Urgent Update From CHEM0100

By J. Kaiserman '23


Dear students,


As you may know, Professor Schwann resigned from the University this morning. I realize that this sudden announcement may come as a surprise. Professor Schwann was a beloved professor and founding member of the University of Albuquerque’s Pharmaceutical Chemistry Department, and the University will surely miss her persistent curiosity and fervent passion for pharmaceutical chemistry.


We want to assure you that CHEM0100 (Introduction to Chemistry) will continue this semester. I will be working with your teaching assistants to make this unprecedented transition as smooth as possible. To help ease any understandable anxiety that this update may cause, I have compiled answers to what I believe may be some urgent concerns that you may have.


Who will be teaching the class?

I, Professor Alexander Shulgin, will be leading the lectures.


What material will be covered?

We will continue with Zumdahl’s Chemistry textbook. I hope to finish Chapters 7, 10, and 14 by the end of the semester, but these plans may change. In addition, I’ll be adding some brief supplemental readings to suit the modified course objectives.


When are Professor Shulgin’s new office hours?

My office hours are 1:00-3:00PM on Tuesdays in Rutherford Hall, 203. If these hours do not fit your schedule, please reach out and we can find an alternative time to meet. If you see a package at my door, do not open it.


What is in the packages?

My research involves chemicals that are very dangerous to handle. Any student found to have tampered with these packages will receive an automatic grade of “F” for the course.


What changes will be made to the lab component of CHEM0100?

I’m very excited to announce that the lab curriculum for CHEM0100 will shift to a semester-long project in the synthesis of novel pharmaceutical compounds. Although the University has not officially approved this innovative curriculum change, your final project will ask you to synthesize a molecule of my choosing using the laboratory skills that you have learned. I hope that this new curriculum will prove inspirational for those of you interested in pursuing careers in pharmaceutical chemistry.


When will the final project be due?

We must finish the final project by Spring Break.


What materials will I need for this course? We ask that students purchase splash-resistant goggles, a lab apron, and an unmarked van to ensure safety in the laboratory.


How will we pay for these materials?

If we complete the final project, I will pay you back.


When and where will the new lab sections meet?

The new lab sections will meet between 1:00-4:00AM on Tuesdays and Thursdays. While I recognize that this may be an unconventional time, over my career I have identified multiple benefits to performing pharmaceutical syntheses during these hours. Unfortunately, I have been unable to obtain lab space in the teaching labs, so you should use your vans to drive to a new lab space at the aforementioned times. I will provide you with the address for this space on the first day of class.


How can I best contact Professor Shulgin?

I am rarely able to check my email, so please do not email me with course questions, but I am frequently available by phone. Due to privacy concerns, I will need to update my office phone number weekly, so please be prepared to check my telephone number for any given week on the course Canvas page.


Will lectures be recorded?

It is understandable that you may wish to preserve the lectures for future study. However, I will not be recording our lectures, and I ask that you refrain from sharing any specific details about the course, especially regarding the new lab component or any personal information about me, with others.


How can I earn extra credit?

To help you appreciate the applicability of chemistry in your lives, I have created a chemical “Scavenger Hunt” for extra credit. The goal of this Scavenger Hunt is to locate the following chemicals: 4-piperidone, 2-phenylethyl bromide, aniline, sodium triacetoxy-borohydride, and ethyl acid chloride. Any student who is able to obtain large amounts of these chemicals should contact me immediately, and I will award them an “A” for the semester.


Will any assignments be due over Spring Break?

I will be flying to Culicacán, Mexico for Spring Break and will not be able to grade assignments on my vacation. Do not reach out at that time.


How will the course assignments change after Spring Break?

I regret that I may not be able to return from my vacation to complete the semester. Fortunately, in that unlikely event, my friend and colleague, Dr. Bill “The Scorpion” Andersen, will step in.


I look forward to beginning class on Monday!


With warmest regards,

Alexander Shulgin

Assistant Adjunct Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry,

University of Albuquerque

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