Chemistry lab receives $20,000 grant for new equipment

Thanks to over $20,000 in donations and grants, new equipment will be installed in the lab this semester and be ready for use in the fall. Students will gain a new learning experience after the installation thanks to the generous donors who funded the upgrade.

The new equipment is called an atomic absorption flame spectrometer. According to an article written by Maureen Zambito, Director of Media Relations at WLU, the WLU Foundation was one of the main donors. The article says that Dr. Douglas Swartz, associate professor of Chemistry gave thanks to the Pittsburgh Conference Memorial National College Grant for donating $10,000 and the WLU Foundation for donating $12,000.

The Pittsburgh Conference Memorial National College Grant is awarded to small college science departments for the purchase of scientific equipment, audio-visual or other teaching aids and/or library materials for use in the teaching of science at the undergraduate level, according to the Pittsburgh Conference website.

Swartz shared, “the acquisition of the instrument will allow us to analyze metals in a variety of samples. We are excited to incorporate this instrument into the chemistry laboratory curriculum. We plan to include experiments that highlight the utilization of this instrument into analytical chemistry, instrumental analysis, biochemistry and our special topics course related to water quality surrounding the Ohio Valley.”

According to the article, Angie Zambito-Hill, president of the WLU Foundation, said, “Thanks to our generous donors, we are in the position to provide matching funds and leverage important grant support. That’s just one reason funding from private donors is such an important part of enhancing our student experience and our curriculum.”

In the interview with Maureen Zambito, Dr. Chad Kuhns, chairman of the Department of Physical Sciences and Mathematics, noted “Bringing these funding sources together to add it to WLU’s laboratories elevates the program to a new level.”

This is not the first donation from the WLU foundation this year. Just a few weeks ago, West Liberty University also celebrated the opening of a new Panhandle Performance Zone strength and conditioning center. Last semester, the foundation gave a new music scholarship to a student which they plan to grant out annually in hopes of helping more students.

To learn more about the chemistry program at WLU, please visit the website or contact Dr. Chad Kuhns, head of the department.