Chemistry students head to New Orleans to present research

April 4 2008

TERRE HAUTE â€" Twelve Indiana State University chemistry majors plan to present their research findings at the National American Chemical Society meeting, which is being held April 6-10 in New Orleans.

While the students are presenting what they’ve learned, Eric Glendening, chemistry department chair, said they also learn while there.

“They find that there really is something to science than just science at ISU,” he said. “By attending presentations made by world-renown researchers, the students realize that the ideas and skills developed in their chemistry courses are essential for functioning in the field.”

Eight of the 12 students first presented their research during the 12th annual Indiana State University Undergraduate and Graduate Research Showcase on April 2. For them it was chance to fine tune and further prepare for presenting their research on a larger scale.

“Now, I have a little more confidence before going to New Orleans,” said Lindsey Edenburn, a senior chemistry major from Georgetown, Ill., who is presenting research on her experiment design for introductory organic chemistry students to make ibuprofen.

While chemists make ibuprofen in the industry, it is something students normally are unable to do in a classroom laboratory.

“I’ve successfully completed an experiment that is safe for the students and one they can also utilize the reactions that they learned in the lab,” she said.

Adam Arnold and Stephanie Braun, both junior chemistry majors from Decatur, will be presenting research for the second time at the national meeting; this time their research focuses upon methane to methanol conversion for a conveniently transportable fuel.

“It’s definitely nerve wracking and very stressful,” Arnold said. “We try to make sure that every part of the poster and our presentation we know completely.”

“I dread it before, then I think it’s exciting while presenting,” Braun added.

Glendening said taking students to such conferences energizes them for their classes and other research projects.

“We do a better job to prepare them for life after ISU by getting them to participate in as many opportunities as possible while undergrads,” he said.

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Contact: Eric Glendening, chemistry chair, interim physics chair and showcase co-chair, Indiana State University, at 812-237-2235 or at eglendening@isugw.indstate.edu

Writer: Jennifer Sicking, assistant director of media relations, Indiana State University, at 812-237-7972 or jsicking@isugw.indstate.edu

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Twelve Indiana State University chemistry majors plan to present their research findings at the National American Chemical Society meeting, which is being held April 6-10 in New Orleans.

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