Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in chemistry

Waynesburg University senior chemistry major Kristen Wilson, from Washington, Pennsylvania, was recently selected as the recipient of the Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Employers (PennACE) 2016 JoAnne Day Student of the Year award in the Technical Category.

Wilson earned the award based upon her participation in a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) this past summer at North Dakota State University (NDSU) in Fargo, North Dakota, where she conducted chemistry education research. She studied under the direction of Dr. James Nyachwaya, assistant professor of chemistry education.

“I worked on analyzing how well students can make connections between different contexts by using their content-specific knowledge,” said Wilson.

Additionally, she had to submit a current resume, a paper describing how she and her university have benefited from the REU and letters of recommendation.

Wilson considers winning the award as “extremely unique.” It will provide for her another way to stick out from the crowd and be more competitive as she applies for jobs.

PennACE annually recognizes undergraduate students enrolled in member institutions who have completed an internship or co-op assignment. Students enrolled in a baccalaureate degree program select one of the three categories that best represents their field: Technical Award, Liberal Arts Award or Business Award.

Wilson will receive a plaque and $250 in the spring. She will also be recognized at PennACE’s 2017 Annual Conference at Pennsylvania State University in April 2017 and be featured on their website.

She credits her success to the entire Chemistry Department at Waynesburg University.

“All of the chemistry professors had been encouraging me to apply for REUs and they helped me through the entire process,” said Wilson. “Dr. Baldauff has been a very large credit to my success as she has been so encouraging and helpful to my success.”

Wilson will graduate from Waynesburg in the spring. She has yet to decide whether she will apply for a high school chemistry teacher position or pursue graduate school for chemistry education research.

“I had never considered graduate school until after the research this summer, but I loved it so much I may want to continue with my education,” said Wilson.

Read more about Wilson’s internship experience by visiting our website: http://www.waynesburg.edu/blog/internship-spotlight-kristen-wilson.

Founded in 1849 by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Waynesburg University is located on a traditional campus in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania, with three additional sites located in the Pittsburgh region. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and is one of only 21 Bonner Scholar schools in the country, offering local, regional and international opportunities to touch the lives of others through service.

# # #

Ashley Wise, Associate Director of University Relations

724-852-7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

 

Hits: 415

The American Chemical Society (ACS) student chapter at Waynesburg University was recently selected to receive the “Outstanding Award” for the fifth consecutive year. The award is a result of the chapter’s activities conducted during the 2015-16 academic year.

The congratulatory letter from ACS President Donna Nelson read as follows: “Professors Evonne Baldauff and Robert LaCount, faculty advisors of the chapter, deserve special commendation. Few faculty members are willing to make the great commitment of time and energy that a successful chapter requires. Professor Baldauff and Professor LaCount’s efforts certainly represent the best in undergraduate science education and mentoring around the country. We extend our warmest congratulations to the students and Professors Baldauff and LaCount for setting such a fine example for other chapters and being exemplary chemistry ambassadors!”

More than 400 student chapter reports were submitted for review by The Society Committee on Education. As a result of the reports, 284 awards were given, including 46 outstanding, 93 commendable and 145 honorable mention awards.

“One of the highlights of my job is working with this group of students,” said Dr. Evonne Baldauff, associate professor of chemistry and chair of the Department of Chemistry and Forensic Science at Waynesburg University. “They undertake an extraordinary amount of work in addition to their regular courses to plan and host numerous events throughout the academic year to benefit the campus and community. I’m so proud of these students and all of the quality work that they accomplish.”

Led by Baldauff and Dr. Robert LaCount, professor emeritus of chemistry, the student chapter was highly involved in campus and community outreach activities throughout the year, such as monthly labs for homeschooled students, a Haunted Lab open to the campus and local community, among many others.  The chapter recently implemented a new program in which local high school classes receive supplemental instruction in chemistry in Waynesburg University labs.

Waynesburg and the other award winning chapters will be honored at the 253rd ACS National Meeting in San Francisco, California in April 2017.

ACS is a congressionally independent membership organization which represents professionals at all degree levels and in all fields of chemistry and sciences that involve chemistry.

Founded in 1849 by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Waynesburg University is located on a traditional campus in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania, with three additional sites located in the Pittsburgh region. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and is one of only 21 Bonner Scholar schools in the country, offering local, regional and international opportunities to touch the lives of others through service.

# # #

Ashley Wise, Associate Director of University Relations

724-852-7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

 

Hits: 212

Waynesburg University’s Department of Chemistry and Forensic Science will hold its annual Science Day event Thursday, Dec. 8. The event will primarily host prospective students who will have the opportunity to spend the day as a science student at the University.

Science Day will offer presentations, demonstrations and hands-on activities directed by Waynesburg faculty, in addition to discussions about what it is like to study science in college and the benefits of pursuing a degree in science.

“Science Day at Waynesburg University aims to expose students in the surrounding areas to the benefits of pursuing a degree in science,” said Brad Davis, assistant professor of chemistry. “It also provides the opportunity for our expert faculty to showcase their teaching and for visiting students to see our modern labs and beautiful campus.”

The University will also host an additional Science Day event for local high school students during the spring semester, Thursday, April 20, 2017.

For more information, contact Evonne Baldauff, assistant professor of chemistry and chair of the Department of Chemistry and Forensic Science, at ebaldauf@waynesburg.edu or 724-852-3617.

Founded in 1849 by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Waynesburg University is located on a traditional campus in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania, with three additional sites located in the Pittsburgh region. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and is one of only 21 Bonner Scholar schools in the country, offering local, regional and international opportunities to touch the lives of others through service.

# # #

Ashley Wise, Associate Director of University Relations

724-852-7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

 

Hits: 163

Waynesburg University’s American Chemical Society (ACS) student chapter will host its annual Haunted Lab event Thursday, Oct. 27, from 6 to 8 p.m. on the fifth floor of Stewart Science Hall on Waynesburg University’s campus.

The walk-through event is open to the public and will showcase over 20 interactive demonstrations and activities geared toward a K-12 audience, though undergraduates are also welcome to attend.

“Haunted Lab brings professors and ACS students together to work on one large, unique event that can benefit the community,” said Kristen Wilson, senior chemistry major and president of the ACS student chapter. “The attendees walk through our labs, which will be decorated for Halloween, to experience fun, but ‘spooky’ demonstrations that show them that science can be fun, interactive and exciting.”

The event is designed to promote science education by showcasing fun and exciting demonstrations and hands-on activities.

“We get the opportunity to share our love of chemistry and science through an event that promotes Waynesburg University, science and community interaction through service,” said Wilson.

For more information, contact Dr. Evonne Balduaff, associate professor of chemistry and chair of the Department of Chemistry and Forensic Science, at 724-852-7617 or ebaldauf@waynesburg.edu.

Founded in 1849 by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Waynesburg University is located on a traditional campus in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania, with three additional sites located in the Pittsburgh region. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and is one of only 21 Bonner Scholar schools in the country, offering local, regional and international opportunities to touch the lives of others through service.

# # #

Ashley Wise, Associate Director of University Relations

724-852-7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

Hits: 114

Two Waynesburg University students traveled this summer from their hometowns in Western Pennsylvania to intern at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Both had the opportunity to serve as undergraduate researchers in graduate student laboratories, though in different areas.

Junior Emily Ankrom, a biology major at Waynesburg, worked in the R.B. Wetherill Laboratory of Chemistry, which focuses on DNA nanotechnology.

Ankrom, with the help of a graduate student mentor, spent the summer researching how to visualize DNA liquid crystals. While Ankrom’s classes at Waynesburg significantly helped her understand scientific research concepts, she had little experience with DNA nanotechnology, which she said was one of the biggest difficulties of the internship.

“It was challenging right off the bat to enter into a research lab that focused on subject material almost completely foreign to me,” said Ankrom. “I had to spend quite a lot of time on my own, researching background information and reading scientific papers to understand what I would be doing.”

Thankfully, Ankrom had graduate students in the lab with her to mentor and guide her work. She loved being able to see firsthand how much Purdue’s graduate students and professors love what they do.

Ankrom is a member of the American Chemical Society and the Biology Club at Waynesburg. Other students in those organizations showed her how valuable an undergraduate research position could be and helped her apply. Now that she has research experience under her belt, Ankrom has solidified her aspirations to go to graduate school after Waynesburg.

“Before this research internship, I had no clue what grad school was like,” said Ankrom. “Being able to peer into the landscape of graduate school research has helped me visualize the journey I will be embarking on.”

Sophomore Lauren Petrina also secured a position as an undergraduate researcher at Purdue, but she was placed in a different lab than Ankrom. An engineering-chemistry major, Petrina worked in Professor Hilkka Kenttamaa’s lab, specializing in understanding crude oil.

Petrina entered into her research internship at Purdue just after her freshman year at Waynesburg, an unusual circumstance. Waynesburg professors in charge of the American Chemical Society, of which Petrina is a member, encouraged her to apply, though they warned her that freshmen usually don’t get accepted.

But a few months later, Petrina was in a lab with graduate students, getting more hands-on experience than she ever expected.

“I thought I was just going to be an assistant to the graduate students – that is not the case at all,” said Petrina. “I was able to ask questions, contribute my thoughts and feedback and even make suggestions.”

Petrina’s research included analyzing heavy crude oil to understand whether it can be converted to light crude oil, which is used in cars. Supplies of light crude oil have been depleted, so petroleum companies work with labs like Petrina’s to discover whether heavy crude oil is useful. Petrina said she would not have been able to complete her work without having taken Waynesburg’s organic and inorganic chemistry classes.

Like Ankrom, Petrina said the passion of the graduate students in her lab was evident, and she is grateful for the opportunity to work with them.

“If I decide to go to graduate school, I will already be ahead of the game because I will have had experience in a graduate laboratory,” said Petrina. “All of the knowledge I gained through this internship will be useful for the rest of my life.”

Hits: 160