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.

"Pyridinium Substitution of Electron Acceptors: Photoinduced Energy Harvesting"

Christopher D. Sweitzer
Mentor: Dr. Andrew Koch
St. Mary's College of Maryland, 2005-2006

Chris worked on two parallel projects 1) the stepwise Suzuki coupling reaction of chloropyridiniumanthraquinones with 1,4-benzenediboronic acid, and 2) the preparation of ?-perpyridiniumporphyrins as catalysts in hydrogen gas evolution. The first part of this project was designed to demonstrate that the cross-coupling reaction is an efficient means to incorporate an electron-deficient anthraquinone ring into a wide range of molecular systems. These rings are of interest due to their ability to accept electrons at a potential close to 1,4-benzoquinone, Mother Nature's ubiquitous electron acceptor. The second part of his project dealt with the preparation of water-soluble electron-deficient porphyrins as catalysts in solar energy harvesting.