Lycoming junior chosen for Merck chemistry internship

Lycoming junior chosen for Merck chemistry internship

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Kyle Ruhl, a junior chemistry major at Lycoming College, will spend his summer as a medicinal chemistry intern at Merck, Inc. in West Point, Pa. Out of more than 150 applicants, he was one of only two students selected for the program.

"Since I came to Lycoming, my knowledge of chemistry has drastically expanded in several fields from organic to analytical and even spectroscopy," says Ruhl. "The chemistry courses are well-organized and taught very well. On top of the amazing classes at Lycoming, I believe the opportunity to do research has been a huge plus. Although every chemistry class at Lycoming has a lab section to teach you basic skills, doing research really requires you to think about the chemistry even more. A big thank you goes to Dr. [Holly] Bendorf for allowing me to work in her lab and gain more experience."

According to Bendorf, associate professor of chemistry at Lycoming, a real strength of the College's chemistry program is that Ruhl and other students gain a significant amount of laboratory experience, much more than is typical at many colleges.

"Lycoming chemistry students get hands-on experience with a variety of modern research-grade instruments," says Bendorf. "This is a point of emphasis in our chemistry program. It distinguishes our program from those at colleges that are not as well-equipped and from those at large universities where the instruments are reserved for use by the graduate students."

In previous years, two other Lycoming chemistry majors have been selected for summer internships at Merck. Dan DiRocco, who graduated in 2007, is now pursuing a Ph.D. at Colorado State University and J.J. Manikowski, a 2004 alumnus, is a medicinal chemist at Merck.