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Upcoming Alumni Events:

Chemistry Department Homecoming Gathering

We are pleased to host the second annual Chemistry Department Homecoming Gathering directly following the 2015 Homecoming Parade on Saturday, October 3. Drop by Weyandt 127 from 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. on your way down to the KCAC for the Crimson Huddle and football game. Enjoy coffee and pastries while you catch up with fellow alumni, faculty both current and retired, and take a stroll down memory lane with a department tour directed by our current students. The department is selling a homecoming t-shirt this year for $15 and offering free shipping to those alumni who are unable to visit us October 3. T-shirts can be ordered from the homecoming registration site.

Anyone traveling to Indiana on Friday is welcome to join members of the faculty and fellow alumni for happy hours at Culpeppers in downtown Indiana from 4:30–6:00 pm. The address is 653 Philadelphia Street, Indiana, PA 15701. 

Alumni Homecoming t-shirts, back and front

Support the Chemistry Department

The generous support of our donors provides our students and faculty with the resources to take part in a variety of activities that would otherwise be impossible. Scholarships, special lectures, and support for student and faculty research projects enhance the academic mission of the department and strongly impact the IUP student experience. This support is a vital component that can have lasting effects on our ability to successfully meet our mission goals. Financial and non-financial support are both actively sought. We welcome internship collaborations and donations of gently used instrumentation. Please take some time and consider making an investment in the department. Donations can be made through the Support the Chemistry Department website. To ensure your gift is directed to the correct need, please indicate the correct code for directing your funds. 

Building Student Internship Opportunities

Do you have internship openings, or are you looking to start an internship program at your company?

A strategic initiative of the department is to collaborate and network with alumni to increase the number and type of regional and national internships. Chemical industry and graduate programs value these types of experiences. We want to make sure that our students standout from the pack; highlighting their capabilities through applied experiences! Our goal is to have 15 dedicated internship positions in the summer of 2017 for our high-achieving students during the summer of their junior-senior year. If you are interested in learning more about building a relationship between your company and IUP, please contact Justin Fair at 724-357-4477 or

Student Scholarships Awarded

Once again the Chemistry Department was able to award a number of scholarships to deserving students. Scholarship winners for 2014–15 were:

  • Veronica Caro: The Janell Abbott Memorial Scholarship. Provided by Alcoa Corp. in memory of Janell Abbott
  • Britney Weisehier and Cassandra Hanley: Chemistry Alumni Research Fund, a stipend for summer research. Provided by the Chemistry Alumni Research Fund
  • Minh Quan Dinh: The Edward N. Brown Memorial Scholarship
  • Britney Weisehier: The William Heard Memorial Scholarship
  • Carlyn Brecht and Jacob Gregory: The Ron Marks Scholarship
  • Charles Culbertson: The Society for Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh Award
  • Estefania Alba-Rodriguez: The Colleges Patricia Hilliard-Robertson Memorial Scholarship as the colleges’ outstanding science student

New Instrumentation

The Chemistry Department continues to upgrade the instrumentation available to students. Ensuring the availability of modern instrumentation to our students is a priority for the department, and an important aspect of the research-based degree program at IUP. The department also benefits from interdisciplinary instrumentation acquired by the College of Natural Science and Mathematics and used by students from a number of departments.

  • Electrospray Quadripole MS — Donated by Thermofisher
  • Ion Chromatograph  
  • Inert Atmosphere Glove Box  
  • Eye Tracking Equipment  
  • Real Time PCR  
  • Confocal Fluorescent Microscope —  Awarded NSF MRI Grant  
  • 300 MHz Bruker Avance NMR

Research Experience for Summer Scholars

The Chemistry Department had 11 students participate in this year’s 10-week RESS program. Events in addition to research provided professional development opportunities providing students with resources and opportunities to practice communication and networking skills. 

Mr. Anderson DeBarros – Dr. Sudipta Majumdar
Tuning Up the Redox Potential of Streptomyces Coelicolor Laccase by Site Directed Mutagenesis 

Mr. Elon Denio and Mr. Austin MealsDr. Justin Fair
N-Bromosuccinimide Oxidation of Primary Alcohols to Symmetrical Esters 

Mr. Jared FeeDr. Wendy Elcesser
A Not So Simple Redox Reaction of CuCl2and Mg 

Ms. Samantha Goldstein – Dr. Justin Fair
Computational Analysis of Modeled Human and Procambarus clarkii 5HT1a Receptors 

Ms. Emily Groegler – Dr. Justin Fair
The Oxidation of Primary Alcohols and Aldehydes withN-Bromosuccinimide to Produce Asymmetric Esters 

Ms. Amber Harding – Dr. Charles Lake
Hydrothermal Synthesis of Zinc Holmium Phosphate 

Mr. Marcus Hewitt – Dr. George Long
Linking Student Actions to Concepts during Titration Experiments 

Ms. Allison Rabon – Dr. Charles Lake 
Investigating Band Gap Changes of K2(Zn1-x,Cox)GeO4and K2(Zn1-x,Cox)SiO4

Mr. Blake Woodyard – Dr. Justin Fair
Catalytic Oxidations Mediated by 4-Acetamido-2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine-1-oxoammonium Tetrafluoroborate

Ms. Kaitlyn Wyland – Dr. Avijita Jain
Investigation of Ligand Exchange and DNA Binding Properties of a New Sterically Strained Ru(II) Complex 

Plans for a New Science Building

Plans are moving forward for a new science building to replace Weyandt Hall. The feasibility study for the building was completed this year, and we are moving to the design phase of the project. The artist’s rendition below shows where the building footprint will be and provides a rough approximation of what the new building will look like in place. There are a number of opportunities to help with the development of the new science building. For instance, you can “buy a square foot” of the building for $500 using the Natural Sciences and Mathematics Building Fund (Fund Number 4773). 

New Science Bldg

Changing Faces

Dr. John Wood and Dr. Roberta Eddy (2011), Dr. Michael Briggs (2012), and Dr. Sharon Sowa (2013), and Dr. Lourdes Herold (2014) have all retired from the Chemistry Department. We wish them well in the future.

Dr. Avijita Jain, a bio-inorganic chemist coming from a postdoctoral Position at Pacific Northwest National Labs, joined the department in 2012. She received her PhD from Virginia Tech.

Dr. Colin Ashe, a chemical education specialist, who previously held a postdoctoral position at Carnegie Mellon University, joined the department in fall 2013. He received his PhD from MIT.

Dr. Sudipta Majumdar, a biochemist with interests in bioenergy and protein engineering, joined the Chemistry Department in fall 2014. Dr. Majumdar held a postdoctoral position at Columbia University. He received his PhDfrom Wesleyan University.

  • Chemistry Department
  • Weyandt Hall, Room 143
    975 Oakland Avenue
    Indiana, PA 15705-1076
  • Phone: 724-357-2361
  • Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.