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Ionic Bonds
Fall 2017, Volume 12, Number 1

Chemistry’s Impact on the Global Economy

Chemistry Research Team of Seventeen at the ACS National Meeting in Washington, D.C. on August 20-24, 2017
As a capstone experience for student researchers in the summer 2017, seventeen Iona undergraduate research students and their faculty mentors, Dr. Sunghee Lee and Dr Rodney Versace, proudly joined the international chemistry community to present their research at the 254th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in Washington DC. The students presented ten posters summarizing their research results, as below.
  • “Hydrocarbon Intercalants in the Lipid Bilayer: Effect on Water Permeability;”
  • “Probing Ion and Intercalant Effect on Phospholipid Membranes using Differential Scanning Calorimetry;”
  • “Simulations on Effect of Water Permeation through a Synthetic Monoolein Bilayer;”
  • “Membrane–Drug Interactions: Effect on Water Permeability”
  • “Surface Behavior of Monoglycerides at the Water-Oil Interface;”
  • “Electrophysiological Studies of Model Lipid Bilayers;”
  • “Quantitative Raman microspectroscopy at nanoliter aqueous microdroplets;”
  • “The Effects of Ions on Biological Membranes: The Presence and Absence of Cholesterol;”
  • “Enthalpic Effects of Chain Length and Unsaturation on Water Permeability Across Droplet Bilayers of Homologous Monoglycerides;”
  • “Effects of Structural Isomerization on lipid membrane properties.”
The student presenters and attendees were:

Chemistry: Alessandra Armetta ’18, Samuel Braziel ’18 Gabriella Di Domizio ’18, Anneliese Jagaranth ‘19, Brona O’Sullivan ‘19, Michael Morales ‘19,  Alyssa Gayapa ‘19, Mariama Njie ‘20, Gregory Maier ‘20, Jonathan Warner-Clement ‘20

Biochemistry: Megan Wood ‘19, Elizabeth Miller ‘19, Shea Foley ‘19, Marnie Skinner ‘20, Regan Warmoth ‘20, Mesha Iqbal ‘20, Joseph Giancaspro ‘20
 

2017 Chemistry Awards Winners

Each year, the Department of Chemistry recognizes excellent achievement among the chemistry community, by awarding the following honors:
  • CRC Press LLC Freshman Chemistry Achievement Award: Regan Warmoth (Biochemistry ‘20)
  • Westchester Chemical Society Student Award: Mariama Njie (Chemistry ‘20)
  • Chemistry Stellar Award: Joseph Giancaspro (Biochemistry ‘20), Marnie Skinner (Biochemistry ‘20)
  • ACS Analytical Chemistry Award: Megan Wood (Biochemistry ‘19)
  • ACS Organic Chemistry Award: Rebecca Bone (ACS Chemistry ‘17)
  • Organic Chemistry Award: Andrew Maxwell (Chemistry ‘19) & Michael Morales (Chemistry ‘19)
  • Biochemistry Award: Grace Watters (Biochemistry ‘18)
  • The Levkov Prize in Physical Chemistry: Maria Lopez (Biochemistry ‘17)
  • Ionic Bonds Award: Jacqueline Denver (Biochemistry ‘17)

 
Scholarly Activities for Faculty and Students

Conferences and Presentations

(undergraduate student coauthors are in bold)

Michael McGlone, Alessandra Armetta, Toshihisa Osaki, Shoji Takeuchi, Sunghee Lee, Characterization of Monoolein Bilayer Thickness Using Specific Membrane Capacitance, The 21st International Conference on Miniaturized Systems for Chemistry and Life Sciences (MicroTAS 2017), October 22-26, 2017, Savannah, Georgia.

Anneliese Jagarnath, Brona O’Sullivan, Elizabeth Miller and Sunghee Lee, Probing Ion and Intercalant Effect on Phospholipid Membranes using Differential Scanning Calorimetry  Fall 2017 ACS National Meeting, Washington, DC, CHED, August 20-24, 2017.
       
Sue Ellen Evangelista, Brona O’Sullivan, Annelise Jagarnath and Sunghee Lee, The Effects of Ions on Biological Membranes: The Presence and Absence of Cholesterol, Fall 2017 ACS National Meeting, Washington, DC, CHED, August 20-24, 2017.

Maria Lopez, Jake Villanova, Gabriella Di Domizio, Jacqueline Denver, Peter J. Milianta and Sunghee Lee, Hydrocarbon Intercalants in the Lipid Bilayer: Effect on Water Permeability, Fall 2017 ACS National Meeting, Washington, DC, CHED, August 20-24, 2017.    

Michael McGlone, Alessandra Armetta, Jonathan Warner Clement and Sunghee Lee, Electrophysiological Studies of Model Lipid Bilayers, Fall 2017 ACS National Meeting, Washington, DC, CHED, August 20-24, 2017.    

Alessandra Armetta, Jacqueline Denver and Sunghee Lee, Effects of Structural Isomerization on lipid membrane properties, Fall 2017 ACS National Meeting, Washington, DC, CHED, August 20-24, 2017.

Alyssa Gayapa, Shea Foley and Sunghee Lee, Surface Behavior of Monoglycerides at the Water-Oil Interface, Fall 2017 ACS National Meeting, Washington, DC, CHED, August 20-24, 2017.      
  
Michael Morales, Brona O’Sullivan, Megan Wood, Elizabeth Miller, Shea Foley and Sunghee Lee, Membrane–Drug Interactions: Effect on Water Permeability, Fall 2017 ACS National Meeting, Washington, DC, CHED, August 20-24, 2017.

Maria Lopez, Sue Ellen Evangelista, Melissa Morales and Sunghee Lee, Enthalpic Effects of Chain Length and Unsaturation on Water Permeability Across Droplet Bilayers of Homologous Monoglycerides, Fall 2017 ACS National Meeting, Washington, DC, CHED, August 20-24, 2017.

Samuel Braziel, Kalen Sullivan, Joseph Giancaspro and Sunghee Lee, Quantitative Raman microspectroscopy at nanoliter aqueous microdroplets, Fall 2017 ACS National Meeting, Washington, DC, CHED, August 20-24, 2017.

Gregory Maier, Mariama Njie, Rodney Versace, Sunghee Lee, Simulations on Effect of Water Permeation through a Synthetic Monoolein Bilayer, Fall 2017 ACS National Meeting, Washington, DC, CHED, August 20-24, 2017.    

Sunghee Lee, Insights into bilayer membrane structure from water transport across the droplet interface bilayer, 7th International Colloids Conference, June 18-21, 2017, Sitges, Barcelona, Spain.

Alyssa Gayapa, Sunghee Lee, PhD, Surface Behavior of Monoglycerides at the Water-Oil Interface, The 8th Annual Iona Scholars Day, Iona College. April 11, 2017.            
    
Anneliese Jagarnath, Brona O’sullivan, Sunghee Lee, PhD, Differential Scanning Calorimetry Studies of DOPC Phospholipid Membranes,The 8th Annual Iona Scholars Day, Iona College. April 11, 2017.

Michael Morales, Brona O’Sullivan, Megan Wood, Elizabeth Miller, Sunghee Lee, PhD, Membrane–Drug Interactions: Effect on Water Permeability, The 8th Annual Iona Scholars Day, Iona College. April 11, 2017.

Gregory Meier, Mariama Njie, Dr. Sunghee Lee and Dr. Rodney Versace, Simulating the Effects of Water permeation on a Virtual Synthetic Monoolein Bilayer, The 8th Annual Iona Scholars Day, Iona College. April 11, 2017.

Willmor Peña, Sunghee Lee, PhD and Rodney Versace, PhD, Computational Studies of the Effects of Caffeine on Water Permeability across a Artificial Biological Membrane, The 8th Annual Iona Scholars Day, Iona College. April 11, 2017.

John Toribio, Dr. Sunghee Lee, and Dr. Rodney Versace, DOPC-DOPS Membrane Water Permeability Observed by Computational Studies, The 8th Annual Iona Scholars Day, Iona College. April 11, 2017.

Kalen Sullivan, Samuel Braziel, Sunghee Lee, PhD, Quantitative Raman microspectroscopy at nanoliter aqueous microdroplets, The 8th Annual Iona Scholars Day, Iona College. April 11, 2017.
          
Maria Lopez, Gabriella Di Domizio, Sunghee Lee, PhD, The Effect of Intercalants in Lipid Bilayer on Water Permeability, The 8th Annual Iona Scholars Day, Iona College. April 11, 2017.

Gabriella Di Domizio, Maria Lopez, Sunghee Lee, PhD, Cholesterol Effect on Water Permeability of Unsaturated Lipid, The 8th Annual Iona Scholars Day, Iona College. April 11, 2017.

Sue Ellen Evangelista, Melissa Morales, Sunghee Lee, PhD, The Effect of Various Cations on the Water Permeability of Biological Membranes, The 8th Annual Iona Scholars Day, Iona College. April 11, 2017.

Alessandra Armetta, Jacqueline Denver, Sunghee Lee, PhD, Comparison of Cis and Trans Monoglyceride and Phosphatidylcholine Bilayers on Water Permeability, The 8th Annual Iona Scholars Day, Iona College. April 11, 2017.

Michael McGlone, Sunghee Lee, PhD, Electrophysiological Studies of Model Lipid Bilayers, The 8th Annual Iona Scholars Day, Iona College. April 11, 2017.

Alyssa Gayapa, Maria Lopez, Gabriella Di Domizio, Sunghee Lee, PhD, Hydrocarbon Intercalants in the Lipid Bilayer: Effect on Water Permeability, The National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), University of Memphis, Tennessee, April 6-8, 2017.

Michael Morales, Maria Lopez, Gabriella Di Domizio, Sunghee Lee, PhD, Lipid Unsaturation Effects on Activation Energy for Water Permeability Across Droplet Bilayers: Role of Cholesterol, The National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), University of Memphis, Tennessee, April 6-8, 2017.

Maria Lopez, Sue Ellen Evangelista, Sunghee Lee, PhD, Enthalpic Effects of Chain Length and Unsaturation on Water Permeability Across Droplet Bilayers of Homologous Monoglycerides, The National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), University of Memphis, Tennessee, April 6-8, 2017.

Brona O’Sullivan, Sue Ellen Evangelista, Anneliese Jagarnath, Sunghee Lee, PhD, Effects of Ions on Water Transport of Biomimetic Membrane: Theory and Experiment, The National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), University of Memphis, Tennessee, April 6-8, 2017.

Samuel Braziel, Kalen Sullivan, Sunghee Lee, PhD, Quantitative Raman microspectroscopy at nanoliter aqueous microdroplets, The National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), University of Memphis, Tennessee, April 6-8, 2017.

Alessandra Armetta, Jacqueline Denver, Sunghee Lee, PhD, Effects of Cis- and Trans-unsaturated lipids on water permeability and activation energy, The National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), University of Memphis, Tennessee, April 6-8, 2017.
 
Michael McGlone, Sunghee Lee, PhD, Thickness Determination of Droplet Interface Bilayers, The National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), University of Memphis, Tennessee, April 6-8, 2017. 

Jacqueline Denver, Sunghee Lee, PhD, Crystallization chip for High-Throughput, The National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), University of Memphis, Tennessee, April 6-8, 2017.

Gessel Molina, Erica Zhen, Kathleen Kristian, PhD, Synthesis of Water Soluble and Air Stable N-Heterocyclic Carbene Ligand Precursors to Bind Transition Metals, The 8th Annual Iona Scholars Day, Iona College. April 11, 2017.

Rebecca Bone, Mychel Varner, PhD,  Hydrogen Evolution by Water Splitting via a Dimanganese Complex Bound to Titanium Oxide Nanosheets, The 8th Annual Iona Scholars Day, Iona College. April 11, 2017.

Rebecca Bone, Mychel Varner, PhD, The Reaction of Thiacloprid with Hydroxyl Radical Species and Subsequent Reactions, The 8th Annual Iona Scholars Day, Iona College. April 11, 2017.

Grace Watters, Kathleen Kristian, PhD,  Synthesis of Substituted Bispidine Ligands for Cisplatin Derivatives, The 8th Annual Iona Scholars Day, Iona College. April 11, 2017.

Brandon Soto, Erica Zhen, Kathleen Kristian, PhD, Distribution of Copper Between Microbiota and Water Samples in a Tidal Urban Estuary, The 8th Annual Iona Scholars Day, Iona College. April 11, 2017.

Natalie Fernandez, Samantha Rodriguez, Kathleen Kristian, PhD,  The Formation of IPA-Copper Complex, The 8th Annual Iona Scholars Day, Iona College. April 11, 2017.
 

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

(Undergraduate student coauthors are bold)

S. Braziel, K. Sullivan, and S. Lee, “Quantitative Raman Microspectroscopy for Water Permeability Parameters at a Droplet Interface Bilayer”, RSC Analyst, submitted, 2017.

M. McGlone, A. Armetta, T. Osaki, S. Takeuchi, S. Lee, Characterization of Monoolein Bilayer Thickness Using Specific Membrane Capacitance, The 21st International Conference on Miniaturized Systems for Chemistry and Life Sciences (MicroTAS 2017), 2017, Savannah, Georgia, In Press.

M. Lopez, S. E. Evangelista, M. Morales, S. Lee, “Enthalpic Effects of Chain Length and Unsaturation on Water Permeability Across Droplet Bilayers of Homologous Monoglycerides “, Langmuir, 33, 900−912, 2017.

Sharma, Y.; Liu, J.; Kristian, K. E.; Follenzi, A.; Gupta, S. Healthy donor bone marrow-derived hepatocytes do not proliferate whereas donor-derived myofibroblasts expand with exacerbation of liver injury and fibrosis due to excessive copper in Atp7b-/- mice modeling Wilson’s disease. Submitted to PLOSone, July 2017.

Merzel, Rachel L.; Frey, Carolina; Chen, Junjie; Garn, Rachel; van Dongen, Mallory; Dougherty, Casey A.; Kumar Kandaluru, Ananda; Low, Philip S.; Marsh, E. Neil G.; and Banaszak Holl, Mark M. “Conjugation dependent interaction of folic acid with folate binding protein.” Bioconjugate Chemistry, 2017, DOI: 10.1021/acs.bioconjchem.7b00373.

Zakay, I.; Varner, M.E.; Gerber, R.B. Concerted Transfer of Multiple Protons in Acid-Water Clusters: [(HCl)(H2O)2] and [(HF)(H2O)2]. Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2017,19, 20641-20646.
 

Student Spotlight

Chemistry students at National Conference for Undergraduate Research
Eight Chemistry Research Papers Presented at the 31st National Conference for Undergraduate Research (NCUR) in Memphis, Tenn., on April 6-8, 2017

Iona undergraduate researchers presented at the NCUR held at the University of Memphis on April 6-8, 2017. This is the national conference showcasing the best in undergraduate research and the creative and performing arts. Iona was represented by 21 undergraduate researchers from computer science, chemistry, and psychology department. Among those, 11 students were from chemistry & biochemistry and presented eight research projects.

Students presenting a poster at Iona Scholars Day in April 2017
Eighteen Chemistry Research Projects Presented at the Eighth Iona Scholars Day

Every April, Iona College students engaged in undergraduate research and creative scholarship present their findings through poster and panel presentations. Since its beginnings in 2010, participation has grown substantially, and in 2017, the 8th Annual Iona Scholars Day (ISD) involved nearly 200 participants. Once again, chemistry and biochemistry students made a big splash at the ISD with 18 projects presented by 27 undergraduate researchers, mentored by four chemistry professors..
  • Dr. Lee Group – Jacqueline Denver, Sue Ellen Evangelista, Michael McGlone, Geoffrey Cawley, Maria Lopez, Alessandra Armetta, Kalen Sullivan, Samuel Braziel, Michael Morales, Brona O’Sullivan, Megan Wood, Shea Foley, Libby Miller, Anneliese Jagarnath, Joseph Giancaspro, Jonathan Warner-Clement.
  • Dr. Kristian group – Brandon Soto, Gessel Molina, Grace Watters, Erica Zhen, Natalie Fernandez, Samantha Rodriguez
  • Dr. Varner group – Rebecca Bone
  • Dr. Versace group - Willmor Pena, Mariama Njie, Gregory Maier,
  • John Toribio

Student Summer Research Experience

Alessandra Armetta with researchers in Tokyo
By Alessandra Armetta (‘18, ACS Chemistry)


I joined a globally renowned scientific team in Tokyo to perform research in the field of biophysical chemistry. This opportunity was enabled by the NSF award to my mentor, Dr. Lee, for international research collaboration with Professor Shoji Takeuchi of the University of Tokyo, Japan. Doing research in Japan was most importantly, a confidence boost. I love being a chemistry major, and I love working and doing research in the lab as a member of Project Symphony, Dr. Lee’s Research Group. However, chemistry is by no means easy, and I often find myself second guessing my future.  In school at Iona there is a plethora of guidance and support, and I pride myself on the support system I have around me. In Japan however this support system was cut down to only two people –Dr. Lee and Dr. Osaki [the lab manager in Japan], two people I did not want to disappoint.

Nothing went right the morning I left. At 4 AM, my flight across the Pacific was canceled and I was placed on a much later flight. Perhaps as a result of this initial experience, I did not pause to acknowledge that this was the first time I was really alone. I am a very shy person and often have others who will take charge around me. But it was not until I was sitting on the futon in my residence in Tokyo where I would spend the next five weeks, that I realized that no one would be there to take charge other than myself.  Through what I can only say must have been the grace of God, every weekend when I would travel around town to go sightseeing, I gradually became a highly independent individual; I knew how to get around, what I would need, when I would need it, and was more than comfortable talking to new people. Being alone far away from home gave me confidence in myself, enough to know that I was capable of this kind of independence.

During my time at KISTECH [Kanagawa Institute of Industrial Science and Technology, an associated academy to the University of Tokyo] everyone was very warm and friendly; they were excited to learn about me and to tell me about themselves and Japan. On my last day as I was departing, I was told that they enjoyed having me working with them. I knew while I was there I had done considerably well with my research. Everything I thought would be difficult ended up working out. What I did not expect was that someone as shy as me would be as well received as I was. Being told that my presence was enjoyed gave me confidence that I could work as a chemist after college. I cannot fully explain it but when I was told this, I knew it was because of a combination of the work I had done and that by some means a shy person was able to be personable, two things that before this experience I previously believed I was unable to do.  Because of this I have a great amount more of confidence in the major I have chosen and my ability do well in my future. I love being a chemistry major and I feel that because I love what I do that it pushed me to do what I needed to do in order to thrive in my time working at KISTECH and being in Japan.

[Alessandra’s contribution to the work led to the publication of proceedings at the renowned International Conference on Miniaturized Systems for Chemistry and Life Sciences  (micro-TAS 2017), where she will present her research finding titled, “Characterization of Monoolein Bilayer Thickness Using Specific Membrane Capacitance” on October 22-26, in Savannah, Georgia.]

By Gabriella Di Domizio (Chemistry '18)
This summer, I had the pleasure of working as an undergraduate research intern at the University of Delaware in their Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department through an NSF-REU program. My work was focused on studying the adsorption properties of Zirconium Dioxide and its ability to purify water by extracting phosphate. The application of my work was to address the pressing issue of eutrophication which is a serious environmental threat that can be caused by excess nutrients entering lakes, lagoons, ponds and estuaries by way of runoff from land. It was very beneficial for me to observe at first hand the world of a graduate student on the path towards achieving their Ph.D. Having graduate mentors throughout the summer allowed me to learn unique approaches to problem solving in performing research. I certainly was able to become more confident in my ability to become a graduate student as it is my current dream to receive my Ph.D. in Chemistry after graduating from Iona College. I am very grateful to Professor Raul Lobo for welcoming me into his research group at Delaware and the Iona College Chemistry Department for helping me experience this wonderful internship.

By Rachel Garn (Biochemistry '18)
In the summer of 2016, I worked at the University of Michigan in the Mark Banaszak Holl Group with the NSF REU Chemistry Program.  Under the guidance of Prof. Banaszak Holl and Rachel Merzel, I joined an ongoing project on dendrimer-based targeted drug delivery.  I spent ten weeks researching protein-ligand reactions and analyzing the possible aggregation pattern of consequentially formed nanoparticles via atomic force microscopy.  This research is particularly of interest in targeted therapeutics, which is a rising field in drug development. My experience with REU Michigan helped to stimulate my interest in biochemistry while enhancing my competence in the laboratory setting, all the while creating some great friendships!

[Rachel is co-authored in a recent peer-reviewed ACS publication, Bioconjugate Chemistry, 2017 with a title “Conjugation dependent interaction of folic acid with folate binding protein.” (DOI: 10.1021/acs.bioconjchem.7b00373)]

The Quantum Chemistry Group at Iona College – Summer 2017

Dr. Mychel Varner: 
Last year, senior Chemistry major Rebecca Bone began a new project in our research group.  She used computational methods to model the reaction of insecticides with molecules from the atmosphere.  The concern is that when insecticides are applied to crops, they will undergo reactions leading to products that are more harmful, and that the products are harmful to organisms other than the intended targets, e.g. they may be harmful to bees or humans.  Last spring, Rebecca graduated and started preparing to go to graduate school at the University of Massachusetts in Boston to study Green Chemistry.  As she was leaving Iona, two new students were finishing their freshman year and eager to start doing research.  Bakhtawar Ghaffar and Jamilah Sullivan joined the group over the summer to continue the project.

Bakhtawar Ghaffar (Chemistry '19):
Our research project examines possible reactions of neonicotinoid insecticides with molecules from the atmosphere like hydroxyl (OH) molecule, using different computational methods. Being my first ever research experience, this project became a gateway for me to open myself to the learning opportunities that exist beyond the classroom.

Jamilah Sullivan (Biochemistry '20): 
This summer with Dr. Varner I studied neonicotinoids and their reaction with atmospheric species. After a few weeks of research, I was informed of a symposium in South Carolina at Furman University. At first, I was nervous to be out of state with people I didn’t know, presenting a project I wasn’t even sure was good enough to “compete”. It turned out to be quite interesting and a great learning experience. I loved the fact that I was surrounded by other students who understand and share interest in computational chemistry. We had intellectual talks endlessly without getting bored and it was refreshing.

Dr. Kristian’s Group

Gerald Hilaire (Undeclared '20)
Although brief in nature, my research experience during this past summer was profoundly rich in what it had to offer in my personal growth, not only as a scientist but as a person as well. Learning the many nuances of  specific procedures, experiments, and tests placed me in an unfamiliar environment, in which my colleagues aided in alleviating any unease and uncertainty I had. From this, I learned the importance of teamwork, the value concentrated, yet relaxed focus, and gained confidence due to my time working alongside my colleagues. I’m looking forward to continuing future research, and thank Dr. Kristian as well as my research team for this opportunity.

Natalie Fernandez (Biochemistry '20)
During the summer, I had the privilege of working on research with Dr. Kristian along with two of my classmates. It was good experience as it gave me insight on how to better my lab technique and gave me newfound confidence in the lab that I otherwise wouldn’t have had. It definitely helped me going into organic chemistry and analytical chemistry as the techniques learned during research will be put to use during the academic school year. I hope to continue gaining experience through research with Dr. Kristian and my classmates.

Erica Zhen (Chemistry '18)
During the summer of 2017, I have conducted research with Dr. Kristian and have learned the mechanics, electronic structures, and chemical behaviors of certain ligands, when reacted with a d-block metal. Through experimentations and literature investigations I have extrapolated how certain metals and ligands would react together. From this research project, I have learned how to use a Schlenk line and the purpose and significances to air free chemistry.

Dr. Casey Dougherty’s Group

Naomy Los Santos (Chemistry '19)
During the Summer of 2017, I was given the opportunity to do research alongside Dr. Casey Dougherty and a fellow classmate. The goal of this research was to better understand click reactions that would later be helpful in order to synthesize Antibody-Polymer conjugates with a controlled number of fluorescent dyes. Through this, scientists can use this for further cell studies and the formation of drugs that can track diseases. Conducting this research was very interesting and time worthy. It gave me a sense of what it would feel like if I decided to work in a lab where sometimes there are more ways than one to solve a problem at hand. It also gave me an opportunity to further my interest in Chemistry and help me be open minded to the endless opportunities after college.
 

Class of 2017

The Chemistry Department is proud of the ten chemistry majors and three biochemistry majors who completed their studies at Iona in 2017, and we wish them the best of luck in their careers! 
 
  • Rebecca Bone (BS in ACS Chemistry, Minor in English)
  • Geoffrey Cawley (BS in Chemistry and Computer Science)
  • Jacqueline Denver (BS in Biochemistry and Psychology)
  • Georgia Doulos (BS in Chemistry and Biology)
  • Sue Ellen Evangelista (BS in Chemistry-MST in Education, Minor in Biology and Mathematics)
  • Roseanne Lesser (BS in Chemistry-MST in Education)
  • Maria Lopez (BS in Biochemistry)
  • Gessel Molina (BS in Chemistry)
  • Edmond Ntezeh (BS in Chemistry)
  • Taylor Pronovost (BS in Chemistry)
  • Eugene Picone (BS in Chemistry)
  • Kalen Sullivan (BS in Biochemistry)
  • Andrew Visconti (BS in Chemistry-MST in Education)

Honors Theses

  • Sue Ellen Evangelista ‘17 “The Effect of Various Cations on the Water Permeability of Biological Membranes”
  • Jacqueline Denver ‘17 “Comparison of Cis and Trans Monoglyceride and Phosphatidylcholine Bilayers on Water Permeability” (Honors Thesis with the Highest Distinction)
  • Michael McGlone ‘17 “Determining the Thickness of Droplet Interface Bilayers From Capacitance Measurements Using a Modified Electrophysiological Amplification Technique”

Five Students Inducted to National Chemistry Honor Society

2017 Student Inductees for National Chemistry Honor Society
Iona College’s National Chemistry Honor Society Chapter inducted five chemistry and biochemistry majors at a ceremony held at the College on April 28, 2017.

This annual gathering of chemistry welcomed family and friends of honor society inductees, annual award recipients along with the Class of 2017.
 
The inductees for 2017 are:
  • Shea Coleman Foley (Biochemistry ‘19)
  • Johnathan Lawrence Neshiwat (Biochemistry ‘18)
  • Elizabeth Ann Miller (Biochemistry ‘19)
  • Michael Jeremy Morales (ACS Chemistry ‘19)
  • Megan Lynn Wood (Biochemistry ‘19)
 

Remembering Caring Chemist and Professor, Dr. Louis Campisi

Dr. Louis Campisi
March 15, 1948 - July 5, 2017

Dr. Campisi received his B. S. degree from the City College of New York and a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from Fordham University. Dr. Campisi taught chemistry at Iona College for more than 50 years where he was admired and respected by faculty and students.  In his career he taught a wide variety of courses including General and Introductory Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry Laboratory, Scientific and Technological Literacy (STL), and Chemical Safety. He was co-author of a textbook used in the STL program. As chair of the department for many years he made numerous contributions to the advancement of the chemistry program not the least of which was convincing the administration to allow, as well as supervising, the conversion of a classroom to the current Instrumentation Laboratory. He was innovative in his teaching and generous in working with students, no matter what their level of ability.  In his view, every student deserved a chance to succeed. He earned the admiration and respect of faculty and students.  Chemistry faculty often consulted him because of his expertise and sound advice concerning their teaching and/or research.
Dr. Campisi enjoyed spending time with his wife Catherine,  sons Louis, Mark, William, and daughter Jennifer, as well as his nine grandchildren. Dr. Campisi was an avid New York Mets and New York Giants fan and coped with their highs and lows.  He loved the beach and New York institutions such as the New York Botanical Gardens. He was proud of his Italian culture and enjoyed the music of Louis Prima and Frank Sinatra. Sunday sauce and pickled olives were his specialty as well as applying his chemical skills in occasional forays into wine making. His humor, stories, and willingness to listen and guide will be missed.

The following is rerun of story Dr. Campisi wrote for Ionic Bonds in 2012, for the celebration of his 50 years of service at Iona College.
 
“I arrived at Iona College as a chemistry instructor at the start of Fall ’62, 50 years ago. How I was appointed to the position at Iona is a story in itself. I was a graduate student in chemistry at Fordham University finishing up a Ph.D. I had also worked (1961‐1962) as a chemistry instructor at the College of Pharmacy at Fordham teaching General Chemistry lecture and lab, so I had a modicum of teaching experience. This background turned out to be useful, since during the summer of 1962 one of the three full‐time chemistry faculty at Iona resigned and an immediate need was created for a new hire to teach the expected one hundred freshmen in General Chemistry.

The Chair of the Chemistry Department, Dr. Viateur Rousseau, reviewed my background and hired me. I believe the Iona salary was about $4,800 per year (higher than at the College of Pharmacy) and the teaching load was about 15 contact hours per semester. The chemistry labs in 1962 were located in the basement of Cornelia Hall, occupying about half of the floor including a portion of the hallway (passage from the east or west side of Cornelia to the other side was interrupted). The General Chemistry lab was the largest of the labs, capable of providing for up to 24 students; it was located on the north side of the building below the General Physics lab.

Adjacent to the General Chemistry lab, facing the quadrangle, was a smaller lab devoted to Organic Chemistry and Quantitative Analysis. The small Physical Chemistry lab was adjacent to this space (now the chemical stockroom). Some time in 1970 with the advent of Instrumental Analysis, the department was granted a classroom in the basement, outfitted with a gift of lab cabinets and stone lab tops from Ciba Geigy. For years it had been the feeling of the science faculty that the location of the chemistry labs needed to be changed to provide for a better lab experience. Ultimately we planned to move the general and organic labs to the top floor of Cornelia, establish a stock/prep room, and install an elevator. Initially a large, dual use, well-vented Organic/General lab was constructed. Holding Organic and General Chemistry labs in the same facility proved unworkable and the dual use lab was devoted to organic labs, research, synthesis, and physical chemistry labs. As a result the current General Chemistry lab was created with a quite manageable capacity of 14. As new faculty joined the department we have provided for areas where they can conduct research. Currently these include the organic lab, the former stock room on the top floor, a computer lab, and the site of the organic /quant lab of yesteryear in the basement. Finally, there is now a science student resource room in the basement of Cornelia where students can meet, rest, and study. I had taken the teaching position at Iona because I and my fiancé (now wife of 49 years) were planning a wedding for July 1963. My plan was to stay at Iona for a year or two, finish my dissertation, and then get a job in industry for “big bucks”. Obviously in the first year that I taught I was awakened to other dimensions of teaching, which ultimately changed my career path and enabled me to enjoy 50 years of teaching chemistry at Iona. I am glad I chose this path.”
 

New Organic Chemistry FacultyMarius Draeger, Ph.D.

Marius Draeger, Ph.D.
Looking back at my somewhat rough experiences with stereochemistry during my undergraduate days (Yes, I can relate to you!), it is sometimes surprising to me where my obsession with ring shaped stereogenic molecules comes from. However, it is probably safe to say that anybody who has ever taken a class with me, or knows the names of my current and previous sailboats, will agree that the obsession is real. While by and large any molecule that is cyclic will suffice, I have developed a special affinity over the years to carbohydrates, which began as an undergraduate researcher developing modified sugars for binding studies to artificial receptors.
The culmination of my chemical sweet tooth has so far been my doctoral research at Brown University, where I focused on developing a new method for synthesizing long chains of linked sugar molecules, also called oligosaccharides, to deepen our understanding of plant fertilization processes. My current research, while less complex on the stereochemical side, still deals with cyclic molecules; specifically, the synthesis of pyridines using a novel [2+2+2] cycloaddition between two alkynes and a nitrile, activated via transition metals. However, as sugars are notoriously hard to break up with, be that in research or nutrition, a return to carbohydrates is already in the making.
Complimenting my research interests, my passion for teaching organic chemistry was ignited in my early undergraduate days and has grown from then on through a teaching fellowship at Wheaton College, as well as a post-doctoral teaching experience at Providence College. I hope that I will be able to pass on my excitement for organic chemistry, and especially(!) stereochemistry in both the laboratory and the classroom at Iona!
 

The First Cohort of NSF Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Program (S-STEM) for Chemistry and Computer Science Majors

Through an award from NSF to increase undergraduates on a path to pursue careers in STEM, the first cohort of four students of scholarship recipients has been named among Class of 2021. The Scholars will be exposed to high-impact educational practices including undergraduate research opportunities that increase student retention, and will benefit from the various resources at Iona dedicated to intervention, resilience, and enrichment. For more information about this scholarship, visit www.iona.edu/nsfsstem
  • Yanitza Acosta (Chemistry)
  • Summer Pabon (Chemistry)
  • Kathy Nguyen (Computer Science)
  • Tianna Walker (Biochemistry)

Iona Chemical Society

Iona Chemical Society is a member of ACS Student Affiliates Chapter. Members participate in a wide range of programs and activities that enhance their college experience and prepare them for successful careers. The Iona College SA chapter has a wonderful track record for conducting exceptional programs and activities during the academic year. To be a member, please contact the president, Ms. Samantha Newbury at snewbury1@gaels.iona.edu.

Chemical Society E-Board Members for ’17-’18
  • President: Samantha Newbury
  • Vice president: Johnathan Neshiwat
  • Treasurer: Megan Wood
  • Secretary: Shea Foley
  • PR Chair: Elizabeth Miller

Chemistry Department News

Jean Dreyfus lecture speakerJean Dreyfus Lectureship Event: Award from the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation
The prestigious Jean Dreyfus Lectureship Award from The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation to Iona Chemistry Department was watershed moment for its faculty and students.

As part of this award, Professor Geraldine (Geri) Richmond has been honored as a Jean Dreyfus Lecturer at Iona College. During her two-day residence on April 11-12 in 2017, she delivered a keynote speech at the 8th Annual Iona Scholars Day event, entitled “Empowering Global Scientific Engagement”, and also delivered a technical talk entitled “Understanding the Love-Hate Relationship between Oil and Water” for a scientific audience.

We are very proud of this extraordinary opportunity to host Professor Richmond, a highly acclaimed scientist at the University of Oregon and recipient of the National Medal of Science, and the 2018 Priestley Medal, the American Chemical Society’s highest honor. She is also  known for her study of complex surface chemistry and service on National Science Board, and work on the advancement of women in science internationally. Her visit surely stimulated scientific research at Iona and participating institutions, and will catalyze an even greater level of enthusiasm for scholarly activity among the Chemistry student body, and higher achievement at Iona College and environs.

Additionally, female STEM majors had the unique opportunity to have a discussion with the dynamic Dr. Geraldine Richmond.  The lead moderator, Jacqueline Denver, made sure that conversation was free-floating while addressing relevant issues that women face in a predominantly male field of study and work.  Questions that were asked ranged from time management to balancing work and family life. Her answers were both insightful and honest. She emphasized that women have unique opportunities to illustrate their individual strengths in the context of a family and in the STEM field. (Femal STEM story contributed by Sue Ellen Evangelista, Chemistry ‘17)

As part of the Dreyfus award, two students, Samuel Braziel (‘18) and Michael Morales (‘19) were named as Dreyfus Scholars and engaged in research activities during summer 2017. An extension of the program has been instituted by Iona’s Endowed Professorship, to support additional three students in research activities. Overall, the generous support of Jean Dreyfus Lectureship Award facilitated five undergraduate students and three faculty members to be engaged in summer research in 2017.

We are deeply grateful for the support of The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation.