Meadville, Pa. – August 27, 2008 – Allegheny College has received a grant of $100,000 from the Orris C. Hirtzel and Beatrice Dewey Hirtzel Memorial Foundation to purchase two pieces of scientific equipment — an imaging system and an automatic elemental analyzer — that will strengthen the analytical skills of students in a range of chemistry, biochemistry and biology courses.
Modern biological and biomedical research is highly dependent on quantitative imaging of fluorescent, luminescent and chromogenic labels in a variety of biological media. The imaging system will provide the students and faculty in the college's biology department and the biochemistry program with a state-of-the art imaging system that is highly flexible and well suited to a variety of uses.
The elemental analyzer will provide information about the percentage of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen and sulfur in chemical and biological samples. This capability will allow students to discover the composition of samples they have synthesized or to compare the composition of a series of hydrocarbons to gain an understanding of how a chemist characterizes new material.
“Allegheny is very pleased with the support of the Hirtzel Foundation because the new equipment will allow us to expand the technical capacity of students engaged in scientific research,” Dean of the College Linda DeMeritt said. “It will provide students experience with state-of-the-art, research-quality instrumentation. This is particularly important in preparing them for professional and graduate school.”
Allegheny is one of 40 colleges recognized in Loren Pope's book Colleges That Change Lives, where he writes that the college “has a long and distinguished record of producing … future scientists and scholars.”
Allegheny ranks in the top 5 percent of schools whose graduates go on to earn Ph.D.s in all fields, in the top 4 percent in the science disciplines, and in the top 2 percent for producing chemistry Ph.D.s., according to data from the Higher Education Data Sharing (HEDS) Consortium Study of the Doctorate Records File for the decade 1995-2004.
On a percentage basis, Allegheny produces twice as many scientists as the top rated research universities. During the past decade, about 30 percent of Allegheny's students have graduated with degrees in the sciences annually. The national average is 23 percent.
The Orris C. Hirtzel and Beatrice Dewey Hirtzel Memorial Foundation is located in North East, Pa.