November 1, 2010
Chemistry undergraduates can now log in to a website designed for them by their fellow chem undergrads. The site, a result of months of work by a dedicated group of student volunteers, can be seen at uchem.berkeley.edu.
The website is the brainchild of Betty Wong, who graduated last year with a B.S. in chemical biology. Says Wong, “I developed the website as a way for chemistry students of all grade levels--freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors--to get in touch and stay in touch with each other.
“By highlighting the work of fellow classmates, I was hoping that students would be motivated to make unique paths of their own. I developed the website for more than a social sake. Its purpose is to tie the CoC closer together, creating a stronger community socially and academically.”
Wong took her idea to the undergraduate advising staffers, who encouraged her to discuss her plans with undergraduate dean Marcin Majda. Majda was enthusiastic, as was chemistry professor Matt Francis. Impressed by her 13-page proposal, college administrators gave her the go-ahead, she secured a Berkeley URL, and the group of volunteers started working.
Wong is currently employed by the Keasling lab at the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI). She is applying to graduate programs in chemistry and biochemistry. “I have no doubt that the website will survive after I pass along my guidance position to my staff of volunteers. I am very confident in them. It was great to watch this group come together and I think the website will become self-sustaining,” she concludes.