Chemistry and Biochemistry News

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.”

Mandi Sheroke, who graduated with her BS in Chemistry in May, has joined the School of the Sciences as a GA for the Chemistry Department. Mandi is in the BS/MS program and will receive her Master’s in Forensic Science in May 2015. As a GA, Mandi will help out in many ways: helping students with job searches and resume preparation, doing officework, helping with recruiting events, and being available to pitch in wherever else her help is needed. In return, Mandi’s tuition is paid for and she receives a stipend each semester.

Mandi said, “I’m so excited to be a GA for the Chemistry Department. I loved SU as an undergraduate and I’m happy to give back to my department in whatever way I can!”

All new freshmen and transfer chemistry and biochemistry majors are invited to participate in our Chemistry Mentoring Program. New students and their mentors meet in both large and small group settings throughout the first semester. New students tell us how much they benefit from having a peer mentor to help them through their questions as they acclimate to SU.

Pictured above is one of the Mentor Program events. Pizza, games and activities resulted in everyone having a good time!

Chemistry senior Andrew McGregor attended an SU Career Event and found himself an amazing summer opportunity! Andrew was one of the few undergraduate students chosen this summer to work as a Fellow in the Baltimore City Mayor’s Office. He worked at the Department of Public Works determining ways to increase the recycling rate across Baltimore City.

To do this, he studied what percentage of people recycle along each city truck route and investigated how 40 other cities across the US encourage recycling. At the end of the summer, Andrew presented his plan to Baltimore City leaders.

During the summer, Andrew learned and practiced many skills which will be pertinent to his future successes- networking, comminication, negotiation and presenting skills. What a great summer he had!

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!