Cara Freedman, chemistry major.
Cara Freedman, chemistry major.

Cara Freedman

Why I became a chemistry major?

I became a chemistry major because everything comes back to chemistry and because the field had always fascinated me. I had a great high school chemistry teacher who encouraged my liking for chemistry and luckily I have had many great professors in college who have allowed me to explore the subject as well!

My experience as a chemistry major

My experience as a chemistry major has been great. The faculty and staff in the department are very friendly and helpful. The courses are challenging, but I learn a lot of interesting and important things throughout the courses and allow my understanding of chemistry to be more complete. The courses also allow me to be a better student and learn about myself as well.

I also participate in student research and my research adviser and group are so helpful and educate me a lot about the instrument we work with, the meaning of the results, general and analytical chemistry, and everything in between. The department is small, but I like it that way because I know most people and most professors as well.


Varsity Women’s Tennis, Best Buddies, Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority, Gold Ambassador, B’Naturals A Cappella, Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow, Beardwood Chemical Society

Most Memorable Moment in Class

The most memorable moment in class was in General Chemistry I and II when Dr. Amanda Reig would perform different small experiments to solidify what we were learning in class or when Dr. Ryan Walvoord began Organic I and II with organic chemistry memes.


I conduct analytical chemistry research with Dr. Eric Williamsen. We work with High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) which works with a stationary phase (a column, in my case a fluoro octyl) and a mobile phase (in our case, 50:50 methanol and water) and we see how different liquids with analytes, or compounds, retain in varying temperatures, with different functional groups all within a 50:50 methanol and water mixture. Our research is based around the Van’t Hoff Equation and also looks at different enthalpy and entropy values as well.

My experience with research

My experience with research has been great with Dr. Williamsen. We discuss what analytes to run in the HPLC on a certain day, I complete it, analyze the data, get his input on whether or not to run the analyte again if something looks a little off, and save it for the end of the semester for our research poster. I like the independence, as well as the guidance from Dr. Williamsen and his availability to consult with me.

What was valuable about the experience?

While sometimes it is very independent work in the lab, it’s very helpful so I can get a better sense of how to use the instrument for future knowledge and future lab work. The coolest part is that the column I work with does not have a lot of research on it yet as it’s a newer column, so I am finding out new information in a way.

Life After Ursinus

After Ursinus I would like to pursue a graduate degree in forensic science; whether forensic chemistry or a different subfield.