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Department of Chemistry Academic Year 2013-14 News

Dr. Urasa with 2014 graduates

Dr. Urasa with 2014 graduates

Graduation was held on May 11th, 2014 with the School of Science Open House held the day before. Several students who are headed to graduate school were recognized by Dr. Urasa at the Open House. Congratulations to all of our HU Chemistry graduates for a job well done.

  • Sarah Berryhill, B.S. Biochemistry
  • Reena Blade, B.S. Chemistry (Forensics)
  • Charmeyce Buck, B.S. Chemistry (Forensics)
  • Amy Green, B.S. Chemistry (Traditional)
  • Jamesha Lewis, B.S. Biochemistry
  • Ashley Peralta, B.S. Biochemistry
  • Eve Reeves, B.S. Chemistry (Forensics)

Virginia Academy of Science

Virginia Academy of Science (VAS) held the 92nd annual meeting in Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University on May 14-16, 2014. Dr. Charles Bump chaired the oral presentations of the Chemistry Section. The following oral presentations were made:

  • Progress towards the synthesis of a series of TPA centrosymmetric vinylene-bridged aryl styryl heterocyclic D-pi-D systems M. K. Waddell and E. Ndip, Dept. of Chemistry.
  • Interaction of metal nanoparticles with thiol and thioether-containing compounds S. Babu1, J. Seo2 and M. O. Claville 1Dept. of Chemistry and 2Dept. of Physics.
  • Leaving groups in substitution and elimination reactions: An unexpected journey C. M. Bump, Dept. of Chemistry.
  • Polarizabilities and hyperpolarizabilities of vinylene bridged aryl steryl systems-substituents and extent of conjugation effects E. M. N. Ndip and J. McCormick, Dept. of Chemistry.

The following posters were presented:

  • Oxidation of histidine and carnosine (β-alanyl-L-histidine) by hypochlorite A. B. Nzesi, S. Babu and M. O. Claville Dept. of Chemistry.
  • Synthesis and oxidation of dicysteine and dimethionine D. Oliver, S. Babu and M. O. Claville Dept. of Chemistry.

School of Science Research Symposium

The 19th annual School of Science Research Symposium was held April 18th and 19th at the Student Center Ballroom. The focus was on student and faculty research within the School. View photos from the event »

The following posters were presented:

  • "DNA-binding and cytotoxicity studies of naphthalimide-tagged ruthenium(ii)-arene complexes" Kesete Ghebreyessus, Ashley Peralta, Shanthi Paranawithana, and Meena Katdare.
  •  "Synthesis and characterization of two-photon excited pyrrole derivatives" Dominique I. Covington, Dr. Edmund M. Ndip, Dr. Michelle Waddell.
  • "Synthesis of 2,5-bis (p-N, N-diethylaminostyryl) furan (BESF)." Eve Reeves, Dr. Michelle Waddell, Dr. Edmund M. Ndip.
  • "Microwave-assisted synthesis of block co-polymer and surfactant coated magnetic nanoparticles" Michelle K. Waddell Ph.D.
  • "Cloning and expression of several prokaryotic genes: integration of research and education" Shanthi R. Paranawithana,  Charmeyce Buck, Amy Green, Jamesha Lewis, Reena Blade, Ashley Peralta, Sarah Berryhill and Zachary Gardner.
  • "Electrochemical characterization of green tea" Dr. Charles Bump.

Departmental Dinner

The annual Chemistry dinner was held on Friday, December 6, 2013 in the Hampton University Student Center lounge. Chemistry students, faculty and staff were greeted by senior Eve Reeves who also gave the blessing. The evening's menu has changed some over the years but there was still plenty of home cooked food to go around along with some awesome desserts. (Did you try the banana pudding?)

After dinner, Sarah Berryhill treated everyone to an a cappella song and as a tradition, a student from each class was asked to give a reflection on their year. Once again, the theme was that with hard work and determination, you can make it to through the curriculum (including organic and physical chemistry) and graduate as a chemistry, biochemistry or forensic chemistry major.

Dr. Urasa presented awards to students for outstanding performance in General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry and Physical Chemistry, and this was followed by some outstanding student presentations. The student presentations showcased research activities and involvement in summer programs. The presenters were:

  • Reena Blade spoke about research performed at Rutgers University, using iron (III)-tetrasulfonatophthalocyanine as a mimic of horseradish peroxidase.
  • Courtney Edwards presented research from Vanderbilt University on white matter hyperintensities in Down Syndrome.
  • Danielle Oliver presented research on Erdheim Chester Disease.
  • Ashley Peralta presented research from Virginia Tech on the synthesis of acrylamide phosphonate monomers and polymers.

As the evening activities came to an end, there were leftovers to take home and enjoy while studying for exams and there was a sense of success for another year.

New Faculty and Staff

We welcome Mrs. Renarda Braxton as the Chemical Instrumentation Laboratory Technician in the Water Quality Laboratory and also welcome three adjunct faculty members for the academic year -- Dr. Eric Hayes, Dr. Silvina Pagola and Dr. Brandy Young-Gqamana.

Faculty Activities and Awards

Dr. Charles Bump and Dr. Michelle Waddell both received faculty research start-up awards from the NanoHU Program. In addition, Dr. Waddell also received a University faculty grant to incorporate iPads into the organic chemistry curriculum.

Dr. Godson Nwokogu is the Principal Investigator (PI) on a grant awarded from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory's Army Research Office (ARO) for a project on Microwave Assisted Organic Chemistry (MAOS). The department will soon receive several microwave units for use as a "green" heating tool in organic chemistry. The use of microwave technology can shorten chemical synthesis and reaction times, allowing time for additional chemical investigations during the laboratory periods. Microwave technology also allows for the elimination and reduction of some solvents in the organic chemistry laboratory, helping to make the organic lab greener.

Find out more about Green Chemistry by visiting www.acs.org - Green Chemistry Definition.

University News – HU Chemistry Department Awarded Grant to Install Microwave Reactors

Dr. Isai Urasa was one of the organizers of a one-day symposium titled "Water: Global Problems, Local Solutions" that occurred at the 246th American Chemical Society National Meeting & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana, September 8-12, 2013. The symposium was held on September 10, 2013.The session provided a platform to critically examine water resources, share existing best practices, and explore innovative solutions to address global water issues.