Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Publication in Electroanalysis

Several undergraduate students have had the opportunity to research with Analytical Professor Grace Muna over the past two years: graduate Bonnie Jaskowski and current students Adam Kaylor, Roxanne Sirhan, and Craig Kelley.  Bonnie and Adam are pictured presenting some of their work.  

The fruits of their labor have just ripened as their research appears in the current issue of Electroanalysis as Electrocatalyic Oxidation of Estrogenic Phenolic Compounds at a Nickel-MOdified Glassy Carbon Electrode (2011, 23, 2915-2924).  Congratulations to Professor Muna and all of her students!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Doug McMillen becomes Dean McMillen

Professor Doug McMillen has been faithfully serving the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences in administration for many years.  He's been acting associate dean, associate dean, assistant dean, and acting dean for our college. Now, because of McMillen's excellent character, leadership, and experience, he has been asked to serve as acting dean of the College of Health Sciences to fill the vacancy left by the untimely death of Dean Mary Jo Regan-Kubinski.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Wait tables, paint houses, or research this summer?

A summer research position can serve many purposes: (1) many are paid positions; (2) they introduce you to research-based graduate school; (3) they look great on resumes and applications; (4) they let you see what other universities are like if your experience is off the South Bend campus.  

As an example, the University of Texas at Dallas offers two types of undergraduate research programs.  Each is 10 weeks with a stipend of $4,000. Housing costs are covered as well.  Such programs are competitive so you will need at least decent grades and excellent letters of recommendation from your IU South Bend faculty.  The following websites describe the two  programs at Dallas. 

UT-Dallas "SURF"    
UT-Dallas "QP-SURF"
If you are interested in a summer research experience, inform a faculty member so that he/she can let you know of opportunities.  A limited number of SMART grants are also available from IU South Bend to support research at this campus - see your favorite research professor for more details.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Science Outreach for Chemistry Week

The Biology-Chemistry Club had an evening of outreach at River Park Public Library a few weeks ago during "Chemistry Week".  IU South Bend students entertained and educated both kids and parents with eye-catching demonstrations and activities. A bit more colorful than in our labs!  

Visitors had a wonderful time and so did our students who were very impressed with the turnout.  Thanks to Biology-Chemistry Club for devoting their time and experience to make this event such a success.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Medical School Admission / Research Opportunities

The Biology-Chemistry Club has arranged two events.  The first is a presentation about medical school admissions by Professor Robert Stahelin of the IU School of Medicine located on the Notre Dame campus. Anyone interested in medical school is encouraged to attend.  

Even if you will not be applying this year, it would be good to learn what is involved - and possibly what actions could increase your chances for acceptance.  His talk is on Tuesday, Nov 15, in NS 152 from 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM.

The second event is a talk about undergraduate research opportunities at Notre Dame given by Professor Michelle Whaley.  She is campus's director of the NSF funded summer undergraduate research program.     Some research experience looks very nice on a student's application to graduate school.  It could also help you decide if you are interested in a career or further study involving research.  Her talk is on Friday, Nov 18, in NS 152 from 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mole Day Party

To many chemists, the number that is approximately 6.02x10^23 may be more recognizable as Avogadro's number used in the definition of the SI unit mole than the small mammal pictured here. This number has been translated to the date 10/23 and time 6:02 to mark a celebration of chemistry.  

The Biology and Chemistry Club has reserved SAC 225 from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM for food, fun, and games on that notable Sunday this month.   All students and faculty are invited to join the celebration.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Students present research at undergraduate conference

Students Abdullah Almayouf and Tyler Krause were two of several chemistry and biochemistry majors who tackled research projects this past summer. This pair teamed up with mathematics major Doan Le for a computational study of the Schrodinger equation under the guidance of Professor Marmorino.

The group introduced a parameter (for optimization) into the Temple formula used to calculate lower bounds to ground-state energies of atomic and molecular systems. Last Friday, Abdullah and Tyler presented this research at the Midwestern Symposium on Undergraduate Research in Chemistry held at Michigan State University.  Just a week earlier they were notified that their work had been accepted for publication in the Journal of Mathematical Chemistry.  Congratulations Abdullah, Tyler, and Doan!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Alumnus Shahir Rizk engineers protein nanoswitches

After graduating from IU South Bend with a biology major and chemistry minor, Shahir Rizk earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry in 2006 from the Duke University School of Medicine.  Rizk now works as a postdoctoral fellow for Professor Anthony Kossiakoff at the University of Chicago in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 

As part of our intermittent Chemistry Right Now seminar series, Rizk will discuss how he and his colleagues attempt to engineer conformational changes that allow a protein to serve as a molecular on-off switch.   His talk Engineering Nanoswitches to Control Protein Structure and Function will be presented in Northside Hall 113 at 4:00 P.M. on Monday, October 10.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Scientific Look at Marijuana

Chemistry professor Joe Vinson from the University of Scranton will discuss the history, chemical nature, and bodily effects of this widely abused drug today at 4:00 PM in room 225 of the Student Activities Center. 

While marijuana may not be your cup of tea some patients treasure it as much as a pot of gold for its proclaimed medical powers; its beneficial aspects will be discussed in this talk.  The structure shown is for  the active ingredient of the drug: tetrahydrocannabinol.  This talk, free and open to the public, is jointly sponsored by the American Chemical Society and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Seminar on Integrated Pest Management

Today the N390 Environmental Chemistry class learned from guest speaker Dr. Bill Shane how disciplines other than chemistry can be involved in controlling pests.  Dr. Shane has a Ph.D. in plant pathology from the University of Minnesota and twenty years of experience working at the South Western Michigan Research and Extension Center.

At this AgBio research center of Michigan State University, Dr. Shane gives advice to growers and supervises many projects involving tree fruits such as apples, pears, and peaches.  Thanks so much for visiting our campus and sharing your work!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Student research published

Kayleigh Cassella graduated this Spring with a minor in chemistry.  She is now pursuing her Ph.D. in physics at Berkeley (University of California) with the generous support of a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship.  While at IU South Bend she conducted research in biochemistry, physical chemistry, and string theory. 

The research she conducted with physical chemist Matt Marmorino has just been published in the International Journal of Quantum Chemistry (vol. 111, no. 14) as Bounds to electronic expectation values for atomic and molecular systems.  This is surely the first of many publications that will crowd her resume in the years to come.  Congratulations, Kayleigh! Good luck in graduate school.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Biology-Chemistry Club

The Biology-Chemistry club is off to a quick start this Fall semester.   Starting August 31 they will be selling tee-shirts on campus at Dorothy Weikamp Hall to raise funds.  Just a few days later they will visit the Museum of Science and Industry to view the exhibit "Body Works".  In October the club plans to reach out to the community to celebrate 2011 as the International Year of Chemistry.  Pictured above from left to right are Ashley Compton (Vice President), Denisse Hernandez (President), Barbara Cavinder (Web Master), Patrick Stevens (Secretary), and Craig Kelley (Treasurer).  Find out more on Facebook.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Alumnus is now Director of Admissions

Congratulations to Mike Renfrow who recently became Director of Admissions at IU South Bend.  Although almost every biology major earns a chemistry minor as Mike did, his personality and willingness to keep in touch made him well-known to all of the chemistry faculty.   As a student Mike was a active member of the student government and since graduating he has worked hard for our campus.  Congratulations again on your new role.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Progress in lower bounds to eigenvalues

Professor Marmorino has long been working on ways to calculate lower bounds to atomic and molecular energies which are the eigenvalues in the famous Schrodinger equation.  When these elusive lower bounds are combined with straightforward upper bounds, error bars result which contain the true energies of the chemical system.

Marmorino's most recent work in this area has just been published in the obviously early release of the September issue Journal of Mathematical Chemistry as Eigenvalue lower bounds with Bazley's special choice of an infinite-dimensional subspace

Friday, July 1, 2011

Gretchen Anderson becomes department chairperson

Professor Gretchen Anderson is taking the reins as head of the department as Bill Feighery steps down after eight years.  She is the department's only biochemist and was instrumental in introducing the biochemistry major which typically graduates as many majors each year as the chemistry major (sometimes more!).

Anderson routinely has students researching in her laboratory, has won many teaching awards (from this campus and from the entire IU system), and plays an active role in faculty governance.  To see just how impressive Anderson is, click here for an explanation of why she received the 2005 Herman Lieber Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence, or click here to read a profile about her posted on the IU South Bend website.  The entire department welcomes her as chairperson and can expect much under her leadership.

Monday, June 13, 2011

SMART Students!

Congratulations to biochemistry major Ashley Compton (pictured) and chemistry student Morgan Holbrook.  Both were awarded summer SMART grants from the university - that's Student Mentor Academic Research Team.   While SMART grants recipients are not uncommon in our department, two in one summer is something else!

Ashley is working with biochemist Gretchen Anderson on a project titled Isolation of Arsenite Oxidase Enzyme: Furthering Research in Decontamination Methods for ArsenicJust down the hall, Morgan is researching in the laboratory of organic chemist Doug McMillen on a project called Utilizing Green Chemistry Techniques for NIS Allylic Oxidation of Alcohols.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Summer Research Begins

Summer vacation may give our students a break from the classroom, but several of them are continuing their studies in the lab.   While research is not required for either the biochemistry or chemistry degree, more than half of our graduates have had at least one semester of research experience.

Two undergraduate students are performing electrochemistry with the department's newest faculty member, Professor Grace Muna.  Under her guidance they are  modifying the surface of electrodes to enhance selectivity and sensitivity for the detection of priority environmental pollutants and important biological metabolites.  Other students (including a Mathematics major) are calculating bounds to observables of quantum systems with Professor Marmorino, cloning arsenite oxidase and a specific cytochrome c under the direction of Professor Anderson, and synthesizing iodinated hydrocarbons with Professor McMillen ultimately to be used in investigations for WIMPS (weakly interacting massive particles).  With all these hardworking students, you can be sure you won't find any wimps in our department.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Awards and Graduates

Once again we have had an excellent group of students, from freshman to graduates.  The latter presented a host of impressive seminars in their capstone course.  Including our December graduates, the department awarded 6 Chemistry degrees, 5 Biochemistry degrees, and 14 Chemistry minors.  

Several of our graduates are continuing their studies at graduate schools such as the University of Notre Dame, Michigan State University, and the University of Arizona.  We would like to recognize several outstanding performances:

Chemical Rubber Company Chemistry Achievement Award
   Maribel Navarrete
George V. Nazaroff Scholarship
   Adam Grandison 
Joseph H. Ross Seminar Award
   Calvin Streeter
Student Excellence Award in Chemistry
   Kasey Clear
   Brittany Kubal
Student Excellence Award in Biochemistry
   Celeste Warrell
Undergraduate Award in Analytical Chemistry
   Kasey Clear     

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

New instruments for the lab

Internal grants obtained by Professors Bill Feighery and Gretchen Anderson were used in part to purchase a new liquid chromatography system (right).  Agilent Technologies installed the 1220 Infinity LC system today.  This instrument will be used for student laboratories and research. 

This semester also marked the introduction of Raman spectroscopy to the student labs.  Both Professors Grace Muna and Matt Marmorino prepared experiments for students of Instrumental Analysis (CHEM C410) and Physical Chemistry (CHEM C362) using the Advantage 200A system (left) from DeltaNu.  Raman spectroscopy uses scattering to complement information obtained from IR absorption spectroscopy.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Chemistry Olympiad

Today IU South Bend once again hosts the Chemistry Olympiad, allowing students from local high schools to compete in this event sponsored by the American Chemical Society.  Winners may continue on to the US National Chemistry Olympiad and perhaps even to the International Chemistry Olympiad (and win a medal like the one pictured).

Friday, April 8, 2011

IU South Bend Undergraduate Research Conference

Chemistry and biochemistry students presented  research today with their fellow students at our campus's annual conference.  Adam Kaylor started the morning with an oral presentation of his work under Dr. Grace Muna (with graduated student Bonnie Jaskowski) and later presented a poster.   
Celeste Warrell presented a poster on her summer work with Notre Dame colleagues funded by an REU award by Notre Dame University.  Calvin Streeter, Matthew Bobus, and  Mitchell Moseng (pictured left to right) teamed up to present a poster of their work in in Dr. Gretchen Anderson's biochemistry laboratory course CHEM C486.  Anderson has carefully planned this course so that students effectively do some research instead of always performing pre-generated experiments.   

Friday, April 1, 2011

Professor Grace Muna presents research to students

Just in this spring semester, Professor Grace Muna has already given talks about her research at Andrews University in Michigan and PITTCON in Georgia.  For her third talk about her work in analytical chemistry she speaks to chemistry, biochemistry, and biology students at IU South Bend next Thursday.  Come listen to her exciting research conducted with fellow undergraduate students.  The talk will be at 4:00 PM in NS 152 on April 8.  This is the second talk from our department in a series of research seminars organized by the student-run Biology-Chemistry Club.  Professor Gretchen Anderson discussed her research into arsenic earlier this semester.

Atomic force microscopy image showing electrochemically generated nickel oxide on a glassy carbon electrode. The nickel oxide catalyzes the electrochemical oxidation of SECs.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Congratulations to Professor Peter McCasland!

Peter McCasland has been an adjunct professor in our department for many years.  Recently he was  awarded merit status and this evening was presented a plaque honoring his award.  Promotion to merit status is based, in part, on teaching excellence.  Prof. McCasland serves the department well by teaching several sections of freshman laboratory each year.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Student Adam Kaylor presents at NCUR

Following up Professor Muna's talk in Atlanta, her student Adam Kaylor heads north to Ithaca, New York this weekend to the National Conference on Undergraduate Research. Adam will give a poster presentation of their work (done with previous student Bonnie Jaskowski) on the electrochemical detection of steroidal estrogens.  

Monday, March 21, 2011

Professor Grace Muna presents at PITTCON

Over spring break, Professor Grace Muna gave an oral presentation titled “Electrocatalytic Oxidation of Phenolic Estrogenic Compounds at a Nickel Modified Glassy Carbon Electrode” regarding research done with chemistry undergraduates Adam Kaylor and Bonnie Jaskowski.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Another season of science fairs ends

Once again the faculty and students of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry volunteered their time at local science fairs.  Putting down their chalk and picking up their gavels, professors Bill Feighery and Doug McMillen marched off to St. Anthony of Padua School, St. Monica School, and Marion High School to judge science projects.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Arsenic: A Matter of Life and Death!

Professor Gretchen Anderson, our biochemist, will speak to the Biology-Chemistry Club on Tuesday, March 8th at 4:00 PM in NS 125.  Anderson routinely "employs" several undergraduate students, making her lab a busy place.  This is part of a series of talks, organized by the club, concerning research at IU South Bend.  

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Happy Anniversary Charles Darwin!

To help celebrate Darwin Day, two days prior to Charles Darwin's 201st birthday, Professor Gretchen Anderson is giving a talk on chemistry and evolution.  This talk, and others given by Anthropology and Philosophy faculty, will be held in the Quiet Lounge at high noon today.  Screening of the award-winning documentary, “Flock of Dodos” is in DW 1001 at 7:00 pm.

Monday, February 7, 2011

$70,000 of internal funding for equipment

Over the summer, Professors Bill Feighery and Gretchen Anderson were awarded a total of $70,000 worth of internal funding for instruments from the campus's "Unmet Needs" funds.   This has already provided a new UV-visible spectrometer for student labs and will also be used to purchase an HPLC.  Professor Doug McMillen, as Assistant Dean, was awarded $12,000 to support CLAS activities.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Secrets to a Terrific Technical Talk

That's you giving a talk.  What will you say next?  Invited from The Ohio State University, Professor Betty Lise Anderson shares her secrets for technical talks.  This event is designed to prepare our senior students for their senior seminar later in the semester, but all students are invited.  The talk will be in NS 104 at 1:00 on January 27.