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Chemistry and Biochemistry News

Keyword: outreach

Prospective students visited campus on Saturday to learn about our science and math programs at SU.  They were given the opportunity to participate in a laboratory experience, learning how potato enzymes work using spectroscopic techniques, or participating in a fingerprinting exercise; to learn about the department, the faculty, and the exciting programs and courses we offer; and to visit a fair with tables showcasing our clubs, our alumni and our majors.  Students and their parents had a chance to ask questions and see what the School of the Sciences at SU is all about!  

As is our usual fall tradition, freshman and transfer students in the School of the Sciences SCI 100, New Student Seminar, are building reef balls. These concrete balls are placed each spring in the Stevenson Reef in the Chesapeake Bay as part of the Bay restoration project. The reef balls are used for marine habitats, creating homes for oysters, mussels, fish, and many other forms of marine flora and fauna.  

This year, all our chemistry and biochemistry majors in Mrs. Diane Payne's class really enjoyed this project. Pictured here is one of our groups with their completed reef ball. This project is a great opportunity for students to work together to give of themselves for the environment

Each fall the School of the Sciences has an Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) event for middle school girls. The purpose of this day long event is to show these girls the excitement of science so that they consider careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) careers. The highlight of the event is a series of workshops developed and run by women scientists, from Stevenson and local industrial partners, in which the girls participate in hands-on activities.

In one such workshop, SU chemistry professors, Dr. Sara Narayan and Dr. Michelle Ivey, demonstrated chemiluminescence. Two solutions, one containing luminol and other other potassium ferricyanide, were combined and light was produced. They explained to the students that this light is called “cool light” because heat is not produced by the reaction, only light.

Dr. Narayan explained, "I enjoy watching the girls explore chemistry in such a fun way." Dr. Ivey added, "I volunteered for the event because it was a similar event that convinced me to go into sciences. I had a lot of fun interacting with all of the girls."

The annual SU Welcome Picnic provides all students, especially freshmen and transfer students, the opportunity to learn about and sign up to join the many clubs and organizations on campus. The American Chemical Society (ACS) Club and the Forensics (FSCI) Club both had tables at this event and club representatives were excited to talk about the activities the clubs have planned for the year.

ACS club officers, Shelby Litz (chemistry senior) and Michele Collingsworth (biochemistry junior), shared information about the upcoming faculty-staff softball game and the annual Chemistry Magic Show.

FSCI club officer, Ryan Drazenovic (chemistry junior), talked about CSI nights and crime scene activities.  Both clubs are very active on campus and students have fun socializing and learning at their events!

The Environmental Club won several awards this spring at the Student Government Club Leadership Awards Banquet. The club won Best Collaborative Program for GreenFest, a fair in which individuals and other clubs showed the important roles the environment plays in our lives. Dr. Kimberly Tucker, left, was honored as the best club advisor. Congratulations to chemistry senior, Mercedes Vilasoa, right, president of the club!

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