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Organic Chemistry Courses
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Organic Chemistry

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WVC Organic Chemistry instructor Shane Hendrickson with students.

The WVC Organic Chemistry classes (CHEM 261, 262, 263) are offered sequentially and are taught in a new state-of-the-art lab facility.

These second-year chemistry course offerings are required for majors in agriculture, biology, chemistry, chemistry teaching major, chiropractic, dentistry, medicine, optometry, pharmacy, veterinary science and other Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) majors. The prerequisite for organic chemistry is successful completion of Wenatchee Valley College's General Inorganic Chemistry (CHEM 161, 162, 163) or equivalent.

Take these courses at WVC and experience small lecture and laboratory sections that allow daily interaction between students and instructor.  Take advantage of WVC Chemistry Department expertise in organic applications to pharmacy.

More about the series

Wenatchee Valley College is delighted to announce the addition of the year-long series Organic Chemistry for science majors and pre-professional studies. Organic chemistry is a fascinating sub-discipline of chemistry based on the chemistry of carbon; namely, the ability of carbon to bond with other carbon atoms in a multitude of stable configurations, giving rise to a tremendous number of compounds exhibiting great structural diversity. Combined with the fact the vast majority of carbon-based compounds also contain other types of atoms (most notably hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen) the number of potential organic compounds is limitless. Of the greater than 54.5 million chemical substances currently listed by the Chemical Abstracts Service (as of 08/03/2010), the overwhelming majority are organic in nature (> 90 %) and the percentage continues to skew in favor of organic substances as improved techniques for the preparation, isolation, and identification of potentially important carbon-based compounds allows the pace of identification to accelerate, with a new compound listed every 2.6 seconds. Given carbon comprises only 0.9 % of Earth’s crust makes such a high proportion of carbon-based compounds particularly astounding.

The diversity of organic compounds provides an ample pool of chemical entities to allow life as we know it and the roots of organic chemistry take hold in the study of the compounds found in the realm of biology. As such it is not surprising that disciplines rooted in biology such as agriculture, biochemistry, dentistry, genetics, medicine, microbiology, molecular biology, oceanography, optometry, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, and numerous other biologic disciplines require Organic Chemistry. In fact, the term organic chemistry was first coined by the Swedish chemist Jöns Jacob Berzelius to describe compounds obtained from natural sources. These compounds were thought to be imbued with a vital force not found in compounds derived from minerals and it was the work of the German chemist Friedrich Wöhler (a student of Berzelius) who demonstrated inorganic compounds could be converted to organic compounds, thus disproving the notion that organic compounds were chemically unique. Nonetheless, the term organic still has attachments to its early roots and it is popular undertaking to seek products from organic sources. Regardless, organic chemistry has long since expanded past its early definitions and now considers all aspects of the chemistry of carbon. Given this encompasses the entire petrochemical and plastics industries, pharmaceutics and medical products, pesticides and fertilizers, food technology, paints, coatings and adhesives, materials science, clothing, cosmetics and toiletries - really the large majority of the objects encountered on a routine basis - it is not surprising a number of engineering and other STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) degrees require organic chemistry and the year-long study of organic chemistry is a necessary component of a baccalaureate degree in chemistry.

Organic Chemistry will examine in detail the structure of carbon-based compounds as structure gives rise to the observed properties for a given molecule. Considerable time will be devoted to understanding the modern methods for identifying structure and powerful analytical methodologies will be at the disposal of the student, thanks to a generous partnership with the Central Washington University Department of Chemistry. Organic Chemistry will take a functional group approach since particular arrangements of atoms - functional groups - confer particular physical properties and chemical reactivities. The major functional groups will be considered in turn and students will leave Organic Chemistry with a solid understanding of how the presence of a given functional group will influence the characteristics of a molecule in which it is found. Students should look forward to solving interesting problems concerning the synthesis, purification, and identification of organic compounds, and should enter with the expectation they will take from the series a functional capacity to safely carry out the standard techniques found in the organic chemistry laboratory. Even though Organic Chemistry is intended primarily for individuals pursuing science majors and preparing for professional health science studies, anyone interested in understanding the world around them through the lens of organic chemistry and who has successfully completed the year-long general chemistry series is welcome to enroll in this fascinating, albeit challenging, series. 

Meet the instructor

Organic Chemistry will be taught by Shane E. Hendrickson. Shane initially fell in love with organic chemistry while studying under Dr. Clarita Bhat at Shoreline Community College. He went on to complete his undergraduate chemistry training at the University of Washington, then joined the group of Dr. William F. Trager in the U.W. School of Pharmacy’s Department of Medicinal Chemistry. While there, he focused on the disposition of drugs in mammalian systems with particular focus on a class of drug metabolizing enzymes (the cytochrome p450’s) primarily responsible for transforming foreign compounds into forms more readily eliminated from the body. Shane has taught organic chemistry at Pierce College, Walla Walla Community College and in the College of Pharmacy at Washington State University before joining the faculty of Wenatchee Valley College in January of 2009. He is delighted to be working with so many talented, generous individuals, and looks forward to serving the greater Wenatchee region for many years to come.

Shane is a native of Snohomish and enjoys the close proximity of Wenatchee to the family farm, located north of Snohomish close to US Highway 2. Having extensively hunted, hiked and fished the region, Shane considers himself fortunate to reside in the area and already has managed to complete his first Hög Loppet 30K cross-country ski adventure with minimal physical and emotional trauma. He is especially pleased to report the webbing between his toes is finally receding now that he is no longer a “wet sider.”

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