Undergraduate Research in Chemistry

Research in the Department of Chemistry typically entails undergraduate chemistry majors working alongside faculty in their respective laboratories for at least one calendar year, including extensive summer research funded through available grants. Students choose a project within the various sub-disciplines of chemistry (biochemistry, analytical, physical/computational, inorganic, organic) that aligns with their interests and talents, and students are welcome to participate in more than one project during their studies. Students present the results of their work at national meetings for the American Chemical Society, and their travel is funded via university sources.

Dr. Kegerreis is a chemical physicist who's work focuses on the the development of theory and computational techniques for the study of the quantum dynamics of chemical systems.  In particular, Dr. Kegerreis and his students calculate correlation functions with an emphasis on including as much quantum mechanical information as possible into the calculations while keeping the computational cost in check.  Correlation functions are important tools for chemists as they can be used to calculate important properties such as rate constants, even for systems where experiments become difficult or impossible.

Recent Publications

  • “Improved Monte Carlo sampling in forward-backward semiclassical dynamics”, J. Kegerreis and N. Makri, J. Comput. Chem. 28: 818-824 (2007)
  • “Complex-time velocity autocorrelation functions for Lennard-Jones fluids with quantum pair-product propagators”, J. Kegerreis, A. Nakayama and N. Makri, J. Chem. Phys. 128,  184509 (2008)
  • “Direct Monte Carlo evaluation of real-time quantum correlation functions using single-step propagators”, J. Kegerreis and N. Makri, Chemical Physics Letters, 467, 430-434 (2009)

Dr. Lacy currently has projects involving:

  • Relativistic Quantum Mechanics (RQM)
  • Teaching RQM using the hydrogen atom
  • Visualization of RQM results through graphing software
  • Development of mathematical formulas for calculations in RQM

Dr. A. Predecki's research centers around two projects. One involves the identification of organic molecules that are capable of inducing DNA damage when exposed to ultraviolet light. The second project is to develop a methodology for the synthesis of organic compounds that contain four membered rings.

Dr. Dan Predecki is actively involved in undergraduate research. Current projects include the quantification of pesticides on fruit using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and a collaborative project with Dr. Zaleski in the synthesis of ligands (carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen frameworks) for molecular magnets. During the year of their research project, undergraduate research students working with Dr. Predecki have all presented a poster at a National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.

Dr. Shane's scholarly and research interests are in chemical education as well as science teacher education. These broad interests reflect his background as a former high school teacher and his current responsibilities both as a member of the chemistry department and coordinator of Shippensburg's secondary science education program. More specifically, his interests lie in improving chemistry instruction, qualitative research methods, and the impacts of educational policies on teachers' classroom practice.

Selected Publications

  • Shane, J.W., Bennett, S.D, & Hirschl-Mike, R. (2010). Using chemistry as a medium for energy education: Suggestions for content and pedagogy. Journal of Chemical Education, 87, 1166-1170.
  • Allen, E., Shane, J., Brownstein, E.M., Ezrailson, C., Hagevik, R., & Veal, W. (2009). Using Performance-based assessments to prepare safe science teachers. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 20, 495-500.
  • Brownstein, E.M., Allen, E., Hagevik, R., Shane, J. & Veal, W. (2009). Alignment of the 2003 NSTA Standards for Science Teacher Preparation with the NCATE Assessment System. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 20, 403-413.
  • Brownstein, E.M., Allen, E., Hagevik, R., Shane, J. & Veal, W. (2009). Understanding and using the 2003 NSTA Science Teacher Preparation Standards for NCATE accreditation or state approval. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 20, 307-311.
  • Shane, J. (2009). Using NSTA's Standards for Science Teacher Preparation as a comprehensive framework for understanding and teaching science. Journal ofThe Pennsylvania Academy of Science, 82, 102-106.
  • Shane, J. (2008). Coupling scientific journalism and poster sessions as teaching, learning, and assessment tools in the nonmajors chemistry classroom. Journal of College Science Teaching, July/August, 26-31.
  • Shane, J. & Cullin, M. (2007). Safety resources for science teachers. PSTA Exchange, 30, 3-5.
  • Shane, J.W. & Bollinger, G.K. (2007). History, development and future directions for Pennsylvania's Academic Standards for Science and Technology: A primer for Pennsylvania educators. PSTA Exchange, 30, 3-4.
  • Shane, J.W. (2007). High school teachers' beliefs about the intended and actual impacts of standards-based reforms. Proceedings of The Association for Science Teacher Education.. Available from http://aste.chem.pitt.edu/proceedings/2007.

Selected Presentations

  • Shane, J.W., Toolin, R., & Peterson, J. (2009). Goals and strategies for political advocacy in science teacher education. A workshop conducted at The Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE) 2009 International Conference, Hartford, CT.
  • Shuren, K., Jarrett, J., & Shane, J.W. (2008). Using the nature of science (NOS) to complement traditional content in secondary classrooms. Pennsylvania Science Teachers Association (PSTA) 2008 Convention, Hershey, PA.
  • Catherman, B., Helcoski, R., & Shane, J.W. (2008). Using science and technology in society (STS) to complement traditional content in secondary classrooms. Pennsylvania Science Teachers Association (PSTA) 2008 Convention, Hershey, PA.
  • Deliz, J., Dell, M., & Shane, J.W. (2008). Using community based science to complement traditional content in secondary classrooms. Pennsylvania Science Teachers Association 2008 (PSTA) Convention, Hershey, PA.
  • Flagler, R., Selgas, T., & Shane, J.W. (2008). Using broad and unifying themes in science to complement traditional content in secondary classrooms. Pennsylvania Science Teachers Association (PSTA) 2008 Convention, Hershey, PA.
  • Shane, J.W. (November 12, 2008). Intelligent design and science education: Lessons from Dover. Moderated panel discussion in the Ceddia Union Building Multipurpose Room, Shippensburg, PA.
  • Shane, J.W. (2008). Chemistry as a medium for energy education: Suggestions for content and pedagogy. 20th Bienniel Conference on Chemical Education, Bloomington, IN.
  • Shane, J.W. (2008). Implementing accreditation standards for preparing science teachers: Experiences of a chemical/science teacher educator. 20th Bienniel Conference on Chemical Education, Bloomington, IN.

Dr. Zaleski's research focuses on the synthesis of coordination compounds. These inorganic molecules typically contain multiple metal centers, and the metal complexes have potential applications as single-molecule magnets, liquid crystals, MRI contrast agents, and ionic liquids. Find out more on Dr. Zaleski's website: http://webspace.ship.edu/cmzaleski/.

Recent Publications (* Indicates Shippensburg University Undergraduate Student Researcher Co-author)

  • Herring, J.*; Zeller, M.; Zaleski, C. M. “Bis(tetraethylammonium) bis(dimethylformamide) tetrakis(m-N,2-dioxidobenzene-1-carboximidato) pentacopper(II)” Acta Crystallogr.2011, E67, m419-m420.
  • Emerich, B.*; Smith, M.*; Zeller, M.; Zaleski, C. M.  “Synthesis and crystal structure of MnII(OAc)2[15MCMnIII(N)shi-5](Im)3(EtOH)3  (shi3- = salicylhydroximate, -OAc = acetate, Im = imidazole, and EtOH = ethanol)”  J. Chem. Crystallogr.  2010, 40, 769-777.

Recent Presentations

  • 2011: National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Anaheim, CA, March. Poster Presentation: “Synthesis of Liquid Crystals Using a Copper 12-Metallacrown-4 and a Copper 15-Metallacrown-5”. Undergraduate student co-presenter: Jacob Herring
  • 2011: National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Anaheim, CA, March. Poster Presentation: “Utilizing Manganese 15-Metallacrown-5 to Synthesize Liquid Crystals”. Undergraduate student co-presenter: Benjamin Tigyer
  • 2010: National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, San Francisco, CA, March. Poster Presentation: “Reactions of Tranferrin with Cysteinylglycine”. Undergraduate student co-presenter: Collin Bender