Department News

Senior Chemistry Major Presents Poster at ACS National Meeting

Above: Senior chemistry major Maria DiFeo and her poster at the ACS meeting

Above: Senior chemistry major Maria DiFeo and her poster at the ACS meeting

Chemistry major Maria DiFeo, alongside Dr. Mark Forman, Professor of Chemistry, presented a poster summarizing her research on the synthesis of non-natural products at the American Chemical Society (ACS) National Meeting in Anaheim, April 28, 2011.

Maria began her research with Dr. Forman during the summer of 2009 as a Saint Joseph’s University Summer Scholar, a program that pairs students with a faculty advisor who supervises their work. Maria was a Summer Scholar again in 2010, and then continued her research during the 2010-2011 academic year.

The ACS meeting allowed Maria to not only present the results of her research, but also to spend time with some of the 14,000-plus students, professors, scientists and corporate representatives attending, providing invaluable networking opportunities.

Student Awards

In addition to the above, Maria DiFeo was recently named this year’s recipient of the American Institute of Chemists Award for Scholastic Achievement at Saint Joseph’s University.

Maria was selected for this award in recognition of her academic ability, leadership, and professional promise. A resident of Perkasie, PA, Maria has been engaged in a research project in organic chemistry with Dr. Mark Forman.

In the fall, Maria will begin the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Thomas Jefferson University.

Congratulations Maria.

Above: Senior Sean Vilanova, bottom row, second from right, alongside Scholastic Achievement Award winners from other Universities

Sean Vilanova is this year’s recipient of the American Chemical Society Scholastic Achievement Award at Saint Joseph’s University.

A resident of Jackson, NJ, Sean was chosen for the award based on his high academic achievement and research accomplishments. Named to the Dean’s List every semester since freshman year, Sean also has been actively involved in research with Dr. Jean Smolen. As a 2009 and 2010 Summer Scholar, Sean investigated the effect of goethite particle size on the reduction of important environmental pollutants.

In the fall, Sean will begin graduate studies in chemistry at the University of Notre Dame.

Congratulations Sean.

Dr. Berberian Granted a 2011 Provost’s Award

Dr. John Berberian has been awarded a 2011 Provost’s Award for Funded Research. Over the past 25 years, Dr. Berberian has become an acknowledged expert in the field of dielectric permittivity measurements on supercooled liquids. Some of his recent accomplishments include being elected as the first chairperson of the Board of Directors of the International Dielectric Society (and holding this position since 2004) and being awarded the Eric O. Forster Award for Distinguished Dielectric and Electrical Insulation Society (DEIS) Service at the 2009 CEIDP/DEIS meeting. During his tenure at Saint Joseph’s University, Dr. Berberian has been the recipient of several NSF research grants as well as grants from the Research Corporation and American Chemical Society – Petroleum Research Fund. Congratulations John!

Dr. Rao Awarded 2011 Curriculum Development Grant

Dr. Usha Rao has been awarded a 2011 Curriculum Development Grant by the Provost to develop a new course entitled “Pollution and the Public Health”. This course is intended to fulfill the First-year Seminar requirement in the new GEP curriculum at Saint Joseph’s. Dr. Rao’s course will introduce students to the fundamental factors governing air, water, and soil pollution. Students in this class will also discuss how these factors impact public health in the US and in the developing world.

Dr. Rao has been teaching in the Department of Chemistry and in the Environmental Science Program at Saint Joseph’s University since 2000. During this time, Dr. Rao has developed numerous new courses in Chemistry and Environmental Science; she is a 2003-2004 winner of a Merit Teaching Award at Saint Joseph’s University. Congratulations Usha!