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The Chemist's Retort


									                 A Newsletter for The College of New Jersey Chemistry Alumni and Friends

                           The Chemist’s Retort
                           ISSUE 3                       March 2006

TCNJ in the news!
                                                           The College of New Jersey is ranked at #19
                                                           of 100 public colleges in Kiplinger’s Personal
                                                           Finance magazine’s Best Values in Public
                                                           Colleges list. The College tops the list of
                                                           public institutions in New Jersey as well as
                                                           schools around the country such as the Uni-
                                                           versity of Mary Washington of Virginia, Uni-
                                                           versity of Massachusetts at Amherst, and
                                                           Pennsylvania State University at University
Per semester, in-state tuition at the College for the fall 2005– spring 2006 academic year is $3,525.
Out-of-state tuition is $6,157. Selected from a pool of over 500 public four-year colleges and universi-
ties, the schools on the Kiplinger list were ranked according to academic quality, cost and financial aid.
According to Kiplinger’s press release, while most of the top 100 public colleges have 15,000 students
or more, smaller public schools on the list, such as TCNJ, rival private liberal arts colleges, proving
that students do not have to sacrifice an intimate setting for reasonable prices.

A Few Items of Campus News
PrintSense: If a student is using a computer on campus, they can print to a variety of college print-
ers. There is however, a limit. PrintSense imposes a 600-page limit on students' printing. If students
go above their limit, they are charged five cents per page. One semester after the christening of the
College's new printer-use monitoring program PrintSense, the Office of Information Technology (IT)
hails it as a tentative success, citing a million-page reduction in
printing from last fall.
Sports Facilities: Driving, running or walking around the Metzger
Drive loop, students, faculty and prospective students alike are im-
pressed by the recent construction projects here at the College.
Athletes, coaches and fans anticipate the completion of two new
sports complexes, the softball field and a multipurpose field. The
two new facilities will be used by the varsity women's softball
team, the varsity men's and women's soccer teams and the varsity
field hockey team. The softball field is anticipated to be completed
by mid-March for use by the team during their upcoming season,
while the soccer field is scheduled to be finished slightly later in
April. The complexes will contain press boxes, stadium seating, a concession stand and a ticket booth.
ISSUE 3                                                                                              Page 2

 Campus News (cont’d)
                                   Metzger Drive Apartments: Just down the walkway from the re-
                                   cently completed Metzger Drive Parking Garage and across from Lot
                                   4, stands the apartments. Work on the apartments was stopped Feb.
                                   12, when the College terminated the original contractor, AST/
                                   Cambridge Construction Management. The College had discovered
                                   extensive water damage in the interiors of the apartments. Though
                                   the legal issue surrounding the apartments has halted that project
                                   and left the three abandoned buildings standing eerily uncompleted
                                   along the loop, it has not impacted the construction of other facili-
 New Library Café: The New Library opened its doors to an appreciative student body has enjoyed a
 significant increase in student usage. Although most of the building is complete, the construction of
 the café was affected by the State Department of Community Affairs' approval delays. Construction is
 anticipated to begin soon, and the café is expected to be completed later this spring, along with the
 final landscaping around the building.

 School of Science News
 New Dean Appointed
 Dr. Jeffrey M. Osborn, professor of biology at Truman State University, has
 been appointed dean of the School of Science. Osborn graduated with honors
 from Texas State University with a bachelor's degree in biology and later re-
 ceived his master's degree in botany. He received his doctorate in plant biology
 from Ohio State University. He recently served two consecutive terms as pro-
 gram director and a member of the executive board of the Botanical Society of
 America. Osborn has participated in numerous research efforts, many of which
 included his students. Some of these were done in the broad field of plant evo-
 lutionary biology while others were for curriculum transformation. He also is the
 author of numerous research articles and book reviews. He received the highest
 award at Truman State for faculty members who have contributed to student
 success and the university's missions. He will join TCNJ in the Fall of 2006.
                                                                                     Dr. Jeffrey M. Osborn

 A “Forensic Investigation” from the Mathematics Department
 It was, or purported to be, a diary kept during the “secession winter” of 1860-61. It appeared to offer
 verbatim accounts of behind-the-scenes discussions at the very highest levels during the greatest cri-
 sis the US had ever faced. The diarist had access to a wide spectrum of key officials, from the South
 as well as the North, gave a number of striking anecdotes about Abraham Lincoln, and provided an
 important account of events in Washington during the critical days just before the Civil War. Who was
 the true author? Dr. David Holmes of the Mathematics and Statistics Department showed who
 the true diarist was by using multivariate statistical analysis. The end result? The diarist was not Sam-
 uel Ward as has been suggested. It was, instead, William Hurlbert.
ISSUE 3                                                                                              Page 3

 School of Science News (cont’d)
 Student Selected as Intern at New FBI Laboratory
 Lauren Leonardis, a computer science and psychology double-major at the College was selected as
 the first student intern in the nation to work at an FBI Regional Computer Forensic Laboratory
 (RCFL). Lauren, a third year student from Union, was recently informed that she successfully com-
 pleted the application process, including earning a governmental top secret clearance, which is re-
 quired for working with the RCFL. She will be interning at the New Jersey RCFL in Hamilton, one of
 the 12 labs nationwide. The full-service forensics laboratory and training center is devoted entirely to
 the examination of digital evidence in support of criminal investigations such as terrorism, child por-
 nography, theft or destruction of intellectual property, Internet crimes and fraud. Lab examiners are
 extensively trained in using a variety of scientific instruments to recover digital evidence from crime
 scenes, including computer hard drives, software programs and operating systems, PDAs, cell
 phones and video cameras.

 Chemistry Department News

 On Wednesday December 7th, Chemistry students who participated in Independent Study during the
 Fall semester had the opportunity to showcase their research at a poster session in the Science Com-
 plex. The following is a list of student researchers, topics and faculty research advisors:

                                    Analysis of Organic Pigments in Automotive Coatings Using Laser
                                    Desorption Mass Spectrometry
                                    Student Researcher: Sylwia Stachura
                                    Advisor: Dr. John Allison

 Presumptive Test for Cocaine Using Cobalt Thiocyanate
 Student Researchers: Stephanie Senkewicz and Shawn Silverstein
 Advisor: Dr. John Allison
ISSUE 3                                                                                             Page 4

Chemistry Department News (cont’d)

                                    Fiber Analysis of Paper in Questioned Documents
                                    Student Researcher: Colin Wynne
                                    Advisor: Dr. John Allison

 Sythesizing Tropone Derived Ligands for Metal Complexes
 Student Researcher: Jenny Baker
 Advisor: Dr. Georgia Arvanitis

                                    New Synthetic Pathway for the Synthesis of 4-ethynyl-2,2,6,6-
                                    Student Researcher: Catherine Campos
                                    Advisor: Dr. Don Hirsh

 Studies of Copper (II) Tropolone and its Derivatives Using CD
 Spectrometry and UV Thermal Denaturation
 Student Researcher: Chris Mecoli
 Advisor: Dr. Georgia Arvanitis
ISSUE 3                                                                                           Page 5

                                    A Novel Synthesis of 2-Aminotetralins
                                    Student Researcher: Adam Clarke
                                    Advisor: Dr. David Hunt

 Tandem Cyclization of Amino Acid Amides
 Student Researchers: Emily Cherney and Christina Papanagopoulus
 Advisor: Dr. David Hunt

                                    UV Study of Reactions of Copper Hinokitiol and L-Cysteine Deriva-
                                    Student Researcher: Joanna DelVecchio
                                    Advisor: Dr. Georgia Arvanitis

 Comparison of Sodium Borohydride and Sodium Cyanoborohydride
   in the Reduction of an Imine
 Student Researcher: Brad Hutnick
 Advisor: Dr. Lynn Bradley
ISSUE 3                                                                                            Page 6

 Faculty Member Highlight– Dr. Soto
                             Dr. Ana Maria Soto received her B.Sc. in Chemistry from Cayetano He-
                             redia University in Lima, Peru followed by a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical
                             Sciences from University of Nebraska Medical Center under the direc-
                             tion of Dr. Luis Marky.
                             Her dissertation work focused on thermodynamics of nucleic acids triple
                             helices, Okazaki fragments and duplexes containing alkyl amino side
                             chains. Prior to joining TCNJ, Dr. Soto worked as a postdoctoral fellow
                             under the direction of Dr. David Draper at Johns Hopkins University.
                             Her work there focused on the energetic contributions of Mg2+ binding
                             to the folded and unfolded states of an RNA pseudoknot.
                             Dr. Soto is currently interested on studying the effect of antibiotics on
                             the interactions of viral RNA and proteins. Dr. Soto currently teaches
                             Biochemistry, Essentials of Biochemistry and General Chemistry.
                             Outside of work, Dr. Soto enjoys jogging and reading.

 Senior Chemistry Student Highlights– Brad Hutnick

                                 Part of the reason I chose to come to TCNJ is that I liked how the
                                 department seemed small and personal. I thought it would afford
                                 me a better opportunity to learn and gain experience in chemistry,
                                 and it definitely has. By taking classes, working in the stockroom,
                                 and doing research for three semesters, I have spent a lot of time
                                 in the department and have gotten to know a lot of people, stu-
                                 dents, faculty, and staff - who have helped me along the way. I’ve
                                 been doing research with Dr. Bradley since spring 2005, and this
                                 experience has helped me tremendously. It has helped me decide
                                 that I want to continue studying chemistry in graduate school, and
                                 has also been a welcome addition to my résumé that has helped
                                 me get a summer internship at The University of Connecticut. I
                                 have been accepted to The Universities of North Carolina, Pitts-
                                 burgh, Virginia, and Michigan, as well as Johns Hopkins University
                                 and Penn State. I'm in the process now of going on prospective
          Brad Hutnick          student visitation weekends to help me decide which school I want
                                to attend. I won't know where I want to go until after I visit them
 all to get a feel for the chemistry departments and people. I feel that my experiences here, both
 in and out of the classroom, have more than adequately prepared me for a career in chemistry.
 It is an incredible place to grow and learn, and I am very grateful for all they have done for me.
ISSUE 3                                                                                                            Page 7

 Let Us Know What You’re Up To...
 Since we let you know what’s going on around cam-
 pus, within the department, and with our students
 and faculty, we figured it’s time for our alumni to
 shine. Let us know where you’re at and what
 you’ve been up to since graduation. We will choose
 one alumnus to profile in each subsequent newslet-
 ter. It might end up being you, or maybe the guy
 you sat next to in Organic Lab.

 Send your blurb (please keep it 250 words or less) to with the subject line “Alumni
 Profile.” Pictures are always welcome.

          If you know of anyone who would like to receive future copies of this electronic newsletter, they can
            e-mail us at or add their name to our mailing list at

Alumni Make it Happen
Alumni contributions help the department in      3) If there is a special program or project
many different ways. Your donation will help        within the department , make note of
fund activities and purchases of the Depart-        that in the memo section as well. For
ment. If you are interested in contributing to      example: “Concentration of Forensic
the department, all you have to do is follow        Chemistry” or “Chemistry Major:
three simple steps:                                 Teacher Preparation.”                       Please direct questions
                                                                                               concerning donations to
1) Make your check out to “The College of
                                                                                                     the Office of
   New Jersey Foundation”
                                                  The Department of Alumni Affairs will        Development & Alumni
2) In the memo section, make a note: “To           then process your gift and send gift                Affairs.
   benefit the School of Science, Chemistry        acknowledgments for tax purposes.            Phone (609) 771-2393.

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