Undergraduate Employment

The Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at UCA hires a number of students to assist in the work of the department.  The department clearly benefits from the assistance of our student employees and they, in turn, gain valuable work experience as well as earn money to help with expenses associated with going to college.  The number of students that can be hired for this employment is limited by university and budget constraints.

The department hires a number of students each semester who contribute in a variety of ways. For all positions in student employment, it is preferred, but not required, that the student be pursuing either a major or a minor in chemistry.   If you are interested in working in the departmental office, please contact our Administrative Specialist, Sherry Purdy. Contact our Chemical Hygiene Officer, Jamie Freeman, if you are interested in working in our chemical stockroom or as an undergraduate teaching assistant.

  • Undergraduate laboratory assistants: An undergraduate laboratory assistant provides considerable assistance to faculty teaching the labs including assisting with answering students’ questions, helping students with the setup of equipment, and obtaining last-minute supplies needed for labs.  The undergraduate laboratory assistant gains a deeper understanding of chemistry by reviewing the lab component of a course already completed, hones laboratory skills, gains experience that can be put on a resume, and gives the student more references for graduate school, professional school, or a job application.  In order to become an undergraduate laboratory assistant, a grade of B or better in the course is required. Inquiries about laboratory assistant positions should be directed to our current laboratory coordinator.
  • Undergraduate research assistants: Grants obtained by faculty members to fund their research activities often have provisions for hiring students to conduct much of the actual laboratory work.  These are most commonly available during the summer and are contingent on available funds.  Inquire with specific faculty members for more information.
  • Main chemistry office: These students assist our Administrative Specialist in a variety of ways, including copying, answering the phone, completing projects, running errands, checking grades, keeping the department website up to date, and staffing the office when necessary. This position is for chemistry majors that are in their sophomore year or above.
  • Chemistry stockroom: Two students are hired to work in our chemical stockroom each semester.  These students learn valuable skills in bench chemistry, including the preparation of solutions, maintenance of equipment, and safety concerns. Inquiries about stockroom positions should be directed to our current Laboratory Coordinator.
  • Chemistry Department Tutors: Department faculty recommend and carefully vet students who might be good tutors.  Ideally, tutors should have completed sequences of general chemistry and one course in organic chemistry.  Please contact Dr. Patrick Desrochers (department chair), for more information.
  • Supplemental instruction leaders: represent students paid by the Office of Student Success.  SI leaders attend lectures and then lead learning sessions involving students in those lectures at another time during the week.  Dr. Marsha Massey coordinates SI leaders in our department.