships, (2) study abroad, (3) independent research, and (4) degree-related jobs or graduate/professional schools for all students. I believe that one vital way to accomplish the lofty goals in the 2020 plan requires that we reach out to alumni and leverage the incredible network of 200,000 Miami alumni.

Therefore, I am writing to ask if you would be willing to help with three important goals.

(1) Scholarships for prospective and current undergraduate students are needed for us to continue to attract and retain the best students in the country. Miami’s Office of Admissions reports that the average chemistry and biochemistry applicant has an ACT score above 30, GPA above 4.0, and has a transcript filled with AP and Honors courses. Not surprisingly, these students are in high demand from most universities, and we have been losing an increasing number of these students to other schools who offer better scholarship packages. Having more scholarship money to offer would allow for us to offer more competitive financial aid packages and would result in our attracting these students to Miami, like in the past.

(2) External Internships for our majors. Unlike for business and engineering majors, there really has not been a culture of external internships for chemistry and biochemistry majors at Miami or at most other universities. While we will continue to promote undergraduate research and provide outstanding research opportunities to our students, we believe that providing internships at chemistry/biochemistry related internships at companies/centers/universities will afford our students a unique experience and better position them for jobs and/or graduate/professional schools after they graduate from Miami. Since so many of our chemistry and biochemistry alumni are employed in chemistry/biochemistry – related jobs, we ask alumni to share information about internships at their companies/organizations with our current students. Miami’s Office of Career Services is outstanding and has been working with our students to find such internships, but we need more opportunities. We hope that you can help.

(3) We need to better network with our chemistry and biochemistry alumni. During the 2014 Program Review, we were able to “find” about 65% of our 2006-2013 graduates. However, we have lost touch with most of our pre-2006 alumni. I am writing to ask for you help in contacting as many of our alumni as possible. Based on the number of graduates, we should have between 3000-3500 alumni. I would like to set as a goal to re-connect with at least 2,000 of our alumni. We will be setting up a LinkedIn site soon, and I ask that you help us re-connect with our alumni by either sending their contact information to us or asking them to email me at