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Chemistry and Biochemistry News

Several of our Chemistry Faculty members participated in the Writing Retreat at the Gramercy Mansion, sponsored by the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research.  This weeklong summer program allows interested faculty members the chance to write for a full week.  Faculty worked on grants and research papers without other usual office distractions.   Pictured above:  Dr. Tracey Mason (top left), Dr. Michelle Ivey (top right), and Dr. Tim Dwyer (bottom).  Not pictured:  Dr. Will Harrell.

July 4th wouldn't be July 4th without fireworks!  Our students learn the chemistry behind the colors of fireworks in General Chemistry.  In brief, the colors are produced by heating metal salts that emit characteristic colors. The atoms absorb energy and release it as light of specific colors. The energy absorbed by an atom rearranges its electrons from their lowest-energy (ground) state, up to a higher-energy (excited) state. The excess energy of the excited state is emitted as light. The amount of energy emitted is characteristic of the element, and the amount of energy determines the color of the light emitted.  For example, yellow fireworks are produced by sodium salts and orange fireworks are produced by calcium salts.  Purple fireworks are a mixture of copper compounds which are blue and strontium compounds which are red.  Happy July 4th- enjoy the fireworks!

The department is excited to share that the Biochemistry Major has been chosen as the feature on a Baltimore Sun ad in July.  SU Public Relations folks (on left) came to take pictures of our new Research Lab.  In this picture, they are taking pictures of Biochemistry, Dr. Tim Dwyer (right), and his summer research student Meghann Hefner.  We're looking forward to seeing the ad when it appears!

Congratulations to graduating biochemistry major Chris Toth on receiving the Chemistry Department’s Service Award at the May Celebration!  Chris was recognized for his dedication to participating in department events, especially his leadership in leading Open Houses and recruiting new students to our department!

Alicia Greene was recognized at the May Celebration for obtaining the highest GPA of all graduating chemistry and biochemistry seniors. Dr. Ellen Roskes presented her with an award and a gift to celebrate her accomplishments.  Congratulations Alicia!

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