CAREERS AND INTERNSHIPS
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Rockford University chemistry and biochemistry graduates experience success in a wide variety of careers: in industry, as instructors at the high school and university levels, in medicine or pharmacy, or in other health professions.
Rockford University works with a variety of companies and organizations in the Rockford area to provide internship opportunities for chemistry and biochemistry majors. Contact Dr. Sean Beckmann to learn more about these exciting internship opportunities.
Biology graduates have numerous career opportunities. Government positions can include wildlife management and environmental research. Private industry uses trained biologists in areas such as sales, management, research and writing. Many additional possibilities exist in the areas of medicine and allied health. Quite a few of our graduates have chosen to continue their education in biology at the graduate and professional school level.
The biology curriculum at Rockford University is designed to develop a strong educational foundation along with the practical skills to perform research in the biological sciences. These skills are further solidified during senior seminar, where our students are challenged to design and implement a research project of choice with the guidance of a faculty advisor.
To supplement research experiences on campus, many biology majors have completed research projects though the National Science Foundation’s ‘Research Experiences for Undergraduates’ program. Learn more about the National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU).
Rockford University works with a variety of companies and organizations in the Rockford area to provide internship opportunities for biology majors. Our students have done internships with Pierce Biotechnology, OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, National Land Institute and Nature Conservancy. Students have taken advantage of internship opportunities for credit and to enrich their learning experience.
Where are they now?
Chemistry and Biochemistry
- Uei Lei ’02, MPH, EMT-P. Uei Lei is working at Loyola University Medical Center as the Regional Emergency Preparedness Coordinator working on HRSA Grants for bioterrorism and general all hazards preparedness. “Since I left Rockford College, I started and finished graduate school at Benedictine University with a Master of Public Health with an emphasis on Disaster Management; inducted into the Sigma Beta Delta in June 2004. I worked at Cook County Department of Public Health as an Emergency Response Coordinator doing projects such as the Strategic National Stockpile Distribution Plan, BioWatch, Biohazard Detection System (with the US Post Office), and numerous others. I then did some consulting work between that and when I got this position at Loyola. And I will be starting a Ph.D. program in Public Policy and Administration emphasizing on Homeland Security and International NGOs starting this Fall with Walden University Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for Loyola University’s Emergency Medical Services System in Chicago.”
- Dr. Ria Westergaard ’02. Dr. Ria Westergaard has finished her doctoral work in pharmacy at Midwestern University – Chicago College of Pharmacy. She now is in a residency with Medco. She writes, “My residency is an optional full-time postgraduate training opportunity that provides about three years of work experience within one year. I chose to do a managed care residency because I really enjoyed my time at Caremark during a six-week rotation and wanted to get a broader scope of experience in the field. Areas of focus include: drug information and formulary management, appeals decision coverage, and education and program development. I will have the opportunity for travel and will complete a research project over the course of the year.”
- Matt Sheets ’03. Matt Sheets is nearing completion of his doctorate in chemistry at NIU. He just published a paper in the Journal of Organic Chemistry on the catalysis of allylation of aldehydes. He will also present three posters at the national ACS meeting in San Francisco in September.
- Ramune Sileikis ’03. Ramune Sileikis is in dental school at the University of Manitoba in Canada. She writes: “It has been a busy summer for me. At present I’m doing my second year of summer research with Network for Oral Health Research (NORTH) and decided to get a B.S.C. Dentistry which I’ll finish this coming fall. As far as dentistry goes — it’s been as enjoyable and rewarding as I imagined it to be, but also very busy and challenging. As far as my future plans go, I would like to further specialize in Orthodontics and currently am applying to various postgraduate schools here in Canada and in the U.S. I do miss the great people that were able to be professors and friends at the same time. When you’re in grad school these things are a bit harder to come by.”
- Jake Fulton ’04, Pharm.D. (biochemistry) completed his doctorate in pharmacy at the University of Iowa and is currently pharmacy manager at Wal-Mart in Geneseo, Ill. He lives in Davenport, Iowa. He and his fiancé, Courtney Kipp (’06), plan to marry next June. Jake was a star football player while here, but has shifted now to softball in his spare time.
- Danielle (Miller) Faulkner ’05 (biochemistry) earned her master’s degree in public health from Illinois Benedictine Univ. in Lisle and is currently working toward her Pharm.D. degree at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn.
- Sara Johnson, ’05, O.D. (biochemistry) just graduated from Southern College of Optometry in Memphis and is moving to Colorado Springs to practice as a vision therapy specialist.
- Cesar Kenaan ’06 (biochemistry) writes from graduate school at the Univ. of Michigan, “It’s been a very busy and productive academic year! I had successful public and private candidacy exams in January and May respectively, and recently co-authored a manuscript on protein conformational dynamics to be published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. I was also the recipient of a Sigma Xi Grant in Aid of Research award in March 2009. This past summer, I had the opportunity to mentor a talented undergraduate chemistry student and, as a result of the positive experience, I’m seriously considering academia as a future career.”
- Andria Morud ’08 (biochemistry) will graduate next May with a master’s degree in bioethics and medical humanities from the University of South Florida, Tampa. She is planning to apply to dental school for next fall and will also be earning a college teaching certificate for a diversified resume. She would love to teach in a dental school.
- Josh Ryan ’08 (biochemistry) is a product applications specialist at Cole-Parmer in Vernon Hills, Ill. He does technical support for their products, which range from peristaltic pumps to pH meters to GC-Mass Spec instruments. He’s he unofficial “go-to guy” for chemical questions; he works directly with the sales divisions in New Zealand and the UAE. He currently lives in Mundelein, Ill.
- Meghan Porter ’08 was accepted to the physical therapy program at Creighton University in Omaha.
- Beau Westin ’08 is enrolled in medical school at St. Matthew’s University in the Cayman Islands.
- David Kaplan ’06 will be spending a year doing biomedical research in Bethesda, Maryland through the National Institute of Health’s Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award program.
- Lucas Bradley ’06 is the education coordinator for the Natural Land Institute.
- Jeannie Harrison ’05 will be in her 3rd year of veterinary school at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. She is also in the University of Illinois program for a master’s in public health.
- Hanee Razick ’05 is a pharmaceutical sales representative with Forest Laboratories.
- Eliona Andoni ’02 graduated with a D.O. from the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine at Midwestern University.
- Christine Baumgardt ’05 works for Steris in St. Louis doing Research & Development.
- Lori Culver ’02 is a sales trainer of pharmaceutical sales representatives for the Ross Products Division of Abbott.
- Heath Morrall ’02 is working for Euclid Chemical a division of RPM International. He is doing sales for the company which is a manufacturer of construction chemicals.
Chemical and Biological Sciences
Starr Science Building
5050 E. State St.
Rockford, IL 61108
Matthew Bork Ph.D.
Dept. Chair Chemical & Biological Sciences/ Assistant Prof of Chemistry