Getting Hands-On Experience


St. Mary's chemistry and biochemistry majors were busy this summer participating in research and medical internships on campus and around the country.  Ashton Engdahl (above) spent her summer developing a green synthesis of functionalized pyrroles on campus with a paid research internship through our campus SMURF program.

Awards Aplenty in New Orleans

A generous contribution from the John J. Leidy Foundation allowed eight St. Mary's students to attend the 245th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in New Orleans where they presented posters describing their research.  Josh Olexa ('13) explains his poster to a judge, and former American Chemical Society president, in the Speak Simply Contest where students were judged on their ability to explain their research. St. Mary's was well represented, as Josh and Greg Triegger ('13) were both awarded for their posters.


Perkin-Elmer Atomic Absorption Spectrometer w/
Graphite Furnace

The atomic absorption spectrometer is an instrument used by students taking laboratory courses in quantitative analysis, instrumental analysis and sometimes general chemistry. This instrument is used to measure small concentrations of analytes, typically metals such as nickel, lead, copper, chromium, zinc, and cadmium. These metals can be found in environmental samples such as river water in concentrations around parts per million to parts per billion. The spectrometer measures these metals by ionizing a sample by flame or graphite furnace and measuring the absorbance of those atoms at a specific wavelength characteristic to the analyte in question. The concentration of the analyte is determined by the light absorption based on Beer’s Law.