New polymer science degrees would offer better opportunities for students

A new degree program at Pittsburg State University is the only one offered in the region.

The Kansas legislature and Kansas Governor Sam Brownback are supporting the initiative that has the potential to make PSU a center for excellence in polymer science education, research and economic development.

Say polymer three times and it becomes a little easier to pronounce. Polymer science also known as polymer chemistry is making its way to Pitt State.

Student Dagen Worthington says, “It’s really exciting and exciting to see where it goes.”

Dagen is one student looking forward to the university’s new polymer science initiative, which includes a bachelor’s and master’s degree program.

Dagen says, “I never though ever I would be in a lab doing the stuff.”

Neither did Kalee Woody, an undergraduate who’s pursuing a biology degree at PSU.

Kalee says, “The polymer chemistry really incorporates all of those aspects. It doesn’t just focus on one thing.”

Petar Dvornic, chairman of the university’s chemistry department says this is the only polymer program in the region.

Dvornic says, “It is an interdisciplinary educational research program aimed at creating high quality graduates.”

Some say, polymer chemistry is a relatively new field but course work will aid students pursuing high tech jobs, and also assist those seeking a doctorate.

Dvornic says, “They will be at the forefront of science they will be dealing with those materials i explained to you that are really at the forefront of science.”

And with faculty in place, the program now waits for students to enroll.

Kalee says “I’m an undergraduate and I’m going to be graduating in a couple years and I’m doing PhD work.”

Dagen says, “I’m excited to get that experience and that credibility.”

The university hopes to have thirty-five students enrolled in the program by the third year.