Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Academic Year 2017-18 News

Graduation 2018

Dr. Willie Darby with Graduates

Dr. Willie Darby with Graduates

Graduation was held May 13, 2018 and the following students received their diplomas.
Congratulations to our 2018 graduates.

  • Kennedy Nichelle Goldsborough, BS Biochemistry
  • Shekinah Michelle Hernandez, BS Biochemistry
  • Bria Alyssa Odom, BS Chemistry
  • Ashleigh Simone Rawls, BS Biochemistry
  • T'onna Nicole Taborn, BS Chemistry
  • Dominique Wade, BS Chemistry

Ashleigh Rawls will attend Duke University for the PhD program. Ms. Rawls was accepted as a BioCoRE scholar. Several graduates plan to attend post-Baccalaureate programs. We wish our graduates all the best and ask all of our graduates to keep in touch!

Graduation Day 2018
Honors Day 2018

Graduation and Honors Day 2018

Hampton Roads Section of the American Chemical Society (ACS)

A meeting of the ACS Hampton Roads section was held on April 13, 2018 at Virginia Wesleyan University. Outstanding senior chemistry majors from local colleges and universities were honored at the meeting. Two of our majors were recognized for undergraduate achievement-- Kennnedy Goldsborough (Biochemistry) and Bria Odom (Traditional Chemistry). Each received a certificate of recognition and a special gift. Dr. Charles Bump also received recognition for his 38 + years of service and dedication to the local section.

December Graduation:

Congratulations to the following students on their December 2017 Graduation.

  • Kenya D. Lara, BS Chemistry
  • Ibrahim Alatawi, MS Chemistry
  • Deema Alenazy, MS Chemistry
  • Afaf Almutiri, MS Chemistry

Student Accomplishments

Kennedy Goldsborough was the recipient of an Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) 2017 Presentation Award from the ABRCMS Steering Committee. The annual conference was held in Phoenix, Arizona on November 1-4, 2017 where Ms. Goldsborough gave an oral presentation in the Neuroscience category. The presentation was titled "Exploring Mitochondrial Protein Homeostasis in Peripheral Axons" and the research was performed while in attendance at a summer program sponsored by Harvard Medical School and Boston Children's Hospital.

Graduate Student Thesis Defense

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry had four graduate student thesis defense seminars in the Fall 2017 semester.

  • October 27th, 2017
    Deema Alenazy, Exploratory Analysis of the Genetic Variability if the PE-PGRS Gene
  • November 1st, 2017
    Afaf Almutiri, Photoswitchable Arylazopyrazole-based Ruthenium (II)- Arene Complexes
  • November 6th, 2017
    Ibrahim Alatawi, Behavior and Stability of Silver Nanoparticles in the Presence of Salts
  • November 10th, 2017
    Reham Almrashi, Design and Synthesis of Monazopyorrole and Bisazopyrrole Dyes

Faculty Activities

Dr. Willie Darby accepted the position of Interim Chair for the academic calendar year 2017-2018. Dr. Darby led the Department through the University program review process for this academic year and has agreed to serve for the upcoming 2018-2019 academic year, as well.

Dr. Charles Bump presented a paper on behalf of the Organic Chemistry Group at the 255th Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society in New Orleans, held March 18-22, 2018. The theme of the meeting was Nexus of Food, Energy and Water. The paper was titled Using videos in teaching nmr processing. C.M. Bump, G.C. Nwokogu, E.N. Ndip, M.K. Waddell, M. Malik

Dr. Kesete Ghebreyessus attended the 254th ACS National Meeting in Washington, DC, August 20-24, 2017 and made a presentation on "Photo-switchable N-heterocyclic carbene functionalized arylazopyrazole ligands and their ruthenium(II)-arene complexes: Synthesis and photo-isomerization studies. He also attended a collaborative Partnership for Research and Education in Materials (PREM) meeting at Brandeis University in Boston, Massachusetts on November 3, 2017 and made a presentation about photo-responsive metallohydrogels.

Dr. Peter Njoki served as chemistry judge at the Tidewater Science and Engineering Fair at Old Dominion University on March 3, 2018 and also gave a talk to the Natural Science and Engineering Students Association at Thomas Nelson Community College.

Dr. Michelle Waddell gave a presentation at Thomas Nelson Community College on October 25, 2017. Her "Bite of Science" presentation was part of a teacher enrichment and professional development program. The presentation highlighted Dr. Waddell's research/work along with a discussion on using technology and current events to encourage students to pursue STEM careers.

Dr. Brandy Young-Gqamana attended a collaborative NOBCChE (National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers) meeting at Winston-Salem State University on April 19-20, 2018 in North Carolina. Dr. Young-Gqamana also traveled to Tidewater Community College to recruit for the NOYCE scholarship. The NOYCE team has had several meetings throughout the semester to engage with students.

Dr. Brandy Young-Gqamana with Undergraduates
Dr. Peter Njoki with Undergraduates

Dr. Brandy Young-Gqamana and Dr. Peter Njoki with Undergraduates


Dr. Charles W. Machan from University of Virginia visited with faculty and students before presenting his seminar titled "Developing Molecular Electrocatalysts for Reactions Relevant to renewable Fuels". The seminar was sponsored by the NanoHU program.

Adelina Voutchkova, Ph.D. from the Department of chemistry at George Washington University presented a seminar on March 29, 2018 titled "Harnessing Glycerol as a Hydrogen Source using Homogeneous and Supported Catalysis". Dr. Voutchkova also met with faculty and students to highlight her research in Green Chemistry.

SOS Annual Research Symposium

The 23rd Annual School of Science Research Symposium was held in the Hampton University Student Center on April 11-12, 2018 in partnership with the School of Engineering and Technology and the Graduate College. Several faculty and students presented their research at the poster session.

  • Molecular Modeling and Drug Mapping Hemolin Protein with Dragomabin B. Sierra Williams-McLeod, Dr. Michelle K. Waddell. Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Hampton University, Hampton, VA 23668.
  • The Scope of Knoevengal Condensation for Introduction of the Electron-Withdrawing module in the Modular Synthesis of Confirmationally Locked Push-Pull Chromopores. Godson C. Nwokogu, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Hampton University, Hampton, VA 23668.
  • Understanding the Bacterial Genome: Bacillus Anthracis and Bacillus Thuringiensis. Kennedy Goldsborough1. , Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Hampton University, Hampton, VA 23668.
  • The Generation of RGS10/RGS18 Double Knockout Mice to Study Platelet Activation. Shekinah Hernandez1, Peisong Ma2, Lawrence Brass2. 1 Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry , Hampton University, Hampton, VA 23668. 2 Perlman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
  • Photo-responsive Arylazopyrazole based Mettallogels. Isaac Mukooza, Dr. Stefan M. Cooper, Jr., Shakayla Robinson-Love, Jessica Washington, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Hampton, VA 23668.
  • Elucidating the Biochemical Role of Mycobacterium tuberculosis- Potential Transcriptional Regulators: RV0494, RV2250c, and RV3183 in silico. Kennedy Goldsborough, Shekinah Hernandez, Ashleigh Rawls, Shanthi Paranawithana, Ph.D. Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Hampton University, Hampton, VA 23668

Annual Dinner

The annual departmental dinner was held December 8th, 2017 at the Student Center, Student Ballroom. Chemistry majors were recognized for academic achievement in several courses at the dinner and research presentations were made by Kennedy Goldsborough and Lauren Alexander. Thanks to everyone who made it a success.

Virginia Academy of Science

The 96th Annual Meeting of the Virginia Academy of Science was held at Longwood University from May 23-25, 2018. The Chemistry Division was chaired by Dr. Charles Bump and Dr. Edmund Ndip served as Vice-Chair. Drs. Edmund Ndip and Peter Njoki served as judges for Virginia Junior Academy of Science (VJAS).

Presentations this year included:

  • (Hyper)polarizabilities: A materials design criterion. Dr. Edmund Ndip
  • Comparison of student learning outcomes in traditional general chemistry courses to a blended learning course environment. M. K. Waddell, B. Young-Gqamana, W. Darby, K. Ghebreyessus and G. Nwokogu
  • Engaging high school students in research. P. N. Njoki
  • Thermodynamics of esterification. C. M. Bump, S. N. Chigbu and A. M. Sallee

Retiring Faculty

Dr. Charles Bump and Dr. Shanthi Paranawithana retired at the end of the 2017-2018 academic calendar. We will definitely miss their presence in the Department and wish them much happiness in the future. Dr. Bump is retiring after 39 years of service to Hampton University and the Department t of Chemistry and Biochemistry, while Dr. Paranawithana has served for 13 years.

The Department held a retirement dinner on May 16, 2018 at the Marriott in Newport News City Center. Faculty from years past attended the dinner including Dr. Nandita Banerjee, Dr. Larry Cheung and Dr. Wing Leung. The retirement party turned into a mini-reunion and everyone enjoyed the evening with food and community. Gifts were presented to the retirees and reflections were made by all. Best wishes to our honored colleagues and friends-Dr. Charles Bump and Dr. Shanthi Paranawithana!

Dr. Charles Bump, Dr. Brandy Young-Gqamana and Dr. Shanthi Paranawithana at Graduation 2018

Dr. Charles Bump, Dr. Brandy Young-Gqamana and
Dr. Shanthi Paranawithana at Graduation 2018

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry -current and past faculty.  Do you recognize everyone?

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry - current and past faculty.
Do you recognize everyone?

Departing Faculty

Dr. Brandy Young-Gqamana announced her departure from the department at the end of the academic year. At the last departmental meeting of the semester, Dr. Young-Gqamana was presented with a token of appreciation. Dr. Young-Gqamana has taken a position at the University of Rochester.