CHICAGO – Chemistry students at Harry S Truman College, one of the City Colleges of Chicago, received hands-on industry experience in class and an opportunity to apply for a paid summer internship through a partnership with Chicago Discovery Solutions, a company focused on developing new, environmentally-friendly technologies for pharmaceutical research.
Truman College students taking Chemistry 217, “Introduction to Scientific Instrumentation” with faculty member Charles Abrams, worked directly with scientists from Chicago Discovery Solutions (CDS) to examine chemical samples and used instruments in Truman College’s chemistry laboratory to run analysis on the samples. The students interacted directly with scientists at CDS, by preparing the samples for analysis and operating the Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry instrument and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy instrument in the Truman lab to collect data and learn about chemical structures.
“Many times students have a hard time connecting classroom lessons to real-world experiences,” explained Reagan Romali, president of Truman College. “By working with companies like Chicago Discovery Solutions, students can see how their coursework directly applies to future jobs and have the opportunity to network with potential employers. This partnership is just one example of our ongoing mission to graduate students with credentials of economic value that translate into strong careers.”
“With the objective of providing job opportunities to students, Professor Abrams has asked the industry to visit Truman College and see how well it prepares its students for careers,” said Anita Mehta, CEO of Chicago Discovery Solutions and an accomplished chemist entrepreneur. “It was a great experience to be in the class to see Professor Abrams totally consumed by the passion to provide the maximum learning to his students and to see the comprehensive training the students receive. Truman College needs to be equally admired for building a state-of- the-art studio where students have the opportunity to learn instruments like Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy.”
Because of the robust work accomplished by the Truman College chemistry students, Mehta solicited applications from the class for a paid summer internship that could become a full-time job after graduation. Sunny Otake, who is pursuing an associate degree in chemistry, was selected for the paid internship where she will assist CDS scientists who are conducting preliminary research and testing.
“I am interested in working in the field of green chemistry so this internship is a perfect match for me,” said Otake. “I enjoyed working with CDS in class and learning how the company is trying to find ways to simplify the creation of pharmaceuticals. I am so excited to learn even more about the field.”
CDS scientists are currently investigating efficient methods to synthesize drug molecules so that fewer waste products are generated, and no contaminants are introduced to the drug that must be removed before it is marketed. CDS has a fully-equipped chemistry lab facility at the Stewart Technology Center in Plainfield, Ill., and provides employment and training to local chemists.
CDS has offered to expand its partnership by collaborating with Truman College in the field of nanotechnology, specifically by studying the production and optimization of Cerium oxide nanoparticles. This collaboration will provide Truman College students the opportunity to learn how nanotechnology is changing the scientific world.
Students at City Colleges are receiving other internship opportunities in scientific careers, including the field of nanotechnology. Bridget Basan, a 2012 graduate of Wilbur Wright College, and Paulina Szadkowska-Kociszewski, a 2012 graduate of Truman College, participated in a specialized, eight-week training course built around the NanoProfessor Nanoscience Education Program’s curriculum and hands-on lab experiments. Both students are participating in a paid summer internship in which they will assist the NanoProfessor scientific team in developing new, cutting-edge labs for the NanoProfessor Program.
Two more City Colleges students will spend the summer at the Illinois Institute of Technology as part of the Research Experience for Undergraduates program. Lioudmila Sorokina, a student at Harold Washington College, and Jocelyn Sotelo, a student at Wright College, will complete a diabetes-related research project working with an engineering mentor from IIT.