Muhlenberg’s chemistry graduates are well prepared for whatever field they choose. With excellent graduate school placement, Muhlenberg students have landed in graduate programs at schools like Princeton, Cornell, Vanderbilt, the University of North Carolina and the University of Michigan, among many others.

Chemistry graduates go on to careers in medicine, research, academia and law—just to name a few.

Hear recent chemistry graduates explain how their experience with chemistry at Muhlenberg opened doors to their future.

Bryan Auvil ’16

Bryan Auvil '16 graduated with a chemistry degree, has completed medical school and is in residency at Vanderbilt University to become a physician.

Bryan studied chemistry at Muhlenberg and has since graduated from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He's currently completing his residency in internal medicine at Vanderbilt University.

What were some of the most memorable parts for you as a chemistry major at Muhlenberg?
I thrived in the close-knit atmosphere of the chemistry department, with small class sizes and direct access to our outstanding professors. We had a great cohort of chem/biochem majors and were pretty tight by the end of four years. Traveling to the American Chemistry Society national conference in Denver, Colorado, remains one of my best memories from Muhlenbergit really opened my eyes to the breadth of fields and opportunities within chemistry.

Tell us about a memorable research experience at Muhlenberg and how it prepared you for future studies or your career.
I spent a summer doing synthetic organic chemistry research with Professor Sherri Young. It was a great fit, as her project had a potential medical application.  Although I ultimately did not pursue a career in chemistry, this experience opened my eyes to the thoroughness and dedication required for successful scientific research and provided me with skills that I have since applied to clinical research.

What advice do you have for today’s chemistry students?
Immerse yourself in the chemistry program, and take advantage of the unique opportunities available to Muhlenberg students, such as research projects and direct learning from our first-rate faculty. Even if you don’t plan to pursue a career in chemistry, a major (or minor) from Muhlenberg will still provide you invaluable skills that will set you apart in whichever field you choose.


Nicole Gibki ’20

Nicole Gibki '20 graduated Muhlenberg with a degree in chemistry and has gone on to a career at the pharmaceutical company Merck.

Nicole studied chemistry with a minor in business administration. She's currently working at Merck within their Oral Formulation Sciences division.

What were some of the most memorable parts for you as a chemistry major at Muhlenberg?
Some of my favorite memories as a chemistry major at Muhlenberg were hanging out in the chemistry lounge in the New Science building. There was always a buzz in this space of chemistry students doing homework, studying or laughing together, and the professors' doors were always open when we needed help or wanted to chat.

Was there a course you took at Muhlenberg that changed your life? Please tell us about it.
Inorganic chemistry changed the way I understood learning. This class was unique in that it was peer-oriented and student-driven, as opposed to a standard lecture and recitation course. I believe this course instilled in me the value of hard work and teamwork, which has ultimately prepared me well for my career. 

Did you have a favorite instructor or mentor? Who were they and how did they help you?
During my junior year at Muhlenberg, I connected with a Class of 2000 chemistry graduate who has been a fantastic mentor to me. He is a current Merck employee and actually encouraged me to apply for the position I currently hold! Although I am a year into my professional career at Merck, he has continued to be a supporter, motivator and friend of mine. I feel strongly that our relationship speaks volumes about the Muhlenberg chemistry community.

Michael Gatazka ’21

Mike Gatazka '20 pictured here during his 2018 Summer Research work.

Michael studied chemistry at Muhlenberg and was a Dana Scholar. He's currently enrolled in the Organic Chemistry Doctoral Program at the University of Michigan.

What were some of the most memorable parts for you as a chemistry major at Muhlenberg?
The camaraderie within the department and the immense access to resources. Muhlenberg might be a small liberal arts college, but the chemistry department is extraordinarily well-funded and equipped to perform meaningful research. I had access to high-quality instrumentation that I was able to use even as a first-year student and the department continued to purchase new instruments throughout my time at Muhlenberg.

My peers and the faculty within the chemistry program were fantastic to work with over my four years at the college. There was never a sense of competition, instead we all were good friends who would hang out together outside of classes. We were always studying together and working on labs with each other. The faculty are incredibly supportive of you and whatever it is you want to do in your career. I still reach out to several of the faculty when I need advice or mentorship, and they will be lifelong mentors for me in chemistry.

Tell us about a memorable research experience at Muhlenberg and how it prepared you for future studies or your career.
A memorable research experience at Muhlenberg was the summer following my first year. I worked with Professor Jonathan Gooch in the chemistry department conducting independent research on gold metal nanoparticles. He was a wonderful mentor during that summer and gave me a lot of freedom to pursue satisfying answers to the questions that I was excited by. I learned a lot about an area of chemistry that I had not been exposed to previously and I learned several useful chemical techniques. This was my first time conducting actual research and it was eye-opening to the fact that I enjoyed research! This realization was the first of many along the way that set me up for my future plan of attending graduate school in chemistry. It also taught me many valuable lessons, one of which is tenacity.

What advice do you have for today’s chemistry students?
My advice to future chemistry students is to be open-minded. By keeping an open-mind, you will find that there are a plethora of different careers that you will have access to and be prepared to excel at with a chemistry degree from Muhlenberg. The chemistry department does a wonderful job of connecting you with alumni in industry and academia to help expose you to all of the different options you have as a chemistry major.

Chemistry Alumni

Learn more about how recent chemistry graduates are making an impact.