Chemistry Senior Randy Koziel Wins Best Presentation Award

Posted on 11/3/2019 9:33:58 AM

Randy Award

Randall Koziel, a senior chemistry major, presented a 15-minute talk at the sixth annual 2019 PASSHE STEM Conference on one of the undergraduate research projects that he has worked on over the last year and a half.  The talk, on a new method using N-bromosuccinimide to oxidize alcohols and aldehydes to esters, won the Best Presentation award at the Pennsylvania State System-wide conference. 

Photo: Koziel presenting at sixth annual 2019 PASSHE STEM Conference

Justin Fair, his research adviser, praised Randy's hard work: “Randy is one of the most motivated and hard-working students I have had in my research lab. It is exciting to see his hard work pay off and to see his future starting to take shape.”

Next fall, Koziel hopes to enter the PhD program in chemistry at West Virginia University, where he spent the summer of 2019 as a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates scholar working under the direction of Brian Popp.

Koziel’s most resent research project focuses on synthesizing potential drug candidates to treat methamphetamine dependence, a drug addition without a current medical treatment. In addition to performing his own research, he is also making time to train the next generation of undergraduates in his research lab.

Madia Department of Chemistry

Advances in NBS Oxidation: Synthesis of Symmetric and Benzyl Esters

Abstract: N-halo reagents such as N-bromoacetamide, N-bromosuccinimide (NBS), and N-chlorosuccinimide are known to oxidize primary, secondary, and benzyl alcohol to aldehydes, ketones, and carboxylic acids. Using aqueous media to fine-tune the reactivity of NBS provides symmetric esters from primary alcohols without the need for further purification. While the conditions are more selective to aliphatic substrates, the resulting stability of benzaldehyde provides a unique synthetic route to benzyl aliphatic esters.