The program was established by Professor James Y. Tong and was approved by the Ohio Board of Trustees in 1976. Dr. Tong (now emeritus professor) received his BS and M.S. degrees from UC Berkeley in 1950 and 1951, respectively. He received his Ph.D. from U Wisconsin and did post-doctoral work at U Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He joined the faculty of Ohio University in 1957 and soon established courses in photography, forensic chemistry and toxicology.

What are our Alumni doing now?
Our first BS forensic chemistry student graduated in 1978, and we have steadily grown to a graduating class of 10-20 students each year. Our department graduates a total of 40-50 chemistry majors each year, making us one of the largest programs in the state. See a recently published article (PDF) by Dr. Jackson for more details about the growth of the program at Ohio.

Surveys sent to our forensic chemistry graduates approximately one year after graduation between 2001-2007 (35 responses, ~34% response rate) show that 35% of our graduates were immediately enrolled in MS or Ph.D programs after graduation. Graduate degrees being sought include chemistry, biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology, toxicology, biological sciences, pharmacology, MD and MBA degrees. More than 60% of our respondents from this six-year period were employed as a chemist or scientist in some capacity. Approximately 50% of those employed were in a forensic laboratory, coroner's office or toxicology lab.

Graduation Figure

The Department offers several competitive scholarships and awards to our undergraduate chemistry majors. Some scholarships/awards are specific to our forensic chemistry majors and others are open to all chemistry majors.

Awards/Scholarships open to forensic chemistry majors only:

James Y. and Harriet Tong Forensic Chemistry Scholarship

One monetary award and certificate to a student at any rank based on academic achievement.

2006 Cynthia Cipolla
2008 Cynthia Cipolla
2009 Abigail Hunt
2010 Rachael Kyper
2011 Ashley March (with Dr. Tong, below. Click to enlarge)

Ashley March image

2012 David Griffiths
2013 Jenna Silverman
2014 Kimberly Belvin
2015 Anne Marie Esposito

James Y. and Harriet Tong Forensic Chemistry Award
for students showing aptitude as a forensic chemist.
One monetary award and certificate to each freshman, sophomore, junior and senior based on academic achievement.

Previous winners (Click images to enlarge)
2006 2007 2010 2011
Tong award winners 2006

Tong award winners 2007 Tong award winners 2010 Tong award winners 2010

2006 Freshman: Cynthia Cipolla; Sophomore:  Dawn Rivard; Junior:  Crystal Simson; Senior: Kate DeRhodes
2007 Freshman: Jennifer Colla; Sophomore: Megan Wenning; Junior: Danielle Melaragno; Senior: Crystal Simson
2008 Freshman: Rachael Kyper; Sophomore: Abigail Hunt; Junior: Cynthia Cipolla; Senior: Max McCracken
2009 Freshman: Ashley March; Sophomore: Rachael Kyper; Junior: Abigail Hunt; Senior: Cynthia Cipolla and Megan Wenning
2010 Freshman: Nathanael Hopkins; Sophomore: Ashley March; Junior: Rachael Kyper; Senior: Abigail Hunt
2011 Freshman: Jenna Silverman; Sophomore: David Griffiths; JuniorAshley March; SeniorRachael Kyper
2012 Freshman: Matthew Dill; Sophomore: Jenna Silverman; Junior: David Griffiths; Senior: Ashley March
2013 Freshman: Bradley Sprague; Sophomore: Matthew Dill; Junior: Jenna Silverman; Senior: Sara Stanish
2014 Freshman: Anne Marie Esposito; Sophomore: Jennifer Baker; Junior: Mary Bouschard; Senior: Jenna Silverman
2015 Freshman: Andrew Petry; Sophomore: Anne Marie Esposito; Junior: Mary Bouschard; Senior: Matt Dill

Awards/Scholarships open to all chemistry majors:

American Chemical Society Analytical Chemistry Award for a student showing aptitude as an analytical chemist. Recipients are typically research-active and have high GPAs. 

Undergraduate Research Award  for a student in any rank who demonstrates excellence as a researcher. Recipients typically attend graduate school in a chemical science.

Jesse Day Undergraduate Award for potential as a chemist.

Robert K. Ingham Award for excellence in chemistry.

Upper Ohio Valley Section of the ACS Lavalle Award for outstanding graduating senior.

C. Paul and Beth K. Stocker Scholarship

Helen Hoover Memorial Scholarship

The Ewers Scholarship

The Hiram Roy Wilson and Alvin W. and Mae S Carlson Scholarships

Nicholas Gecsy Chemistry Scholarship

Ohio University Chemistry Scholarship

CRC Handbook Award

Forensic Chemistry Graduates
Graduating Classes (forensic chemistry only) (Click images to enlarge)
2005 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Forensic chemistry graduates 2005 Forensic chemistry graduates 2007 Forensic chemistry graduates 2008 Forensic Chemistry graduates 2009 Forensic chem graduates 2010 Forensic Chem grads 2011

In addition to the forensic chemistry degree, we also offer degrees in chemistry, biochemistry, chemistry pre-pharmacy, chemistry pre-medicine and chemistry pre-dentistry. We typically have 250-350 chemistry majors at one time (283 Fall Semester 2015), making us one of the largest undergraduate programs in the state and the nation.

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