Dr. Kevin Callahan
Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry
Dr. Callahan is a graduate of Gettysburg College, so he knew the impact that a small liberal arts college can have on students. Most important to him, perhaps, are the meaningful and lasting relationships professors can form with students at a smaller school. He classifies Fisher as a “very welcoming environment that affords you all the opportunities you might get at a larger school.”
And, he says, if you are willing to put in the work, a degree from Fisher can take you anywhere you want to go. To him, Fisher students are talented, hard-working, and aware of the challenges they will face while they are at Fisher and in their lives after Fisher – and they are ready to tackle them. What stands out most is their willingness and desire to think beyond themselves and pour themselves both the campus and larger community.
Now in his seventh year at the College, Dr. Callahan says that his interactions with his students is his favorite part of the job. He enjoys their energy, enthusiasm, and spontaneity, calling everyday an “adventure.” Dr. Callahan is also a big proponent of the experiential learning opportunities available to students. He and his chemistry colleagues continually promote these opportunities to their students, leading the majority of them to participate in research alongside a faculty member. He says these experiences have an enormous impact on the students and help them grow “immeasurably.”
Olivia Fraser ’18
Chemistry major Olivia Fraser ’18 has immersed herself in the scientific community at Fisher. She’s a member of the Science Scholars program, and has worked with chemistry faculty members to pursue academic research.
When she’s not in class, Olivia helps lead the Chemistry Club and conducts demonstrations of chemistry experiments for elementary schools to encourage interest in the sciences.
“The thing I like most about being a chemistry major is that it challenges me,” she said. “I think college is all about pushing yourself and learning as much as you can.”
For her efforts, Olivia was named an honorable mention in the prestigious 2017 Barry Goldwater Scholarship competition. She was among one of the 307 students chosen as an honorable mention from a national pool of 1,286 students from 470 colleges and universities across the country.
And, while she’s not sure what career path she’ll explore once she graduates, Olivia does know her opportunities are endless.
“Being a science major means I have a lot of options,” she said. “I am considering teaching, law, or medical school.”
Alicia Kessler ’17
Alicia Kessler, who majored in chemistry with a concentration in biochemistry, said she was constantly challenged academically and grew more confident in her knowledge and ability to take on new opportunities throughout her time at Fisher.
She also credits the faculty for her love of the program, and said they were supportive to her and her peers.
In 2016, she participated in the College's Summer Science Fellows Research Program, working alongside Dr. Kevin Callahan, assistant professor of chemistry, and continued her research during her final two semesters. As a result, she was invited to present her work at the annual American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology conference in Chicago.
Alicia did not go far from campus once she completed her undergraduate studies. She is currently attending the Wegmans School of Pharmacy for graduate school.
"No matter what your major is - get involved! It's the best way to make friends. Whether you join a club, sports team, or participate in campus activities, the people you meet in college will be some of the best friends ever."
Leanne Maltese ’18
Chemistry major Leanne Maltese said what she likes most about her major is that the faculty are always willing to help, no matter what. She said they want all students to succeed and as a result, she knows most by their first name.
Her favorite course is analytical chemistry because it ties together the material she has learned so far and helps improve her lab techniques.
When she’s not in the lab or studying, Leanne serves as the vice president of Chemistry Club and is a committee member for the Teddi Dance for Love.
As a Science Scholar, Leanne has been engaged in organic chemistry research and plans to continue for her Science Scholars project.
After Fisher, she plans to attend graduate school and eventually pursue a career in a research lab. Her advice to incoming freshman is to keep an open mind and seek help when needed. She would encourage them to be open to changes and willing to seek new opportunities.
"What I love most is the 'Fisher family' aspect on campus. Everyone wants you to succeed and is so friendly that it really gives you a home away from home."