Today we highlight Hector Ariceaga, a pre-med student hoping to specialize in Psychiatry. Below he shares his experience with online organic chemistry through OSU Ecampus:

Who is Hector Ariceaga?

I am a post-baccalaureate student in the pre-med program. I have a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology and plan to attend medical school where I will specialize in Psychiatry. I am also currently employed full time at a local internal medicine clinic where I am a member of the behavioral health team. I work closely with Clinical Psychologists and Licensed Clinical Social Workers, along with M.D.s and D.O.s, in providing mental health services in a clinical setting. I decided to pursue a specific career in mental health and medicine after delving deep into my challenging and rewarding course work at OSU-Cascades. I had originally planned on a career in law. The goals for both of my hypothetical career paths were the same, to assist those in need. I saw many people in many unfortunate situations while growing up, and I knew I wanted to pursue a career that would be fulfilling to me and helpful to others. Law, and later medicine, seemed the best avenue considering my personal skills.

In my spare time I like to relax with my friends and family. I enjoy eating out, working with computers, studying, reading, and working in the performing arts. I have a very strong support network via my friends and family and attribute most if not all of my success to their constant reassurance.


How did you find our online courses, and how might we make that process easier in the future?

Because I am employed full time, meeting my course requirements within my restricted schedule is difficult. When I was signing up for organic chemistry, I noticed there was an online version available and pounced on the opportunity. I had taken organic chemistry before, so I felt comfortable taking the class online. I absolutely loved that the class was available in the format that it was. One thing that would have made the process easier for signing up for the class would be a synopsis of the course format. Not necessarily a syllabus, but how many proctored tests would be required (1-3?). This is very valuable information for people who are employed and will need to be requesting time off.


What were your favorite and least favorite elements of CH 331 online?

I loved the filmed lectures. They were posted promptly and I felt as though I could participate in the class from the comfort of my living room. In addition, the extra study material (guides, tips, videos, links, documents) was priceless. When I completed my required reading and homework, I was able to continue studying and further my understanding of the material. The discussion boards were excellent as well. I was able to ask several clarifying questions and receive answers right away. I don’t have anything negative to say about this online course. I have taken several online courses before and this was by far one of the most organized, well structured, and supportive.*


What is your best advice for other online students?

To take an online class, especially with difficult material like organic chemistry, you must have self-discipline. You can’t expect to be successful by watching the lecture videos alone. Furthermore, you can’t wait until the last minute and binge watch them all the night before. If anything, an online course requires greater diligence and more work on your part to stay on task, focused, and asking questions, because you are the only one keeping yourself accountable.* It helps to create a balance of paperwork and computer work as well. Printing some study guides, handwriting note cards, and taking notes during lecture or while reading are great ways to solidify the material. Unfortunately, computer-based learning can make us complacent when it comes to studying. Watching a lecture video or doing online homework can fool us into thinking we fully understand the material. It is important to remember that a true test of understanding will come from the ability to recall the information, and the relationships between the information, without prompting or assistance. As such, it is great to set weekly goals based on course objectives. For example, if week 1 focuses on a particular mechanism: challenge yourself to be able to draw from scratch the mechanism; name the number of steps, draw the intermediates, and describe the substrate and products; then ask yourself some questions, such as: if I change X, what will happen to Y, and why?

Finally, I would like to remind my fellow students that whether it is an on-campus or online class, give it everything you have. Be sure to give yourself enough time and resources to succeed. When you perform well you will be glad you did. Remember, the only thing that stings worse than a bad grade is knowing that you could have done better.

Thank you Hector for sharing your story with us!


*My emphasis

The OSURA Student Scholarship deadline is quickly approaching, March 1 by 4:30 p.m.  To date, we have not received any applications for this scholarship.  Would you mind helping me spread the word?  Attached is the information regarding the scholarship or they can find this information online:

The Oregon State University Retirement Association (OSURA), composed of retired OSU faculty and staff, is offering scholarship support to OSU undergraduate students majoring in a subject that contributes to a career promoting healthy aging.

Currently enrolled undergraduate students who have completed at least one academic year at OSU with a cumulative GPA of 3.4 or higher, and have a minimum of one year of study yet to be completed towards their first bachelor’s (B.S./B.A.) degree are encouraged to apply.

Scholarship awards between $750 and $1,500 per student will be announced at the May 2016 OSURA Annual Meeting.


Tony Van Vliet
Emeritus Professor of Wood Science and Technology
OSURA Scholarship Committee Chair

OSURA Scholarship Information

We are pleased to announce that the NSF-funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program in Interdisciplinary Materials Research at Southern Illinois University is currently accepting applications for the Summer of 2015 (its 11th summer, completing 10 years of operation this Spring).

We seek your assistance in alerting undergraduate students to our REU Program.  First, we ask that this notice (and attached flyer) be forwarded to Departments of Chemistry, Physics, and Engineering on your campus for posting.  Also, please feel free to alert affiliated student organizations and fellow faculty members who may have students interested in this program, and/or distribute the attached flyer in other ways according to your discretion.

Our program is particularly interested in attracting candidates (preferably in their first, second, or third years of college) from groups traditionally under-represented in Chemistry, Physics, and Engineering; as always, all applications are welcome.  Application forms and details about the program are available on-line at:  Review of applications will commence after February 26, 2016.

Our program will begin May 31, 2016 and will commence for 9 weeks.  Participating students will work with mentors from the Departments of Chemistry, Physics, Engineering, or Microbiology to perform materials research (broadly defined)—with emphases in nanoscience/nanotechnology, energy research, smart materials, biomaterials, materials characterization, computational modeling, friction/tribology, and materials fabrication among other subjects.  In this program, students will work on independent research projects and receive hands-on training in the use of state-of-the-art instrumentation and methods.

Student benefits include a stipend of approximately $4500, $1,000 research expenditure allowance, free college housing, and a travel allowance to facilitate transportation from the student’s home institution or to conferences (up to $750).

If you or anyone else has questions about our REU Program, please feel free to contact us at your convenience.  Thank you very much for your time and consideration.

“Each and every day, the Red Cross must collect enough blood to meet the needs of accident victims, cancer patients, surgical candidates, children with blood disorders and others. You can help ensure blood is available when it’s needed and help save lives by donating blood during week six with the American Red Cross and Blood Drive Association at Oregon State University! Join us as we celebrate our 300th blood drive at OSU for a total of over 65,000 units collected since this partnership began! Hope begins with you!
Mon., Feb. 8th-Thurs., Feb. 11th in the OSU Memorial Union Ballroom
Fri., Feb. 12th at the First United Methodist Church
Go online to and enter sponsor code “OSU,” or call 1-800-733-2767 to schedule your donation. There are also many opportunities available to volunteer each day. Sign up to volunteer at
Thank you for your support of the Blood Drive Association and go Beavs!”

The priority deadline for the Master’s Internship Program is February 15th!  Applications will be considered after the deadline if spots remain open.  If you are interested in the program, but have trouble meeting the deadline, feel free to contact me.

What it is:
A master’s program that combines concentrated lab and lecture with a nine-month paid internship in industry. Degrees are awarded in chemistry and applied physics.

Why it’s special:
You can earn a master’s degree and a paycheck.
Historically, close to 98% of our students successfully complete internships and almost 90% of those receive regular job offers at the end of their internships. Internship pay in recent years has ranged from $3000 to $5400 per month.  This program allows you to graduate with experience in your chosen field.

Areas of concentration:
Photovoltaic & Semiconductor Device Processing
Optical Materials & Devices
Polymers & Coatings

If this sounds appealing, check out the website at

Feel free to send questions!

The Oregon NASA Space Grant Consortium (OSGC) is pleased to offer scholarships and fellowships for community college and undergraduate students in the STEM fields and graduate students enrolled in an MAT program in STEM education. Scholarships and fellowships are open to students attending OSGC member institutions. Application deadline is May 20. For more information go to:

The OSU Folk Club invites applications for their 2016 Scholarships.  Applicants must be female US citizens who are residents of Benton or Linn County or Monmouth or Independence in Polk County, age 30 or older by March 28, and who will be enrolled full-time at OSU in Fall of 2016 in a Bachelor’s, Master’s or Professional Degree Program.  The application and instructions can be found on the OSU Folk Club web site (    Complete applications are due no later than 5 p.m. Monday, March 28.

Postdoctoral position:  Analytical/Purification Scientist
Education:  PhD analytical chemistry
Full time position
Length of employment:  1 year with the possibility of 1 year renewal
Salary range:  $42,000-$51,000 plus benefits
Location:  Yale University, New Haven

Job Description:
A postdoctoral position is immediately available within the Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering at Yale University. The Center is seeking an analytical/purification scientist to support the research efforts of a multi-disciplinary team. The primary responsibilities of the successful candidate will be analytical testing, compound purification, and compound characterization.

Job Duties and Responsibilities:
The successful candidate will:
·      Perform analytical and preparative scale chromatography of research molecules (small/large, chiral/achiral, milligram to gram scale).
·      Perform analytical testing, including method development and validation of analytical procedures.
·      Perform compound characterization. Analyze samples using appropriate instrumentation (NMR, HPLC, GC, MS, UV, IR, etc.). Summarize and interpret data.
·      Maintain and optimize a wide range of analytical and prep scale chromatographic instrumentation (HPLC, LCMS, GCMS, GC-FID etc).
·      Interact with Center scientists to support, refine, and further develop ongoing and emerging projects.
·      Follow established laboratory safety procedures.
·      Conduct activities under the supervision of the Center’s principal investigators.

Job Requirements
·      PhD in analytical chemistry.
·      In-depth knowledge of analytical and separations chemistry.
·      Demonstrated expertise in modern chromatography and analytical methods.
·      Expertise in data analysis/interpretation.
·      Expertise in data management, documentation, and appropriate software.
·      Excellent communication skills (verbal/written), interpersonal skills, and problem-solving skills.
·      Self-motivated.
·      Ability to work in a collaborative environment but comfortable working independently.

Julie Beth Zimmerman, PhD
Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering at Yale