Thursday, December 6, 2007

Chemistry Seminar - 12/7

This week's seminar speaker will be Mr. Sean Smith, a student in the department's Masters program. He'll present the talk "Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship (QSAR) Study of the Blood to Air Distribution of Volatile Organic Compounds in Humans and Rats".

Please join us at 1:30pm in Weyandt 149. Light refreshments will be served.

CHEM 301 Poster Session

The CHEM 301 "Introduction to Research" students will be presenting posters of their research proposals next Wednesday, Dec. 12, from 12:30-2:30 pm in WEY 236.

Ms. Brittany Buterbaugh
Ms. Beth Leverettt
Ms. Nicole Morozowich
Ms. Jessica Nicole
Ms. Whitney Simmons
Mr. Jarod Sterrett

You are cordially invited to come view the posters and question the students about their intended research plans. Light refreshments will be served.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Chemistry Seminar - 12/5 (Wednesday)

An extra seminar this week will be by Mr. Jeffrey Rupert, a student in the department's Masters program. He'll present the talk "Indium Mediated Conjugate Addition to α,&beta Carbonyl Compounds".

Please join us at 4:00pm in Weyandt 127. Light refreshments will be served.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Chemistry Seminar - 11/30

This week's guest speaker will be Mr. Einstein Ofotsu Djabeng, a student in the department's Masters program. He'll present the talk "The Influence of pH on the Rate of Nucleophilic Decomposition of the Polythionates".

Please join us at 1:30pm in Weyandt 149. Light refreshments will be served.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Undergraduate Scholars Forum - Save The Date

The 3rd Annual Undergraduate Scholars Forum will be held on Tuesday, April 1, 2008 in the HUB and Sprowls Hall.

The Forum provides all registered IUP undergraduate students with an opportunity to present their original research, scholarship and creative works at a collegial and scholarly event. Students may present their original work as an oral presentation, a poster, or a performance at the day long event. In addition, an Undergraduate Juried Art Exhibition will feature creative works that will be accepted after a juried review.

Applications are invited from ALL registered IUP undergraduate students who demonstrate outstanding accomplishments in scholarly activity within their discipline. Applications are due February 17, 2008 and require faculty sponsorship.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Chemistry Seminar - 11/16

This week's guest speaker will be Ms. Selar Sulaiman, a student in the department's Masters program. She'll present the talk "Synthesis of New Macrocyclic Manganese (III) Schiff Bases as Catalysts for Asymmetric Epoxidation".

Please join us at 1:30pm in Weyandt 149. Light refreshments will be served.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Part Time Lab Tech Wanted

A part-time lab technician position is available immediately at Environmental Service Laboratories, Inc., located in Indiana.

15-20 hours a week include evenings and weekends. For further information, contact Michael Moyer (724-463-8378) or submit your resume in person at 1803 Philadelphia Street.

Friday, November 9, 2007

IUP Undergraduate Wins Chung Soo Yoo Award

Beth Leverett, an IUP undergrad in the Chemistry Department, has earned the Chung Soo Yoo Award at the 65th Pittsburgh Diffraction Conference held at the Hauptman-Woodward Institute in Buffalo, NY. The Chung Soo Yoo Award is given to the top graduate student presenter. Dr. Tim Umland, the awards committee chair, commented that her presentation entitled "Twinning in the Adamantine-Like Quaternary Chalcogenide Li2ZnSnS4" (pictured above) was "an outstanding detective story".

Her research demonstrated that the currently accepted interpretation of the diffraction data associated with these compounds was incorrect. Ms. Leverett was the first undergraduate student in the history of the society to win the award. She had stiff competition from Ph.D. graduate students studying at the University of Rochester, University of Buffalo, Hauptman-Woodward Institute, The Ohio State University, Cornell University, Stanford University, University of Toledo, McMaster University and the University of Western Ontario, amongst others.

The Pittsburgh Diffraction Society (PDS) was founded in 1941 to bring scientists together to discuss the use of X-rays to investigate the structure of matter at the atomic level. The PDS is oldest diffraction society in the United States and its membership includes leading scientists from around the world including Nobel Laureate Herbert Hauptman (pictured above).

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Chemistry Seminar - 11/9

This week's guest speaker will be Dr. Andrew Karatjas from the University of Michigan. He'll present the talk "Extending Pummerer Reaction Chemistry: Asymmetric Synthesis of Spirocyclic Oxindoles".

Please join us at 1:30pm in Weyandt 149. Light refreshments will be served.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Chemistry Seminar - 11/2

This week's guest speaker will be Dr. Geoffrey Hutchinson from the University of Pittsburgh. He'll present the talk "Conjugated Electronic Materials: From Organic Polymers to Molecular Wires".

Please join us at 1:30pm in Weyandt 149. Light refreshments will be served.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Students Participated in National Chemistry Week

On Saturday, October 27, seven students from the Student Affiliate American Chemical Society at IUP accompanied Dr. Nathan McElroy to the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh to participate in National Chemistry Week. This year's theme was "The Many Faces of Chemistry" and represented not only all of the diversity of the field of chemistry, but the diversity of the people who work and teach in the field.

The students chose four different demonstrations, organized them, bought the supplies, and presented them to guests of the museum from 10am to 4:30pm. These demos included: a simple oil & water 'lava lamp'; the result of a broken light bulb in and out of an oxygen rich environment; the properties of ferrofluids; and the popular demonstration of food coloring in milk when mixed with soap (emulsifiers & proteins).

The participating students were:
Mr. Ken Glassford
Mr. Andrew Kerr
Ms. Beth Paladin
Ms. Olivia McGovern
Ms. Kelly Seibert
Mr. Peter Stonehouse
Ms. Caitlin Williamson

This was the third year that IUP's ACS Club has participated in National Chemistry Week at the Carnegie Science Center; the 12th year that the Carnegie held this event; and the 20th anniversary of National Chemistry Week by the ACS.

Special thanks to the Department of Chemistry for supplies and financial support; the Geoscience Department for the use of their van; the other members of the ACS club who helped prepare the demonstrations; and the Dean's office of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics for their financial support.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Chemistry Seminar - 10/26

Our guest speaker this Friday will be Dr. Sandeep Patel from the University of Delaware. His presentation will be Development and Application of Novel Force Fields for Molecular Dynamics Simulations: From Biological Ion Channels to Aqueous Interfaces".

The talk will start at 1:30 pm in Weyandt 149. Light refreshments will be served.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Happy Mole Day!

Yep, it's here again. October 23 (10/23) is mole day, in honor of the mole (mol).

For those not in the know, a mole is measure of quantity (just like a dozen) that contains 6.022 x 1023 parts - used almost exclusively to describe the number of atoms or molecules in a given quantity.

How do you wrap your head around a mole of anything? 1023?? Well, imagine this: if you consider the volume of the average grain of sand, you would have to bury the entire state of Pennsylvania in more than 3 km (almost 2 miles!!) of sand grains to equal one mole of sand grains.

That's a lot, right? It is, but that's for a huge grain of sand. The mole is more useful for very, very small entities such as an atom or molecule. As an example, the typical half liter plastic bottle of water (500 mL) contains just under 28 moles of water molecules.

1 mole of sand grains will bury this state, yet 28 moles of water fits in a handy half-liter bottle.

To learn more, become a chemistry major at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Monday, October 22, 2007

CHEM-281: Survey of Forensic Chemistry

Hey, IUP students! Have you registered yet?


This is a great way to get started learning about forensic science and it can count as a liberal studies non-lab science course!

Prerequisites: none
MW 3:35-4:50 PM, Weyandt 240
Instructor: Dr. John Woolcock

This course is designed for students who would like learn about forensic chemistry and the basic science needed to understand it. Chemical concepts (on the level of an introductory chemistry course) and their applications to forensic chemistry, will be explored in detail. Topics will include the forensic chemistry of drugs, arson, poisons, fibers, inks, paint, glass and fingerprints. Other topics will include, forensic chemistry in fiction (novels and TV), and the methods used in forensic evidence collection, measurement and analysis.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

National Chemistry Week: Pie-A-Prof

Once again, National Chemistry Week is drawing near and Alpha Chi Sigma is planning to continue the tradition of Pie-A-Prof to celebrate the occasion. Our National Chemistry Week Festivities this year will be held on Friday, October 26th in the Oak Grove as long as the weather cooperates, and we plan on having several small chemistry demonstrations in addition to the Pie-A-Prof event. If you are interested in participating in the Pie-A-Prof, please contact me so we will know who will be in our professor lineup! If you are not interested in being pied, you are still more than welcome to join us on the 26th in our National Chemistry Week celebration!

The National Chemistry Week Festivities in the Oak Grove will begin at 11:00 , and the Pie-A-Prof will be at 1:00.

Thank you for your time,
Kaycie Butler
President, Alpha Chi Sigma

Chemistry Seminar - 10/19

This week's chemistry seminar guest speaker will be Ms. Chrysa Malosh, a department alumna now with Eli Lilly & Co. Her talk is entitled An Unsolved Mystery: Catalytic Cross-Couplings of Alkylzinc Halides and Carbonyl Compounds".

The seminar will take place in Weyandt 149 starting at 1:30pm. Light refreshments will be served.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Chemistry Seminar - 10/12

This week's chemistry seminar guest speaker will be Dr. Melinda Harrison of Seton Hill University. Her presentation, titled "The Transfer of Cu(I) between Bacteria Proteins", will begin at 1:30pm in Weyandt 149.

Light refreshments will be served.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

College Job & Internship Fair

The WestPACS College Job and Internship Fair will be held on THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2007 from 10am - 3pm at the Pittsburgh ExpoMart, Monroeville, PA.

Students can REGISTER ONLINE at More than 150 companies, government agencies and non-profit organizations are expected. All majors are welcome.

Transportation for this event will be provided by the Career Development Center. Students needing transportation can reserve a seat by calling the Career Development Center at 724-357-2235 or by stopping in the office, 302 Pratt Hall, by/before November 1.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Chemistry Seminar - 10/5

Time change: Seminar will begin at 2:30pm.

This week's chemistry seminar will included presentations from four undergraduate students on their summer research experiences:

Mr. Robert Bauer on "The Effects of Aromatically Appended Macrocycles on Varying DNA Structures"

Ms. Beth Leverett on "Synthesis of Chromium Cyanamide Percursors"

Ms. Nicole Morozowich on "Defining Complex Formation of Ephedrine"

Ms. Elizabeth Paladin on "Ligand Effect Upon Complexation of the Estrogen Receptor(ERα) and the Estrogen Response Element (ERE)"

Please join us in 149 Weyandt at 2:30pm. Light refreshments will be served.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Undergraduate Research at the Capitol

Ms. Beth Leverett of the chemistry department has been honored with an invitation to present her undergraduate research with Dr. Charles Lake at the Undergraduate Research at the Capitol on October 2, 2007.

The research poster, entitled "Synthesis and Characterization of Quarternary Adamantine-Like Chalcogenides: Crystallography Revisited" will be presented alongside students from all over Pennsylvania's private and public institutions. Beth's poster was selected by Provost Samuels this past Spring to represent IUP's commitment to undergraduate research in the sciences.

Great job, Beth. Congratulations!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Job Notice

Contact Marisa Coyne at NSM Labs
3701 Welsh Road
Willow Grove, PA 19090
Phone: 215.366.1655
Confidential Fax: 215.366.1509

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Penn State Open House Delayed

The open house at the Penn State chemistry department has been postponed until November 17.

See the original post for more details.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Department Safety Seminar - 9/28

The seminar series continues this week with the annual departmental safety seminar given by Dr. John Wood.

Please join us in Weyandt 149 at 1:30pm. Light refreshments will be served.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Chemistry Seminar - 9/14

The Department of Chemistry Seminar series will start on Friday, September 14 with presentations from three undergraduate students:

Ms. Kaycie Butler will present Blocked Isocyanate Foams

Mr. Chad Meyers will present Flux Synthesis of AeMn2Sb2 (Ae = Mg, Ca, and Ba)

Ms. Olivia McGovern will present Plasma Membrane Targeting Determinants in the CaR Carboxyl Terminus

The seminar will start at 1:30 in Weyandt 149. Light refreshments will be provided.

A.C.S. Pittsburgh Section to Hold Awards

The annual awards presentation of the Pittsburgh Section of the American Chemical Society will be held on October 23 at the Pittsburgh Athletic Association.

The 2007 Pittsburgh Award will be given to Dr. Richard McCullough, and the 2007 Distinguished Service Award will be given to Dr. Robert Witkowski.

For detailed information on the awardees and how to attend the dinner, please go to

Journal Club

The inaugural meeting of the Journal Club will meet on Thursday, September 13 at 7:00pm at the dinosaur head in Weyandt Hall.

The first meeting will center on organization, discussing the format of the club, and future meeting times.

The journal club will meet approximately every week or every other week to discuss scientific journal articles that are interesting to the group. No experience is necessary and presentations are voluntary.

For more information, come to the meeting, or contact Olivia (gkxm) or Dr. Jon Southard (southard).

Monday, September 10, 2007

Chemistry Picnic

It's that time of year again!

All chemistry-related and biochemistry majors, department faculty and staff (current & retired), and their guests are invited to attend the annual Chemistry Picnic.

The event will be held on Friday, September 14 from 4-8pm at the College Lodge. Dinner will start around 5 or 5:30, with plenty of time for set up, socializing, and outdoor fun.

Current faculty and organized student groups are asked to bring salads/desserts, etc. - there is a sign-up sheet in the chemistry office. Otherwise, come join us for hot dogs, drinks, and many, many side dishes!

For more information, contact the chemistry office.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Part-Time Lab Technician Positions Available Immediately!

Two (2) part-time lab technician positions are available immediately at Environmental Service Laboratories, Inc., located in Indiana.

Hours include evenings and weekends. For further information, contact Michael Moyer (724-463-8378) or submit your resume in person at 1803 Philadelphia Street.

Penn State Chemistry Department to Hold Open House

Hey, juniors, seniors, and Masters students!

Are you thinking about continuing your education by attending graduate school for chemistry or biochemistry? Have you ever visited Penn State?

If you are considering graduate school in the next year or two, then you may want to take advantage of an upcoming event in Happy Valley!

On Saturday, September 29 November 17, the Department of Chemistry at Penn State will host an open house to prospective graduate students and their advisors. The tentative schedule will have you arriving at 11am, after which there will be several short programs, a free lunch with faculty, and the chance to tour the chemistry building and campus.

If you are interested, please RSVP no later than Sep. 18 Nov. 8 to Dr. Woolcock in the chemistry office.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

ACS Club Starts Semester Activities

The Student Affiliate American Chemical Society (SAACS), or just ACS Club, is starting up their fall activities and they want you to join them!

The first club meeting will be held in 128 Weyandt (the ACS room) at 8pm on Monday, September 10. Come for pizza and soft drinks and learn about what the club does and how you can be involved!

This fall, starting tomorrow, the club will continue its weekly hot dog sales every Wednesday near the chemistry office. The new schedule will mean that they're selling dogs and other goodies from 11:00-1:30. All proceeds go for science programs in local elementary and high schools. Donations welcomed!

While you're grabbing a dog, how about a t-shirt? This year's shirt is a grey short-sleeved shirt with the ever-anticipated chemistry-related theme. Attractive and appropriately geeky - all for just $10. Hey, alumni! Can't be around to get your yearly shirt? Contact us and we'll try to get you one!

The club will continue to serve the student body at IUP by providing quality chemistry tutoring every Monday-Thursday from 7-8pm in the ACS room. Interested in tutoring? Come to the meeting and sign up, regardless of your academic year - if you can help someone, we want you.

For further information, contact the club president, Beth Paladin (pkvm).

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Welcome Our New Chemistry & Biochemistry Majors!

Please help me in welcoming the following students to the chemistry & biochemistry programs this Fall!

Chemistry Majors:
*Kimberly Boonie1
*Anthony Buccilli
*Chris Chambers
*Allison Cowles1
*Alex Daughenbaugh1
*Molly Dunn
*Laura Fox2
*Jonathan Gomola1
*Nafeesah Johnson3
*Andrew Lightner1
*Brian Litzinger3
*Terrance Martin
*Lisa McCombie3
*Mattie McKines3
*Jacob Pude
*Stephen Shiring2,3
*Ashley Snyder1
*Nadia Szymanski2
*Christopher Taylor2
*Paul Traina3

Biochemistry Majors
*Joseph Beidle
*Deanna Belsky2
*Stephen Christensen2
*Victoria Constant2
*Karyn Egbert2
*Chenoa Gillette
*Jonathan Henninger2
*Samantha Leone
*Elliot Lesser
*Carrie Lingle
*Erron Littlejohn
*Nicole Peart
*Alisa Phillips
*Andrea Strein
*Kevin Taylor
*James Zewe2

(1chemistry education; 2Honors College; 3pre-medicine)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Welcome & Welcome Back!

It's that time again! Another summer has passed (quickly!) and we find ourselves back together in Weyandt Hall.

To all of our incoming freshmen chemistry and biochemistry students: Welcome to IUP and welcome to the department! We all look forward to working with you during the next four years to prepare you in your chosen fields.

To all of our returning students: Welcome back! We hope you had a safe and productive summer and are looking forward to continuing your academic journey with us.

Check back here frequently for news & announcements.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Department Represented at 234th National ACS Meeting in Boston

The 234th American Chemical Society National Meeting was held in Boston from August 19-23. As usual, IUP's chemistry department had members & alumni present.

Dr. George Long helped organize and preside over the Computers in Chemical Education, Past, Present and Future: Symposium in Honor of Professor Donald Rosenthal. Dr. Long also presented a talk on the work which he did with IUP BS Chem Ed student Ms. Catherine McCue, entitled "Independent Student Use of Internet Resources to Solve Chemistry Problems. In the same symposium, a paper with Dr. Long as co-author was presented by symposium co-organizer Theresa Zielinski of Monmouth University entitled Evolution of Computer Use in Physical Chemistry: An Enriching Odyssey.

Mr. Thomas Baker (BS Chem, '05), who is presently a graduate student at Harvard University presented his work entitled "Using Web 2.0 in a Student-centered Approach to Teach Quantum Mechanics to Graduate Students at the same symposium. Tom also did an oral presentation of his research work at Harvard University entitled "Release of Gold Atoms from Au(111) Upon the Adsorption of Electronegative Atoms: A Density Functional Theory Study in the Colloid and Surface Chemistry Division Section of the ACS meeting.

Ms. Wendy Heiserman (BS Chem, '02), currently a graduate student at the University of Maryland, gave a talk entitled "Communication for the 21st Century: Podcasting in the Chemistry Lab

Dr. Lourdes Herold and her husband Dr. Bob Herold (PPG) also attended the meeting. Both enjoyed many presentations, and Lourdes brought back several photos of the conference and herself with "chem celebrities", including Dr. E. J. Corey (Nobel Laureate and former adviser to Dr. Keith Kyler), Dr. Roald Hoffman (Nobel Laureate), and Dr. Oliver Sacks (author of several books).

Monday, August 20, 2007

Department Welcomes Melanie Lynn

Today, the chemistry department welcomes the arrival of Ms. Melanie Lynn, our new secretary. Melanie earned an Associate in Specialized Business degree with a major in Medical Office Administration in 2002 from Cambria-Rowe Business College in Johnstown. She has previous work experience from Windber Medical Center and Sargent's Medical Transcription Services. At Windber, she was the assistant to the Director of Credentials and she also provided support for their Chief Medical Officer.

Welcome, Melanie!

NSM Faculty Receive $369K Grant

Several faculty in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, including chemistry faculty Dr. Heba Abourahma and Dr. Charles Lake, have been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to purchase a Quantum Design Physical Properties Measurement System.

For the complete IUP press release, click here.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Department Faculty Participate in IUP Honors College Summer Program

The Chemistry Department took part in the Honors College Summer program once again by hosting 11 students in "The Real World of Chemistry". Each morning for two weeks, from 9-12, students took part in guided lab experiments and lectures centered around the synthesis, analysis, and detection of aspirin. Labs and discussions included the concepts of organic synthesis, UV-Vis spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy (IR), nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR), and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). After lunch, students then go on to take part in Honors College programs.

This years faculty participants were Dr. Wendy Elcesser, Dr. Larry Kupchella, Dr. Nathan McElroy, and Dr. John Woolcock. The program ran daily (M-F) from July 16-27.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Chemistry Prof Investigates Biomass Conversion to Fuel & Plastics

IUP will receive $650,000 in federal funding in order to further study the conversion of biomass to biodegradable plastics and biofuels. A project already started by Dr. Keith Kyler will be funded through this appropriation. Congratulations, Keith.

For IUP press release, click here.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Dr. Keith Kyler Wins University Award

Dr. Keith Kyler was one of four faculty to be presented with IUP's first ever Academic Excellence and Innovation Awards.

Dr. Kyler's proposal, under the Innovative Research category, was entitled IUPAX (Indiana University of Pennsylvania Explosives) as New Safer, High Energy Materials for DOD Ordinance and Missile Formations. The goal of this project is to determine new high-energy materials which offer safer munitions that are resistant to accidental detonations.

Indiana University of Pennsylvania recently established the Academic Excellence and Innovation Award to encourage innovative approaches to research, teaching and other creative activities by IUP faculty. Eighteen IUP faculty members submitted fifteen proposals for consideration for the 2007-2008 academic year. Grant awards of up to $20,000 for one year or divided over a two year period were made on a competitive basis.

The Academic Excellence and Innovation Award Review Committee was comprised of the Provost for Academic Affairs, the Vice Provost for Research and Dean of Graduate Studies, The Assistant Dean for Research, the Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence, and faculty members from each of the colleges selected from a list provided by APSCUF of faculty members with established records of research/scholarship.

Each proposal was reviewed based on the degree of innovation and creativity of the planned project. Three categories of innovation were utilized for proposal review. These categories are Innovative Research, Interdisciplinary Research or Creative Initiatives, and Innovative Interdisciplinary Teaching. Criteria for proposal evaluation include: the strength and quality of the proposal, potential for external funding and sustained support, attainable project milestones and realistic timetable, and appropriateness of the proposed budget to the project’s description and objectives.

Friday, June 29, 2007

The End of an Era

For those of you who have had any connection with the Chemistry Department here in the last 20+ years, you most likely recall getting at least one answer to a pressing question from Ms. Judy (Somonick) Kovell. Unfortunately for us, today that omniscient and caring lady put in her last day as an IUP employee. However, all of us, no matter how sad we are to see her go, are extremely happy for her and her husband Paul as they enjoy retirement together. They plan to remain in Indiana.

A dinner in Judy's honor is being held this evening by the department at the Rustic Lodge.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Congratulations Wendy!

Effective August 2007, Dr. Wendy Elcesser will hold the rank of Associate Professor in the Chemistry Department.

Congratulations on your promotion, Wendy!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Chemistry Department 2007 Graduates

The following students from our department are graduating today:

Mr. Abraham K. Badu-Tawiah - Chemistry, MS (August)
Mr. Adam D. Beitelman - Chemistry, MS (August)
Ms. Catherine E. Gumm - Chemistry, BS1
Mr. David R. Kirchner - Chemistry, MS (August)
Ms. Stacy L. Krigbaum - Chemistry, BS-Ed
Ms. Sara L. Krull - Chemistry, BS-PreMed; Psychology, BA (August)
Mr. Jerrod W. Moore - Chemistry, BS-Ed2
Mr. Joseph W. Zewe - Chemistry, BS1

Congratulations to all of our graduates and best of luck in your future endeavors!

1summa cum laude; 2magna cum laude

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Student Granted International Internship

Starting in June, IUP chemistry student Beth Leverett will be working in the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry at the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule in Aachen, Germany (RWTH Aachen). Her internship was arranged through the German Academic Exchange Service (known as DAAD) Research Internships in Science and Engineering (RISE) program. Beth will work in the lab of Dr. Richard Dronskowski under the direction of his graduate student Manuel Krott synthesizing new transition metal cyanamides and carbodiimides and examining their magnetic properties. She will work until August 15, when she will return to the US and prepare for her Fall semester at IUP.

"The RISE program is open to undergraduates studying science or mathematics. No knowledge of German is required - the "language of the lab" is English. I have been corresponding with Mr. Krott for some time now, and his grasp of English is flawless. I already speak German, having been an exchange student to Bavaria before coming to IUP, so that will help with the day-to-day communication. Still, I know from my previous experiences in the country that English speakers can get by quite well with some patience. The program also pays a monthly stipend, which helps offset the costs of room and board, as well as the airplane ticket. It won't make you rich, but I think the experience will be well worth it. I am very excited to return to Germany. Before I go to Aachen, I will spend a few days near Munich visiting friends and host families from my previous stay. I hope to learn some "scientific" German while I am abroad and expand my knowledge of chemistry."

Friday, April 27, 2007

39th Annual Chemistry Department Awards

Today at 3:30, in 32 Weyandt, the 39th Annual IUP Department of Chemistry Awards Ceremony took place for our students (both graduate and undergraduate), their families and friends, and the faculty and administration. The awards were hosted by Dr. Wendy Elcesser, Dr. John Woolcock, and Dr. Lawrence Kupchella.

The Society for Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh Award for Outstanding Achievement was given to Mr. Joseph Zewe, who also was given an academic achievement award and the ACS Student Affiliate Member of the Year.

Mr. Andrew Kerr was awarded the Division of Analytical Chemistry American Chemical Society 2007 Undergraduate Award, the Edward N. Brown Memorial Scholarship, and an academic achievement award.

The Ronald Marks Scholarship was given to Mr. Michael Deible.

Ms. Tracey Baker received the William I. Heard Memorial Scholarship.

Graduate Teaching Assistant of the Year was awarded to Mr. Einstein Djabeng.

The Graduate Research Award was presented to Ms. Dongmei Zhang.

Mr. Sean Smith won the Graduate Academic Excellence award.

Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Assistant was given to Ms. Kelly Haldeman and Ms. Caitlin Williamson.

The freshman CRC Handbook Award went to Mr. James Shellhammer.

The following, by year, is the list of Academic Achievement Awards also granted:

  • Mr. Justin Blake
  • Ms. Lindsey Cox
  • Ms. Amanda Davis
  • Ms. Catherine Gumm
  • Ms. Kelly Haldeman
  • Ms. Jennifer Morral
  • Ms. Nadia Penrod
  • Mr. Andrew Smith
  • Ms. Jessica Wishard
  • Mr. Joseph Zewe

  • Ms. Brittany Baird
  • Mr. Robert Bauer
  • Ms. Kaycie Butler
  • Mr. Andrew Crawford
  • Ms. Yang Dai
  • Mr. Andrew Kerr
  • Ms. Nicole Morozowich
  • Mr. Chad Myers

  • Ms. Tracey Baker
  • Ms. Brittany Buterbaugh
  • Ms. Martha Conners
  • Mr. Brandon Jones
  • Ms. Beth Leverett
  • Ms. Olivia McGovern
  • Ms. Jessica Nichol
  • Ms. Elizabeth Paladin
  • Ms. Nicole Peterson
  • Ms. Whitney Simmons
  • Ms. Aubree Webb
  • Ms. Caitlin Williamson

  • Ms. Olumayowa Azeez
  • Ms. Maura Barrett
  • Ms. Laura Becker
  • Ms. Tori Corosu
  • Mr. Andrew Friday
  • Ms. Jenna Gazzola
  • Mr. Jason Grimm
  • Mr. John Kanyan
  • Mr. Daniel McDermott
  • Ms. Melissa-Jean Moore
  • Ms. Katelyn Myers
  • Mr. Paul Putala
  • Ms. Brittany Rodgers
  • Mr. James Shellhammer
  • Mr. Justin Williams

    A reception with refreshments followed immediately after.
  • Wednesday, April 25, 2007

    Dr. Nadrian Seeman to Speak on 4/27

    Dr. Nadrian Seeman (NYU) will be our guest speaker this Friday, April 27 in 208 Weyandt Hall and present "DNA, Not Merely The Secret of Life".

    Dr. Seeman won the Feynman Prize for Nanotechnology in 1995, the Discover Magazine Emerging Technology Award in 1997, and the Popular Science Magazine Science and Technology Award in 1993.

    Tuesday, April 24, 2007

    Kaycie Butler Wins Department of Homeland Security Scholarship

    Biochemistry major and Honors College student Kaycie Butler (Greensburg, PA) was awarded a scholarship through the Department of Homeland Security. The scholarship includes full tuition and a monthly stipend for her junior and senior years at IUP while maintaining a minimum of a 3.30 GPA. It also provides the opportunity to apply for a further scholarship that would be applied to graduate school for up to three years. In addition, there is a summer internship portion, which Kaycie will complete this summer for 12 weeks at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. While at LLNL, Kaycie will work on the development of a platform for virus detection through a microfluidic system.

    Congratulations Kaycie!

    Monday, April 23, 2007

    Chemistry Major Mentioned in C&E News

    Chemistry major and Honors College student Elizabeth Paladin was mentioned recently in an article about homeschooling in Chemical & Engineering News, the weekly trade publication of the American Chemical Society. For those with access, the article can be found here. The excerpt about Beth is as follows:

    Elizabeth Paladin, another homeschool alumnus, used to get together twice a week with 11 other homeschool students who lived nearby to go over chemistry problems and do lab experiments. "It's easy to become distracted when you're spending all your time at home," she says. "The group helped motivate me." Her study group used Apologia Educational Ministries' high school science curriculum, which came with a lab kit. She remembers setting up lab stations all around her home and putting down tarps to protect surfaces. The students were careful about safety, wearing gloves and eye protection and opening windows to let in fresh air. Paladin is now a sophomore majoring in chemistry at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She has maintained a 4.0 grade-point average.

    Friday, April 20, 2007

    2007 Department Newsletter Mailed

    Thanks to the hard work of Dr. Lawrence Kupchella and Dr. Thomas Crumm (retired), the annual chemistry department newsletter was mailed to over 500 department alumni and retired faculty.

    This blog address was included in this years edition, so we hope that in several weeks we'll start to see some alumni participation here!

    If you're an alumnus/alumna of the department to find this site, but don't receive this mailed newsletter - please contact us so that you may be included in future mailings.

    And as always, we'd love to hear what you're up to these days!

    Thursday, April 19, 2007

    Students Present at 71st Annual ISCC

    Six IUP students presented their research at the 71st Annual Intercollegiate Student Chemist Convention at Salisbury University in Maryland, escorted by Drs. Ron See and Heba Abourahma.

    Ms. Amanda Davis, under the direction of Dr. Carl LeBlond, presented "A Novel Synthesis of Iodohydrins Derived from Styrene and Related Compounds".
    The purpose of our research is to optimize a novel pathway for the synthesis of iodohydrin compounds, derived from styrene and similar chemicals. Iodohydrins are important in a variety of industrial and pharmaceutical applications because they are often an intermediate in the synthesis of biologically active pharmaceuticals and specialty chemicals. Recently, a new procedure for the synthesis of iodohydrins was developed in our laboratory. Unlike a more common method, which employs N-chlorosuccinimide (NCS), this procedure for the iodohydroxylation of styrene utilizes sodium hypochlorite (bleach) as a more environmentally favorable and cost effective oxidizing agent. A yield of 81% iodohydrin product (isolated, characterized and determined by GC/MS and 1H NMR) has been achieved using styrene as the substrate. In our presentation, we intend to detail this result as well as our plans for future explorations.

    Ms. Elizabeth Paladin, under the direction of Dr. Heba Abourahma, presented "Modifying the Physical Properties of Indomethacin by Co-Crystal Formation".
    Many organic molecules which are used as active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) exhibit polymorphism. This property of APIs leads to problems in the production of APIs in the solid state. The goal of this research project is two-fold: the first goal is to study the phenomenon of polymorphism. The second goal is to study co-crystal formation as an alternative to polymorph formation. Specifically, the objective of this study is to form co-crystals of indomethacin (C19H16ClNO4), an anti-inflammatory API. In order to accomplish this, non-covalent interactions will be exploited, which are spontaneous and reversible under thermodynamic equilibrium. Indomethacin has been combined with several co-crystal formers, identified by known favorable interactions between functional groups. If crystal formation or precipitation occurred, the product has been analyzed by observation of melting point and nuclear magnetic resonance. After combining indomethacin with isophthalic acid, benzoic acid, acetamide, phenol, p-aminobenzoic acid in a variety of solvent conditions and at a variety of stoichiometric ratios, the precipitate or crystalline material has been shown to have the same characteristics as the starting material. It has been concluded that indomethacin crystallizes with itself more readily than with any of these compounds under the given conditions. When combined with urea, it has been shown that the product has characteristics which are unique from those of the starting material. In this case, there are favorable interactions between the molecules which cause indomethacin to co-crystallize with urea in a thermodynamically favorable manner. Indomethacin has been crystallized in toluene and ethanol, and melting point analyses suggest that the crystals formed in toluene are new material. This shows that the intermolecular interactions between toluene and indomethacin are more favorable than those between indomethacin molecules.

    Ms. Catherine Gumm, under the direction of Dr. Keith Kyler, presented "The Chemical and Enzymatic Degradation of Biomass into Glucose Utilizing Ultrafiltration".
    Abstract removed on advice of legal counsel (proprietary information).

    Mr. Chad Myers, under the direction of Dr. Ron See, presented "Analysis of the AX2E Molecules Using the NBI Model: The Physical Basis for the Lone Pair Effect".
    The effect of stereochemical, non-bonding electrons, also called the lone pair effect, on the geometry of molecules is a universally recognized phenomenon. Common conceptual models of molecular geometry, such as hybridization and VSEPR, give a qualitative estimation of the result of the lone pair effect, but neither includes a realistic physical basis for the observed molecular distortions caused by stereochemical lone pairs. An analysis of the AX2E (carbenes and their Si and Ge analogues) was performed, using computations at the MP2/6-31G** level. It was found that the stabilization energy provided by the stereochemical electrons is a linear function of the X-A-X angle, indicating that the radial space available to the stereochemical electrons about the central atom is the primary physical force resulting in the lone pair effect. This result is consistent with the Non-Bonded Interaction model, and constitutes evidence that this model provides a more physically realistic picture of molecular geometry.

    Mr. Joseph Zewe, under the direction of Dr. Carl LeBlond, presented his work on the computational study of cross-coupling of organic halides.
    Palladium catalyzed cross-coupling reactions have proven to be powerful synthetic methods for the preparation of pharmaceutical intermediates and fine chemicals due to their selectivity, relatively mild reaction conditions and their ability to tolerate a variety of functional groups. The Suzuki-Miyaura cross-coupling of organic halides with organoboron reagents constitutes a direct and efficient approach for the formation of carbon-carbon bonds. An extensive computational study providing key insights into the mechanism and synthetic trends of the transmetalation step of the Suzuki-Miyaura cross-coupling reaction was performed. The role of base, phosphine ligand inhibition and effect of the spectator organic and phosphine ligands, were studied using hybrid density functional methods. Herein we report our computational results concerning transmetalation (B to Pd) to saturated and unsaturated Pd intermediates. We show that transmetalation to 3-coordinate Pd intermediates is more facile than to 4-coordinate. We also demonstrate that solvent ligated Pd intermediates are more efficient in promoting transmetalation than model phosphine ligands. Our results correlate well with experimental observations concerning the base, ligand stoichiometry, substrate electronic effects and reactivity of various substrates.

    Mr. Michael Deible, under the direction of Dr. Ron See, presented "The Physical Basis of the Lone Pair Effect in the AX3E and AX4E Molecule Types".
    The lone pair effect is based on the observation that a nonbonding electron pair on the central atom will distort the geometry of a molecule. Using the Non-Bonded Interaction (NBI) model as a framework, the lone pair effect has been explained as the maximization of radial volume for the electron pair about the central atom. However, the work leading to this explanation used only the simplest (AX2E) molecule type displaying the lone pair effect in its analysis, and it is not clear that this conception can be extended to more complex molecules. Therefore, a computational study, at the B3LYP/6-31G** level, was undertaken to determine if this conception of the lone pair effect can be extended to the AX3E (A = N, P, As; X = H, F, Cl) and AX4E (A = S, Se; X = H, F, Cl) molecule types. The results show that the explanation of the lone pair effect found in the AX2E molecules is generally applicable to these more complex species, and the stabilization energy of the lone electron pairs is a function of the number of X atoms.

    Wednesday, April 18, 2007

    April Publications

    Ying Wei, Jaeju Ko, Leonel Murga, and Mary Jo Ondrechen "Selective Prediction of Interaction Sites in Protein Structures Using THEMATICS" in BMC Bioinformatics (2007) 8:119.

    Abstract can be found here.

    Tuesday, April 10, 2007

    Undergraduate Scholars Conference Tomorrow

    A reminder for everyone to stop by the HUB sometime tomorrow to check out the presentations and posters put together by our chemistry and biochemistry students (along with all of the other great stuff by other departments).

    A full program can be found here.

    Chemistry Department participation includes:

    Session A04 in the Monongahela Room #2 - Dendrimer Biomimetic of Carbonic Anhydrase Catalyst by Mr. Adam Crain (advisor: Dr. Heba Abourahma)

    Session B04 in the Conemaugh Room - Learner's Model of Chemical Equilibrium by Ms. Sara Krull (advisor: Dr. Mike Briggs)

    Poster 01-16: Analysis of the AX2E Molecules Using the NBI Model; The Physical Basis for the Lone Pair Effect by Mr. Chad Myers (advisor: Dr. Ron See)

    Poster 01-17: The Application of the NBI Model to a Variety of Molecule Types Containing a Stereochemical Lone Pair by Mr. Michael Deible (advisor: Dr. Ron See)

    Poster 02-02: Calorimetry Through Guided Inquiry by Mr. Robert Turnbull and Mr. Thomas Lieb (advisor: Dr. Anne Kondo)

    Poster 02-03: Concepts of Chromatography Through Guided Inquiry by Ms. Olumayowa Azeez, Mr. Herbert Gregg, and Mr. Andrew Newton (advisor: Dr. Anne Kondo)

    Poster 02-04: Concepts of Identifying Arson Through Guided Inquiry by Ms. Melissa Moore, Mr. Matthew Browe, and Mr. Ian Koplin (advisor: Dr. Anne Kondo)

    Poster 02-05: Concepts of Spectrophotometry Through Guided Inquiry by Ms. Jenna Gazzola, Mr. Justin Williams, Mr. Andrew Adams, and Mr. James Shellhammer (advisor: Dr. Anne Kondo)

    Poster 02-06: Learn Your White Powders Through Guided Inquiry by Mr. Robert Putala, Mr. Jason Grimm, and Mr. John Kanyan (advisor: Dr. Anne Kondo)

    Poster 02-07: The Case of the Exploding Mailbox by Ms. Brittany Rodgers, Ms. Maura Barrett, Mr. Daniel McDermott, and Ms. Katelyn Myers (advisor: Dr. Anne Kondo)

    Poster 02-15: A Novel Synthesis of Iodohydrins Derived from Styrene and Related Compounds by Mr. Joe Zewe and Ms. Amanda Davis (Advisor: Dr. Carl LeBlond)

    Poster 02-19: Synthesis and Characterization of Quaternary Adamantine-Like Chalcogenides by Ms. Beth Leverett (advisor: Dr. Charles Lake)

    Poster 02-28: Co-Crystallization as a Strategy to Improving Solubility of Theophylline by Ms. Nicole Morozowich (advisor: Dr. Heba Abourahma)

    Poster 02-29: Modifying the Physical Properties of Indomethacin by Co-Crystal Formation by Ms. Elizabeth Paladin (advisor: Dr. Heba Abourahma)

    Poster 02-30: Computational Characterization of pH-Dependent Properties in Protein Active Sites by Ms. Jessica Wishard (advisor: Dr. Jaeju Ko)

    Poster 02-32: Role of Srs2 Helicase Protein by Ms. Hong Yin Ker (advisor: Dr. Jana Villemain)

    Poster 02-33: Protein-Protein Interactions Govern Homologous Recombination and Genome Stability by Ms. Lindsey Cox (advisor: Dr. Jana Villemain)

    Poster 03-04: Biochemical Analysis of Pondberry Seed Viability by Mr. Robert Bauer (advisor: Dr. Sharon Sowa)

    Poster 03-05: Identification of Oils from Viable and Nonviable Cherrybark Oak Acorns by Mr. Jeffery Layton (advisors: Dr. Sharon Sowa, Dr. Carl LeBlond)

    Tuesday, April 3, 2007

    Women in Science Presentations

    By all accounts, yesterday's Women in Science Symposium was a success. In all, there were 28 presenters from the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, with 11 representatives from the chemistry and biochemistry programs:

    Lindsey Cox (Dr. Villemain) "Protein-Protein Interactions Govern Homologous Recombination and Genome Stability"

    Catherine Gumm (Dr. Kyler) "The Chemical and Enzymatic Degradation of Biomass into Glucose Using Ultrafiltration" Third Place, Best Undergraduate Poster

    Hong Yin Ker (Dr. Villemain) "Rose of SRS2 Helicase Protein"

    Sara Krull (Dr. Briggs) "Mental Models in Chemical Equilibrium"

    Beth Leverett (Dr. Lake) "Synthesis and Characterization of Quaternary Adamantine-Like Chalcogenides" First Place, Best Undergraduate Poster

    Nicole Morozowich (Dr. Abourahma) "Co-Crystallization as a Strategy to Improving Solubility of Theophylline"

    Jennifer Morral (Dr. N. Bharathan) "Comparison of Rapid Lysis and Geno Pure Plasmid Midi Kit Methods in the Analysis of Rhizoctonia solani Plasmids, NE5 and E5, as Cloned into Escherichia coli cells"

    Elizabeth Paladin (Dr. Abourahma) "Modifying the Physical Properties of Indomethacin by Co-Crystal Formation"

    Second place for Best Undergraduate Poster went to Danielle Dunton & Yang Dai (biology).

    Sunday, April 1, 2007

    Women in Mathematics, Science, and Technology

    On Monday, April 2 in Weyandt Hall, join us in for the NSM's Women in Mathematics, Science, and Technology event. Door prizes awarded, and free refreshments!

    Poster session is from 5:00-6:30pm on the first floor near the planetarium area.

    At 6:45pm in Room 32, Dr. Catherine Raeff will present "Resisting stereotypes: New paths in the study of culture and development".

    For more information, visit this site.

    Friday, March 30, 2007

    Nicole Morozowich Receives NSF-REU Travel Award


    Chemistry major Nicole Morozowich presented a poster in the chemical education field during the recent 233rd ACS National Meeting in Chicago, IL. The poster, titled "Conversion of Free Base Octaethylporphyrins to Oxypyriporphyrins", was the result of research with Dr. Christian Brückner at the University of Connecticut.

    In the summer of 2006, Nicole took part in the Research for Undergraduates Program at the University of Connecticut with Dr. Brückner, with help from a 2006 Indiana University of Pennsylvania School of Research Travel Award. Her research topic was "Synthesis of pyrrolidinone-derivatized porphyrinoids by the step-wise conversion of a pyrrolic building block in octaethylporphyrin into a pyrrolidinone moiety".

    Nicole was then awarded the NSF-REU Chemistry Travel Award for the 2007 ACS Conference, which allowed her to travel to Chicago and present her work.

    Currently, Nicole is working with Dr. Heba Abourahma here in the department on the "Modification of solid state properties and investigation of polymorphism in active pharmaceutical ingredients by co-crystallization with molecules containing complementary functional groups for self-assembly". Nicole plans to present some of this work at the 2nd Annual IUP Undergraduate Scholars Conference on April 11.

    Wednesday, March 28, 2007

    Elizabeth Paladin Named 2007 Goldwater Scholar


    Elizabeth Paladin has been named a 2007 Barry M. Goldwater Scholar. Elizabeth is a sophomore at IUP studying chemistry. She is a part of the Robert E. Cook Honors College. She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in chemistry after graduation, aiming toward a career in pharmaceuticals. She enjoys participating in an independent research study with Dr. Heba Abourahma, examining co-crystal formation as a method of preparing active pharmaceutical ingredients. Elizabeth serves as the treasurer for the IUP American Chemical Society student affiliate, and is part of the IUP cello choir.

    The Goldwater Scholarship (official site) is awarded annually to approximately 300 students in the natural sciences and mathematics, out of a pool of over 1,000 students. The selection committee looks for students who plan to pursue Ph.D. degrees in the sciences or mathematics, and develop careers in research. The award consists of $7,500 annually for up to 2 years, to cover school expenses. Sophomores or juniors are eligible to apply for the scholarship award.

    This is the second Goldwater awarded to an IUP chemistry student in recent years. Tom Baker (BS '05) received one in 2004.

    Monday, March 19, 2007

    Summer Internship at Pfizer

    A summer position at the Pfizer research center in La Jolla, CA is available for summer 2007.

    They are looking for someone who has a good background and interest in analytical chemistry, computers and/or robotics. The project would be involved with implementing an automated system that screens new discovery compounds in various formulation vehicles. Some familiarity with analytical techniques (HPLC) and computer/instrument interfaces would be beneficial. Also knowledge of QSAR would be helpful.

    We just got this notice today, but the deadline for submitting your interest is Friday, March 30.

    If you're an IUP undergraduate student with interest/knowledge in these areas, please contact Dr. McElroy ASAP for more information.

    You can also start the process by submitting your resume and other information to the Pfizer website here.

    Wednesday, February 28, 2007

    Department Seminar: March 2, 2007

    Please join us on Friday, March 2 at 1:00pm in 149 Weyandt for our seminar series.

    This week's speaker is Dr. Michelle (Thompson) Belz (IUP '93; M.S.,Ph.D. Penn State) from Merck. Her talk is titled "Investigation of Counterfeit Drug Products". If you would like to meet with Dr. Belz, please contact Dr. McElroy about her schedule.

    Light refreshments will be served. Hope to see you there!

    Tuesday, February 27, 2007

    I.U.P. Academic Expo: March 3, 2007

    If you and your family are visiting IUP this Saturday (March 3) and you're interested in chemistry, chemistry pre-professional, or biochemistry degrees, be sure to visit us at our tables in the Blue Room of Sutton.

    Faculty members will be present to answer any and all questions about our programs.

    Monday, February 19, 2007

    Summer Job & Internship Fair

    The 2007 Summer Job & Internship Fair will be held Wednesday, February 28 from 11am-2pm in the HUB (Ohio & Susquehanna rooms).

    Recruiters from more than 50 organizations will be on hand to tell you about their summer opportunities.

    For more information, go here.

    Call for Presentations

    Just a quick reminder to undergraduate research students and/or their research advisers: if you would like to present your research at this years Undergraduate Scholars Conference (April 11), you must have your proposal in by March 2.

    You may submit via the conference website The participation by chemistry and biochemistry students last year was phenomenal, and we hope to have that continue! Good luck.

    Tuesday, February 6, 2007

    2007 College NSM Science Festival Announced

    The 2007 IUP Science Festival is coming! It will be held on Friday, May 5. More details can be found here.

    Several chemistry faculty will be participating in the event as in past years. The topics of the department speakers can be found here.

    Friday, January 26, 2007

    News Items Needed for IUP Chemistry Alumni Newsletter

    The 2007 IUP Chemistry Department Newsletter is in preparation. Anyone having news items they would like to share are encouraged to send them to Dr. Larry Kupchella or you can post them here in the comments section, and I will make sure Dr. Kupchella receives them. Last years newsletter is available here

    Wednesday, January 24, 2007

    Welcome to the IUP Chemistry Blog!

    Welcome to the first blog for the IUP Department of Chemistry!

    In addition to all the great information that you can find on our department website, this blog will provide a more dynamic, "on-the-fly" forum for information and discussion topics about the department.

    We hope that as word spreads about our blog that faculty and students (past, present, and future!) will use this site to share information and leave comments.

    Anyone may leave a comment on a topic once it has been posted, though objectionable or offensive posts will be removed.

    If you do not have guest posting privileges and would like to submit an announcement or bit of alumni news, you may email your request/information to the blog moderator, Dr. Nathan McElroy (nathan dot mcelroy at iup dot edu).