I hope this newsletter finds you well. I’m now in the habit of collecting information and photos for the newsletter. The goal is to hit the highlights and make sure the fun stuff is documented. As you know, learning and teaching chemistry is pretty hard work. Making sure this is done with a bit of light touch with some fun thrown in is important. This document will not focus on 2 am studying for chemistry exams or how you feel when your product won’t recrystallize, rather it will feature accomplishments, whiffle ball games, and miscellaneous fun stuff.
Our speaker at the 2009 Homecoming colloquium (formally known as The William and Barbara Haller Endowed Lectureship in Biology and Chemistry) was Dr. Katherine J. Franz, Department of Chemistry, Duke University. Kathy is Dave Franz’ daughter and she spoke on her research, “Minding Metals: Designing Iron Chelating Agents for Neurodegenerative Disease”. After her talk, there was a brief ceremony where the instrument lab was renamed “The David A. Franz Chemistry Instrumentation Laboratory” which is just as it should be.
Dave Franz’ family after Kathy’s presentation
Touring the David A. Franz Instrumentation Laboratory
Over the past year we’ve had several students conduct research within the department Brittany Bryan continued Dr. Mahler’s project of characterizing ruthenium complexes by 31P NMR. Julie Bulter used the technique of cyclic voltammetry to determine the potential of samarium diiodide with various amounts of tripyrrolidine phosphine oxide present. Dave Sampsell worked in the McDonad lab over the year on a volunteer basis to do kinetic studies of SmI2·(TriPy)4 with both 1-bromodecane and 2-octanone. Carrie Harsomchuck explored intermolecular versions of hydroacylation in the Bendorf laboratory. Zach Carroll worked with Dr. Ramsey on different low cost approaches to microfabrication. Trisha Lindenmuth investigated in-situ approaches to the derivatization of carbon electrodes for Dr. Ramsey. Mike Cecchini continued his investigations of the electrochemistry of catechol at carbon electrodes and helped out with the samarium diiodide electrochemistry. Several students presented their work at both the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in the Fall and the University of Delaware in the Spring.
Our summer research program had five students working with the four chemistry faculty Our summer researchers did a great job. Along with the labwork, we had pizza-based lunchtime meetings where we started with YouTube videos of things being blown up followed by students and faculty holding forth on their work. We also had some sort of athletic endouvour each week (the Thursday throwdown) such as whiffleball, touch football, or volleyball. The summer research students also made a video of their summer work which makes doing chemistry research at Lycoming look like a pretty good summer gig. We’ll try to get that video on our website for you to look at, it is pretty cool. Dave Sampsell and his dad hauled a big grill up to the summer researchers’ apartments on Mulberry Street and they made ribs for everybody which were great. We also had a pork-based cookout at casa Bendorf/McDonald which went over very well. Chad Lemmons (Ahlstrom Filtration ), Kyle Ruhl (Merck Pharmaceuticals) and Kate Williamson (University of Southern Mississippi) also did research and we’re looking forward to finding out what they were able to accomplish.
Mike Cecchini and Julie Butler measure the potential of SmI2/TriPy
Derivatizing electrodes is complicated...
In sports news, Biology was so traumatized by sequential whippings by the Chemfolk, that no game was played. In lieu of that, one rainy Friday a whiffleball game was held in the gym. The most noteworthy aspect of this was Eric Dingler’s unassisted triple play, which was as exciting as it was improbable.
Dave Sampsell ran his 100th rxn so he gets a cake!
Aerial food at Ichiban for the summer research crew
Chillin’ at the cookout the summer research students put on
Summer whiffle ball (note Dr. Dave Fisher is on the hill)
As can be seen below we continue to have the Chemistree Party with all of the traditional activities and goodies.
This one goes right here!
This decoration was made before Rob was born
We had two home school groups visit with us during the year. Their enthusiasm for science is palpable and it is great fun to do demonstrations and involve them in chemistry-based activities.
Dr. Mahler shares his endothermic reaction
Polyvinyl alcohol $1, sodium borate 50¢, making slime,