Four Students Researching the Abilities of Metallic Substances – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Four Students Researching the Abilities of Metallic Substances

Chemistry majors are studying various metallic materials to see how well they absorb electricity and various forms of light.

June 13, 2002 GENEVA, N.Y.—This summer, four chemistry majors are trying to gain a better understanding of one of the major problems associated with the field of inorganic and organometallic polymers—the lack of synthetic methods available for the preparation of soluble, one-dimensional materials.

Studying in the lab of Professor Christine R. de Denus, the students are examining various materials with metal components to see how well they absorb light and transfer electricity. de Denus’ preliminary research determined a suitable method for the preparation of such materials and that research is being further exploited. The students are synthesizing and characterizing a variety of homo- and hetero-metallic complexes containing a number of metal moieties. Then, the synthesized materials are being studied to determine conducting abilities and photoluminescent properties.

“There is a great interest in materials that contain metal centers capable of conducting electric currents or that react uniquely with light,” de Denus said. “It is anticipated that the types of complexes the students will be preparing may be potential candidates for such processes.”

The research is funded with grants from three different sources: the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR), Merck /AAAS and the Perkin Fund, and Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Each grant awards the student a $3,500 stipend to work with the faculty mentor over the summer.

At the end of the summer, the students will present the results of their work at the National American Chemical Society meeting in Boston.

The four students are Philip J. Baker, a Hobart rising senior of Hilton, N.Y., Angela S. Dann, a William Smith rising sophomore of Marathon, N.Y., Chassidy M. Pierce, a William Smith rising senior of Groton, N.Y., and Malcolm “Flint” Richardson, a Hobart rising sophomore of Blandford, Mass.

Baker, the son of Robert Baker of Rochester, and Darlene Giardina of Hilton, plays offense for the Hobart Statesmen football team, is vice president of Kappa Sigma, is a member of the chemistry club, and is a student affiliate of the American Chemical Society. Throughout the year, he has volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club of Geneva, the Geneva Community Lunch Program, and the Geneva Boxing Club. He is also a Statesmen scholar athlete.

Dann is the daughter of James and Shari Dann, of Marathon. She is a midfielder for the William Smith Heron’s field hockey team, a volunteer for the Geneva Community Lunch Program, a member of the chemistry club, and is a student affiliate of the American Chemical Society. She has also made the Dean's List for her academic achievements.

Pierce, the daughter of Douglas and Lila Pierce of Groton, N.Y., is a reading tutor for elementary students through the national America Reads program and also tutors fellow students on campus. She is the vice president of the chemistry club, serves on the day of service planning committee, and is a student affiliate of the American Chemical Society. Her academic achievements have also landed her on the Dean's List.

Richardson, the son of Malcolm Richardson and Dr. Hazel Holman of Blandford, is the New England mountain bike champion (2001), vice president of the health professions club, an athletic trainer for Hobart, a member of the chemistry club, and is a student affiliate of the American Chemical Society. He has also made the Dean's List for his academic achievements.

Professor de Denus joined Hobart and William Smith in 1999. Since her arrival, she has mentored 12 undergraduate research students (with results published in the “Journal of Inorganic and Organometallic Polymers”) and given 13 presentations at national conferences. She is an active member of the American Chemical Society, the Canadian Society for Chemistry, the Council on Undergraduate Research, and Sigma Xi. In addition to teaching and research, she is a reviewer for the American Chemical Society, “The Journal of Inorganic and Organometallic Polymers” and the “International Journal of Science and Technology.”
# # #