Students at Nazareth College who ultimately pursue careers in the pure sciences, the applied sciences, or the social sciences benefit greatly from their undergraduate research experiences. The Nazareth faculty has developed a culture of scholarship and inquiry that strengthens the understanding of scientific concepts by emphasizing time spent in the lab and the field.
Nandini Singh ’15 is a case in point. An Indian national, Singh became aware of Nazareth when her uncle, a physician at Rochester General Hospital, recommended the College’s pre-medical program. She loved the campus and was extremely impressed with the rich undergraduate research opportunities to be found here. Starting in her freshman year, she became involved with research that focuses on the use of biodiesel fuels—especially cooking oil—conducted under the tutelage of Richard Hartmann, Ph.D., associate professor of inorganic chemistry and chair in chemistry and biochemistry. “The student/faculty interaction is great here,” says Singh. “My advisor knows my background, my career goals, and when I’ll be taking the MCATs. That kind of personal touch really helps.”
It also helps to be doing research in Peckham Hall, which opened its doors in September 2012. This first new academic building on campus in decades was made possible by the successful fundraising efforts of the Campaign for College and Community. Its up-to-the-moment facilities will help to turn out students of excellence who can enrich the region’s professional ranks. “I love Peckham,” says Singh. “It’s amazing. It has everything you need.” One day, for lunch, Nancy and Larry Peckham joined Singh and her fellow students. “It was very exciting,” says Singh. “While the Peckhams are not of a scientific background, they told us how they wanted us to be able to collaborate—not just with each other, but with other learning institutions.”
Whether it is algorithms or amino acids, zebra mussels or zygotes, Nazareth students, many starting as early as freshman year, are clearly generating a wealth of research and developing a discipline that will carry them through their careers.