UHCL Chemistry program's accreditation sets graduates apart from the rest

June 1, 2022 | UHCL Staff


Genevieve Tannehill and Kavita Ramnath got much more than bachelor's degrees in chemistry from University of Houston-Clear Lake. Their employers were certainly impressed by their rigorous coursework and high achievement, but one more thing made them stand out from other job applicants.

"I think the Chemistry program’s accreditation by the American Chemical Society really made a difference in me getting hired," said Tannehill, who is currently a research and development technician at Albemarle Corporation, a chemical manufacturing company located in Pasadena. "My supervisor said it looked really good on my application and that it would help me move up."

Associate Professor of Chemistry and Program Chair Anton Dubrovskiy said that because Tannehill had achieved a GPA of above 3.3 in the Chemistry program, the ACS gave her additional certification attached to her degree.

"The ACS is one of the world's largest scientific communities, so their stamp of approval on our undergraduate Chemistry program means what we do is high quality," he said. "When students see it, they will know the quality of the program they're in. When employers see it, they know our graduates are the best prepared, and without it, we couldn't recruit the faculty we have now."

Tannehill, who served in the U.S. Air Force for seven years prior to enrolling at UH-Clear Lake, said that as a research and development technician, she is helping researchers create catalysts and improve existing catalysts. "These catalysts assist refineries in breaking down the heavier hydrocarbon chains of crude oil into lighter, more valuable products, such as gasoline," she said. "What prepared me for my job was the labs. Although you'd think I would have gained that confidence in the Air Force, I gained my confidence and passion for chemistry by working in the labs at UHCL."

Ramnath said that she recently graduated with her master's degree from University of Texas Health School of Biomedical Informatics and will soon begin her new career at Oncology Consultants as a health performance improvement specialist.

"When I was writing my essay for graduate school, I included that my chemistry program at UHCL had ACS accreditation," she said. "That, along with the fact that I was a chemistry tutor for Dr. Dubrovskiy, helped me a lot and it made a difference in getting the job at Oncology Consultants," she said. "My tutoring experience, combined with graduating from an accredited program made me a more recognizable candidate for the job."

Dubrovskiy said that ACS’s accreditation was based on an in-depth study of UHCL's Chemistry program, including an evaluation of course syllabi, curricula, available equipment, teaching facilities, library resources and safety compliance.

For more information about UHCL’s Chemistry program, go online.