Faculty Awarded Summer Grants...to Better Serve Students

Chemistry professors Victor Ryzhov and James Horn were selected to receive summer curriculum development grants in an effort to better serve NIU students. You may read more about the two summer projects below. Congratulations to Profs. Horn and Ryzhov!

Increasing the environmental/energy emphasis in CHEM 100,
Chemistry in Everyday Life

By: Victor V. Ryzhov

CHEM 100 is a relatively new course, first offered by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in 2008.  This spring, Associate Professor Victor Ryzhov submitted a proposal to change the course curriculum to incorporate more environmental/energy content, in an effort to better serve the needs of students in the Environmental Studies program. The NIU Institute for the Study of the Environment, Sustainability, and Energy (ESE Institute) selected Prof. Ryzhov as a recipient of the Summer Curriculum Development Grant to make these proposed changes. The plan includes adding such topics as:

  • Hydrocarbons and fossil fuels
  • Batteries, fuel cells and hydrogen
  • Nuclear and solar energy
  • Global warming and greenhouse effect
  • Air pollution and acid rain
  • Ozone layer and its protection
  • Water pollution and purification

These proposed topics will be added to current relative topics.  As the course is taught now, about half of the topics include environmental or energy content. The primary goal/outcome of this grant is to create a valuable elective for students in the Environmental Studies program.

Creation of honors mini-sections in CHEM 210 and 211,
General Chemistry I and II

Victor RyzhovJames HornBy: James R. Horn and Victor V. Ryzhov

Currently, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has a process in place to offer honors credit in upper-division chemistry classes as well as independent research (capstone). The large population taking General Chemistry I and II (about 1,000 students per year), however, does not have this opportunity.

Chemistry professors James Horn and Victor Ryzhov would like to see this change and recently submitted a proposal to create honors mini-sections that will serve top students in General Chemistry classes.

Horn and Ryzhov were selected by the University Honors Program to receive a 2010 Honors Program Improvement Summer Grant and are excited to further develop this project.