*Update: Assistant Professor Leah Eller has recently returned from a chemistry education conference at Widener University, in which her work with microwave chemistry was discussed by Dr. Marsha Baar of Muhlenberg College during a session. The conference presented an opportunity to network with other chemists and promote both the microwave chemistry and the green chemistry efforts at St. Mary’s College.
Assistant Professor of Chemistry Leah R. Eller has received a $170,000 grant from the highly competitive National Science Foundation’s Transforming Undergraduate Education in STEM (TUES) Program for her project “Collaborative Research: A Student-Centered Organic Laboratory Curriculum Featuring Microwave-Assisted Organic Synthesis (MAOS)”. Out of 373 proposals submitted to the NSF program announcement, approximately 30 proposals were funded. The goal of the project is to develop a new organic laboratory curriculum that uses microwave technology, emphasizes green chemistry, and fosters higher-order thinking skills. The curriculum will be made freely available to all. Funds will support summer student researchers, equipment and supplies, evaluation by education experts, and workshops to help disseminate findings and build a community of microwave chemistry educators in the country. The research is in collaboration with Allegheny College and Queensborough Community College; the collective award amount is $600,000.