The University of St. Thomas’ Chemistry Department has been named one of five U.S. colleges and universities to receive a prestigious Jean Dreyfus Boissevain Lectureship for Undergraduate Institutions.

The lectureship grant, worth $18,500, will bring one celebrated speaker (of the department’s choosing) from the chemical sciences to speak to St. Thomas chemistry students for two to three days next fall.

Details on the lecturer’s schedule will be decided closer to his or her arrival next fall. St. Thomas chemistry professor Dr. Tony Borgerding, who helped submit the application for the lectureship, expects the speaker will give three talks: a general interest lecture, open to community, on how chemistry makes an impact on the world; a career-oriented discussion for students “to kinder their enthusiasm for their studies”; and a technical talk, open to students and faculty, on a capstone to generate a community in their field.

This lecture will be part of the department’s regularly held Friday seminars during which a guest speaker presents on a chemistry-related topic.

Part of the grant also will be used to support the summer research of two undergraduate students.

Borgerding said the Chemistry Department has research students every summer – last summer 12 faculty members worked with 45 students – and the grant will make it possible for them to hire two more students. Interested students should email the Chemistry Department for information on how to apply for paid summer research opportunities.

Borgerding is excited about what this opportunity means for incoming freshmen: “Literally 80 percent of our incoming science majors think they’re going to be pre-med. This lectureship will open their eyes to all the possibilities of where they can go with a chemistry major.”