August 27, 2015 at 10:30am

Millikin Chemistry

New to this year's First Week program at Millikin University were Performance Learning workshops. The workshops were designed and led by Millikin faculty members in each academic department across campus. The workshops gave first-year students an opportunity to experience Performance Learning activities prior to the start of classes.

Chemistry majors took part in an ice cream-making contest in Leighty-Tabor Science Center; one of 15 workshops held on campus.

Led by Dr. Paris Barnes, associate professor of chemistry, the experiment was just a small example of what the students will be doing over the next four years at Millikin. The students started with a proposal, performed their own research and then presented their results for evaluation.

Paris Barnes

"As chemistry majors, from day one we want you to do chemistry as chemists would do it," said Dr. Barnes. "During your first year, we will have you using instrumentation to analyze things; you will get real hands-on experience."

As part of the contest, the students worked in teams and used liquid nitrogen to make the ice cream. Millikin faculty members Dr. George Bennett, professor of chemistry, Dr. Kyle Knust, assistant professor of chemistry, Dr. Anne Rammelsberg, associate professor of chemistry, and Dr. Timothy Guasco, assistant professor of chemistry, were on hand for taste testing.

Dr. Barnes added, "We want you to think about real-world application, and during lab work, we want you to apply the knowledge gained."

Students involved with the workshop were Jordan Comish, from Highland, Ill.; Matt Vangunten from East Peoria, Ill.; Cassidy Cowger from Moweaqua, Ill.; Rachel Patty from St. Louis, Mo.; and Jacob Hamilton from Belleville, Ill.

Millikin University Provost Dr. Jeff Aper describes Performance Learning as, "The heart of our work with students at Millikin. It is a dynamic and multi-layered approach to learning that gives students the opportunity to partner with faculty, staff, and other students to go beyond learning about an academic discipline, but to actually do the work of the discipline they're studying."

Dr. Aper added, "Performance Learning calls on students to engage in substantive processes of reflection as a way of promoting an ongoing cycle of doing, learning, and becoming."

Click here to read more in an article from the Herald & Review.