Brian Johnson, Kate Graham, Edward McIntee, Chris Schaller (College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University, USA)
In order to more coherently build on common themes in chemistry and reduce artificial boundaries between subdisciplines, faculty at The College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University have developed a three-semester sequence focused on the reactivity of organic, inorganic and biomolecules. This presentation will focus on the first course in the series (CHEM 250, Reactivity 1). The unifying theme is Lewis acid-base theory, and topics include metal-ligand complex formation and ligand field theory, nucleophilic attack at organic carbonyls and related species, and biochemical processes such as glycolysis that depend on this chemistry. Entropy and enthalpy as driving forces for chemical processes are also emphasized. In addition to outlining the topics covered, this presentation will discuss the challenges faced, including teaching outside of one’s own subdiscipline, meeting external needs such as pre-med requirements, handling the lack of appropriate textbooks, and approaches to assessing the success of such a program.