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Nine Chemistry Majors Receive Summer Research Positions Through the National Science Foundation

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Posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Nine Westminster College chemistry and biochemistry majors received summer research positions funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

"The application process is very competitive," said Dr. Peter Smith, Westminster College assistant professor of chemistry. "Just over 20 percent of the students who apply for Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) positions nationwide are awarded a position and we had nine successful applicants. It shows the strength of our chemistry/biochemistry program at Westminster College."

Two Westminster students, Callie Croushore, a senior chemistry major from Greensburg, and Jennifer Steele, a senior chemistry major from Beaver, will be conducting their research in France.

"I arrived May 2 and am currently doing chemistry research in the area of microfluidics with Dr. Robert Pansu and Valerie Genot," Croushore said. "In order to do this program, you must already have research experience at another university, which I did last summer at Kent State University."

"I'll be working in Toulouse, France, at the Laboratoire de Chimie de Coordination until August 1," Steele said. "I will be doing inorganic chemistry research with Dr. Alain Igau and Dr. Stephanie Bastin, who focus on adaptive ligand engineering."

The other seven students will be working in various universities throughout the United States.

"I am going to be working with Dr. Karin Musier-Forsyth, an Ohio Eminent Scholar in the Chemistry Department of The Ohio State University this summer," said Ian "Mitch" Taylor, a junior chemistry major from Findlay, Ohio. "I learned of this opportunity from 2002 Westminster graduate Justin Shearer, who is a chemistry graduate student at Ohio State. He urged me to apply and Dr. Smith gave me advice. Research experience is of the utmost importance when entering medical school, and it's my intention to attend medical school."

"I will be working on the biotoxicity of bacteria at the University of Notre Dame under the supervision of Dr. Patricia Maurice," said Amy Thomas, a junior chemistry major from Greensburg. "I learned of the REU program from faculty and other students and applied online with a letter of recommendation from Dr. Helen Boylan [Westminster College assistant professor of chemistry]. I'm excited about receiving this opportunity and hope to use the experience as part of my senior research project at Westminster."

All successful applicants receive a $3,000-$4,000 stipend, housing, travel to and from the sites, and some receive board.

Contact Smith at (724) 946-7299 or e-mail for more information.