by, Nicole Fitzsimmons, Asst. News & Features Editor
Over this past summer, students have been working diligently to establish Manhattan College’s first ever Cosmetic Engineer and Chemist Society on campus. Through the local chapter at the college, new members can expect help in navigating the professional world and opportunities to make connections with others who are passionate about this field of study.
Inspiration for the society sparked as Ciara Coyle, a junior chemical engineering major, noticed very large and successful programs for cosmetic engineering at other universities. Due to the large population of engineers on the college’s campus, she thought starting up this society would be the perfect opportunity for students who are professionally interested in the cosmetic industry to grow throughout their entire college experience.
“My attraction to this school was it’s one of a kind cosmetic undergraduate and graduate programs,” Coyle, founder and co-president of the society said. “This was really my attempt to fill that gap of space from freshman to junior year where you do not work with cosmetics until you declare it as your concentration as a senior or graduate student.”
The introduction of the society was welcomed with open arms by the faculty at Manhattan College. Samiul Amin, associate professor of chemical engineering, accepted the role as advisor of the society and was immediately impressed with it’s goals and message.
“I think one of the things is that we are really trying to enhance the visibility of the cosmetic engineering program at Manhattan College,” Amin said. “There’s multiple aspects of the society I think, which are going to play a key role in kind of enhancing both the visibility and appeal of cosmetic engineering, both to the students, but also, kind of, for external visibility to some of the cosmetic companies.”
Connections to cosmetic companies and cosmetic events are an essential part of the new society. Amin states that communication with the broader cosmetic industry can really help the college become a leading force in the cosmetic sciences and can increase the appeal of the field.
“We have a few events lined up already such as our guest speaker, Katrina Bernhardt, a facial scientist and chemical engineer at Johnson and Johnson and a student cosmetic internship panel for this coming October,” Coyle said. “My long-term goal for the club is that it continues to build a greater member body and helps students network and navigate the world of cosmetics.”
The introduction of the new laboratory of cosmetic engineering at the college has also been integral in the advancement of the community. In the east coast, very few academic institutions have laboratories like the one that has recently been established.
“I think there’s very few academic, if any, academic institutions which have a cosmetic lab like the one we have, so that’s generated a lot of interest from a lot of the industry,” Amin said. “The companies are doing projects with us, which allows students to kind of work on industry sponsored projects. And, it’s also, kind of, enhanced the visibility of our cosmetics program.”
Junior chemical engineering major and co-president of the society, Gianna Villani, also testifies towards the value of the new cosmetics lab to the program at Manhattan College.
“I am currently researching in the new cosmetics lab in the Leo Engineering Building,” Villani said. “I think this definitely had some type of contribution because I was able to contribute things that I have learned while working in the lab into the new society.”
On top of research opportunities and connections, members of the society can expect to unite with other students in learning more about the industry.
“The society is meant to help members navigate the cosmetic world before their first professional experience in it,” Coyle said. “I hope that members make connections with professionals already in the field who we will be hosting as guest speakers or who we may interact with on field trips. I hope to educate the aspiring students in our club on the knowledge of cosmetic formulation, design, and testing. Members can expect fun and interactive activities that will have them leaving with a little more insight than they came with.”
The society also hopes to make career counseling and managing the professional world a seamless process. Villani hopes to soon contact some of the career counselors at Manhattan to initiate appointments to work with student’s résumés in the society.
“Members can expect fundraisers that are being developed, as well as meetings with career developers, as well as alumni in the industry of cosmetics,” Villani said.
Any undergraduate student who is enrolled at Manhattan College is eligible to join the society, no matter what their major is. Students who have a passion for the cosmetic sciences and the cosmetic industry in general can find a perfect space to learn, grow, and express themselves in this program.
To keep updated on the society, they will be active on their social media pages, which are currently Facebook, Instagram (manhattan_ccs) and LinkedIn. The Cosmetic Chemist Society is always looking for new members, so simply send a personal message with an email to join an innovative part of the Manhattan College community.
“This is beyond just chemical engineering, because there are students who could be in cosmetics in the chemistry department, who are studying biochemistry,” Amin said. “Students who are studying, even biology, or students, obviously, studying chemical engineering, I think this kind of brings them together with a kind of a common area of interest in terms of cosmetic cosmetic sciences.”