Organic Chemistry

Testimonial by Mary Alyce McCullough

I arrived at Wake Forest with a passion for biology and studio art. I’m now double majoring in the two, while following the premed track, in the pursuit of a surgical career. Organic Chemistry II is a vastly important course to anyone aspiring to enter a medical, dental, or veterinary field and is considered by some to be one of the most difficult.  I took the course in the Fall of 2010, but I did not think that I my grades reflected the best I could do. I wanted to better for myself as well as my GPA.  I planned to retake the course over the summer, because my schedule just didn’t permit me to take it again during the regular year.

I had been a little disappointed in needing to retake a course during the summer, but I began seeing the benefits the first day. My course took place for two hours in the morning, Monday thru Thursday. The rest of the day, I could spend time studying in ZSR or on the Quad. I was able to devote the time to Organic Chemistry that the subject requires. Even though the course moved through material at a faster pace than a semester long course, having the time to work and study in a focused way helped me concentrate and feel comfortable with the material. I had taken lab with my professor, Dr. Wayne Harrison, in Organic Chemistry I and was excited to learn he was teaching Organic Chemistry II in the summer. He was always engaging and animated in class. His enthusiasm helped me to feel comfortable asking and answering questions both in and out of the classroom. I even learned to appreciate and enjoy the subject; something I did not think was entirely possible after my previous encounters with it.

Taking the course during the summer was the best decision I could have made. I was able to fully dedicate myself to a subject and perform to the best of my ability. At the same time I was able to simply take advantage of some of the resources on campus. I spent time reading in the library, looking at the art collections, and just walking through the gardens at the Reynolda House. I had the time to slow down and notice the beauty of Wake again while accomplishing an academic goal. I’m very grateful for that.


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