Reynolds' Breakthrough Leads to Best Poster Award
Albion College chemistry students working in Professor Kevin Metz’s lab have learned that patience is important through Lyndsey Reynolds’ breakthrough, which led to her winning a best poster award at the Midwestern Undergraduate Symposium on Research in Chemistry at Michigan State University.
A biochemistry and biology major from Waterford, Reynolds worked in the lab on Wednesday and Friday in fall 2010. The break in the schedule allowed enough time for small particles of palladium to soak into a plastic membrane, a feat previous students failed to accomplish when waiting a day for the palladium to adhere to the plastic.
According to Wikipedia, “A large number of carbon-carbon bond-forming reactions in organic chemistry are formed by catalysis with palladium compounds.” In the pharmaceutical and agrichemical industries, where materials are catalyzed by palladium in large vessels, the palladium will adhere to the walls.
Successfully plating palladium on a plastic membrane allowed Reynolds to move on to an organic chemistry study with Metz and Professor Cliff Harris in which they sought to make cleaner reactions with palladium. Funded by the College’s Foundation for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity (FURSCA), Reynolds returned to campus in July and August of this year to begin testing a flow-through method of pushing reactants through the palladium-soaked membrane at faster and slower rates and at different temperatures.
Stoneburner, '11, Takes Different Chemistry Path to Land Job
Jacob Stoneburner, ’11, had his future planned when he arrived at Albion College as a first-year chemistry student in 2007. His plans didn’t include the graduate school or medical school paths taken by many chemistry majors, however.
A native of Wyandotte, Mich., Stoneburner wanted to complete his degree in four years while still being able to play saxophone in the British Eighth marching band and jazz band. He hoped that his Albion education would lead to a job close to home and allow him to teach saxophone to students at Wyandotte-Roosevelt High School.
The Albion Advantage, which came to life in the work he did in the lab as a summer participant in the College’s Foundation for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Experience (FURSCA) in 2010, and the breadth of classes he took from chemistry to philosophy, paved the way to a job in his hometown as a research technician for BASF that allows him to continue his musical hobby.