Faculty

Senior College

CHEMISTRY

About the Subject

Chemistry, the fascinating study of matter, impacts every aspect of our daily lives from health and nutrition to climate change. A vibrant, growing science, chemistry is vital to the success of research endeavors from the fight against cancer and AIDS to the development of superconductors. Important research areas like drug design, material science, nanotechnology and most importantly, ‘green chemistry’ are beneficial to both humanity and the environment. A vast array of industries - petrochemicals, bulk and fine chemicals, polymers, dyes & paints, pharmaceuticals, food additives & nutraceuticals are chemistry related and offer a wide range of rewarding careers.

About the Department

Chemistry was introduced at the Intermediate Science level at Sophia in 1952 and the first batch of students graduated in Chemistry in 1967. Today, students can major in Chemistry or opt for Chemistry with Biochemistry at the TYBSc level. The MSc course in Analytical Chemistry was introduced in 2010 in response to students’ need for a P.G. degree program. A post-graduate diploma course in ‘Quality Assurance in the Foods/ Pharmaceuticals Industry’ is also offered by the department in collaboration with the Biochemistry department.

In all our chemistry teaching programs, the primary focus is on the all-round development of students. Students are offered a wide range of academic activities organized to meet their different academic abilities, skills and needs. All our students benefit from peer-teaching, organized group study and remedial teaching and those who wish to participate in advanced learning activities enroll in the EXSP program of the college doing literature surveys and experimental projects. Students also have the opportunity to assist staff members in their research work.

A proud achievement for the department is the 2nd rank secured by Ms Marina John at the TYBSc University examination in Chemistry (2013).

Students are encouraged to make oral and PowerPoint presentations, give seminars and participate in debates and group discussions to enhance their creativity, communication skills and confidence. Innovative teaching methodologies incorporated in the regular teaching program help to develop and maintain students’ interest in chemistry. Some of these are:

  • Wide use of ICT by both staff and students
  • Workshops for difficult topics
  • Experimental demonstrations
  • Use of molecular models for organic and inorganic chemistry
  • Guest lectures on topics in frontier areas of chemistry
  • Industry visits / field trips
  • Crosswords and quizzes
  • Poster presentations
  • Group singing to Christmas carol tunes with chemistry words
  • Study of chemistry through popular advertisements of chemistry related products.

The Sophia College Chemistry Club offers students the opportunity to ‘enjoy’ Chemistry through organization and participation in various novel Chemistry related activities like Chem-Housie, Chem-Sudoko, Chem-Crosswords / quizzes, Treasure hunts, Essay writing etc. An inter-collegiate Chemistry competition is organized annually. This year a ‘MASTER CHEMIST’ competition was held in Jan 2014.
Students are also encouraged to participate in the chemistry competitions held in other colleges and have won many awards. Student prizes in 2013-14 were:

  • 1st and 2nd prize at the Chem-Speak competition at SIES College.
  • 3rd prize and 1st& 2nd consolation prize in the poster presentation at Maharashtra College.
  • 1st prize in the poster competition at Ratnam College.
  • Consolation prize in the PowerPoint competition at National College

In keeping with the college goals, activities are organized to sensitise students to social and environmental issues. The activities for the year 2013-14 included:

  • A talk on ‘Managing plastics’ by an expert from ICPE
  • ‘Save the sparrow’ - an environmental conservation lecture
  • An ecotourism trip to a farmhouse in Neral
  • An awareness workshop on ‘Food Adulteration’ in collaboration with CGSI
  • A talk on ‘Cybercrime and its impacts’
  • Municipal school outreach programme
  • Visit to an old age home

To strengthen the student – teacher relationship, fun-filled activities like bonding sessions, class get-togethers and picnics are organized regularly. The academic and all-round progress of each student is also followed up by their contact group teacher. Anger and stress management sessions help to improve students’ academic performance.

With a view to helping students improve their career prospects, workshops / seminars are held in the areas of career guidance, CV writing and interview skills. Students are also encouraged to take up summer internships in industry / academic institutions. Many of our students choose teaching as a career while others join industry and are placed in companies like Cipla, Parle-Agro, Enviro-Care etc.

Dr. Prabha Shetty

MSc, PhD

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Assistant Professor, joined the department in 1997. Recognized post-graduate teacher for MSc by papers and by research (bio-analytical chemistry)

Areas of interest: Standardisation of medicinal plants using chemical and biological methods, bio fabrication of nanoparticles and its use in drug delivery, modulation of angiogenesis, clinical pharmacology, chromatography (HPTLC), pharmacokinetics of medicinal plants.

Ms Rochelle Ferns

MSc, MPhil

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Assistant Professor in inorganic chemistry, joined the department in 2006.

Areas of interest: Bio-inorganic chemistry, environmental chemistry, development of innovative chemistry related activities to make learning fun.

Dr P Sirisha Murthy

MSc, PhD

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Assistant Professor, joined the department in 2009. Postgraduate teacher in organic chemistry and recognized guide for MSc by research in organic chemistry.

Area of interest: Synthetic organic chemistry with a green chemistry approach, natural dyes

Ms Tanaz Asha

MSc, BEd

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Assistant Professor teaching analytical and inorganic chemistry. Co-ordinates activities of NSS and nature Club.

Areas of interest: Environmental chemistry, creating awareness about conservation of resources

Ms. Lynelle Jeysus

M.Sc. SET Qualified

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Teaching Organic Chemistry. Area of interest: Study of active components in natural products, inculcate alternate and fun methods of teaching, travelling.

Sr Rajani Khandagale

MSc , BEd

Assistant Professor teaching Physical and inorganic chemistry at undergraduate level.

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Areas of Interest:  Spectral methods of analysis, counselling and accompanying youth, teaching.