Southern Miss chemistry and biochemistry undergraduate program f - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Southern Miss chemistry and biochemistry undergraduate program first accredited in state

This is a news release from the University of Southern Mississippi 


The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at The University of Southern Mississippi has earned accreditation through the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) – indicating that it meets or exceeds professional standards, giving students an advantage with prospective employers and graduate schools.

The department is the first in Mississippi to receive accreditation by ASBMB for its Bachelor of Science in Chemistry emphases in Biochemistry and American Chemical Society-certified Biochemistry.

Accreditation by the ASBMB is a relatively new distinction. In 2010, the ASBMB was awarded a National Science Foundation grant to develop national accreditation standards.

Dr. Sabine Heinhorst, department chair, says faculty are striving to deliver a program of “high academic standards that promotes student success through high-impact experiential learning, intense mentoring and professional preparation.”

“Our curriculum is multi-disciplinary in nature, and designed to provide students with a solid background in mathematics, physics and chemistry that includes hands-on computational modeling and statistics,” she said. “Our three semester biochemistry core courses, which address the ASBMB core concepts, are enriched by biology courses that provide the necessary connections between the life sciences.”

According to the ASBMB, the goals of the Degree Accreditation Program are to provide:

A national, outcomes-based mechanism by which students receiving a B.S. or B.A. in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology or closely related majors are given an opportunity to have their degree accredited by the ASBMB. A vehicle for recognizing undergraduate biochemistry and molecular biology programs whose features and infrastructure fulfill the basic expectations of the ASBMB. Access to an independently constructed and scored instrument for assessing student achievement and program effectiveness. In awarding accreditation, ASBMB noted the following strengths of the USM program:

Excellent faculty, both in number and qualification.State of the art teaching and research facilities.A rich array of professional development programs for faculty.Strong evidence of institutional support for diversity.Strong curriculum.Heinhorst says the program offers rich research experiences for undergraduate students including experiential learning opportunities such as hands-on laboratory experiences and research projects.

“The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has been committed to promoting undergraduate research for decades,” she said. “The integral role of undergraduate research in our curriculum was formalized in 1992, when a research experience of at least one semester became a graduation requirement for our majors.”

Heinhorst says majors conduct research under the guidance of faculty members. “This allows them to explore the experimental approaches needed to solve actual scientific problems as contributing members of their advisors' research teams.”

Ellyn Dunbar, a native of Hattiesburg, Miss. and a student majoring in the ACS-Biochemistry emphasis, says the accreditation makes a difference in her major.

“It sets me apart from everyone else going into my field. I will be very well prepared going to graduate school in the coming years because of the accreditation,” said Dunbar. “Yes, my program is challenging, but that is what I love about being an ACS-Biochemistry major. I will graduate knowing that I am prepared to be a great scientist.”

Dean of the College of Science and Technology at Southern Miss, Dr. David T. Hayhurst, enthusiastically supported recognition for the undergraduate program.

“Throughout the years, the Chemistry undergraduate program at The University of Southern Mississippi has gained a reputation among prospective and current students for its academic rigor, emphasis on the participation of undergraduate students in scientific research, and student support infrastructure,” he said.

“Faculty in the department pride themselves on the quality of student mentoring and advising, which translates into effective career placement of their graduates into graduate and professional school programs and jobs.”

Heinhorst says accreditation validates their approach. “We have made a name for ourselves for being a strong academic program, multi-disciplinary in nature while offering strong mentoring relationships.”

Heinhorst says accreditation increases the value of the Southern Miss degree. “This puts us on the map as the only university with an accredited undergraduate program in biochemistry in the state. It further establishes USM as a leader of quality science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.”

For more information about the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, visithttp://www.usm.edu/chemistry-biochemistry.

Copyright 2015 WDAM. All rights reserved. 

  • Local NewsLOCALMore>>

  • Gaming Commission: Sports betting legal at MS casinos in 30 days

    Gaming Commission: Sports betting legal at MS casinos in 30 days

    Thursday, June 21 2018 11:10 AM EDT2018-06-21 15:10:46 GMT
    Sports betting will begin in Mississippi in 30 days, say gaming commission. (File)Sports betting will begin in Mississippi in 30 days, say gaming commission. (File)

    Sports betting will be legal in casinos across Mississippi in 30 days. That's according to the state Gaming Commission, who voted Thursday morning to approve the change.

    More >>

    Sports betting will be legal in casinos across Mississippi in 30 days. That's according to the state Gaming Commission, who voted Thursday morning to approve the change.

    More >>
  • Lower costs, fewer benefits in new health insurance option

    Lower costs, fewer benefits in new health insurance option

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 12:10 AM EDT2018-06-19 04:10:52 GMT
    Thursday, June 21 2018 10:04 AM EDT2018-06-21 14:04:09 GMT
    As originally proposed, the new "association health plans" would have to cover people with pre-existing health conditions. However, they could offer narrower benefits than required under the Obama-era health law. (Source: Raycom Media)As originally proposed, the new "association health plans" would have to cover people with pre-existing health conditions. However, they could offer narrower benefits than required under the Obama-era health law. (Source: Raycom Media)

    Trump administration prepares to announce a new insurance option for small firms and self-employed people.

    More >>

    Trump administration prepares to announce a new insurance option for small firms and self-employed people.

    More >>
  • Beer may lack fizz in Europe amid carbon dioxide shortage

    Beer may lack fizz in Europe amid carbon dioxide shortage

    Wednesday, June 20 2018 6:51 AM EDT2018-06-20 10:51:23 GMT
    Thursday, June 21 2018 9:55 AM EDT2018-06-21 13:55:54 GMT
    (Nigel French/PA via AP). England supporters celebrate Harry Kane's winning goal as fans watch the World Cup soccer match between Tunisia and England at the Lord Raglan Pub in London, Monday, June 18, 2018.(Nigel French/PA via AP). England supporters celebrate Harry Kane's winning goal as fans watch the World Cup soccer match between Tunisia and England at the Lord Raglan Pub in London, Monday, June 18, 2018.
    A British trade group says there's a shortage of carbon dioxide in Northern Europe _ sparking fears that drinks may lack fizz just as thirsty soccer fans fill pubs for the World Cup.More >>
    A British trade group says there's a shortage of carbon dioxide in Northern Europe _ sparking fears that drinks may lack fizz just as thirsty soccer fans fill pubs for the World Cup.More >>
Powered by Frankly