“My primary role is not to tell students what facts to memorize but to help them determine what is important and how it fits into the big picture.”— Christopher Hamilton
Additional Faculty Information for Christopher Hamilton
B.A., North Central College
Ph.D., University of Delaware
National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions
American Chemical Society
American Society of Brewing Chemists
The Effect of Temperature and Alpha-Acid Concentration on Hop Utilization in Wort. Presented at the EBC Hop Symposium in Nuremberg, Germany, September 2018.
Beer: Chemistry, Styles, and Sampling. Presented at the Midwest Association of Chemistry Teachers at Liberal Arts Colleges Annual Meeting, Hillsdale, Michigan, October 2018.
CHM 101 Great Principles of Chemistry
CHM 452 Biochemistry
CHM 453 Advanced Biochemistry
CHM 453 Lab Techniques in Biochemistry
CHM 597 Exploring Health Careers
CHM 597 Professional Practices in Medicine
CHM 597 Beer: Science, Styles, and Sampling
Biochemistry is essentially the chemistry of how life works. It is an amazing field. It connects and explains many aspects of biology and chemistry. In my opinion, it is the best of both worlds.
One of the coolest parts to me is figuring out how enzymes actually do their chemistry—converting one molecule into another. Biochemistry is very applicable to understanding health and medicine. It can help explain why a vitamin is essential or why a certain drug works. I’ve also been able to use a lot of my biochemistry in one of my hobbies: home brewing beer.
When teaching biochemistry, I want my students to make connections to other areas of science; so I push them in this regard and give them challenging problem-solving exercises. It is not easy, but it forces students to completely understand topics. My primary role is not to tell students what facts to memorize but to help them determine what is important and how it fits into the big picture.
Students graduating with a major in biochemistry or chemistry are very well prepared for whatever the next step in their life is. The understanding of science they obtain here, the lab skills, and the problem-solving ability are top notch. Combine that with the strong liberal arts core, and graduates are ready to succeed at the best graduate schools, medical schools, and professional schools in the world.
Hillsdale is an amazing place. I came to Hillsdale in 2007 because the students and faculty were excellent. Nearly all the students here want to learn and grow. Hillsdale is a difficult school, but not just for the sake of being hard; it is meant to challenge students and help them rise to the challenge.