Dr. Nathan McElroy of the Department of Chemistry presented a research poster and two oral presentations on teaching at the American Chemical Society national meeting in San Francisco on March 22, 24, and 25, 2010.
During both the Sci-Mix and Environmental Division poster sessions, Dr. McElroy presented results from an ongoing undergraduate research project on water quality issues. “Effects of Acid/Abandoned Mine Drainage on Semipermeable Membrane Devices (SPMDs)” described the effect of low-pH water on the ability of SPMDs to effectively gather nonpolar organic contaminants from aqueous environments. These controlled lab experiments give valuable information that can be used as corrective factors on future field studies in local waterways.
Student contributors included Ms. Carol Lewis, Ms. Amy Devlin, and Ms. Fowosopefoluwa Opayemi, all of whom worked with Dr. McElroy on the project. This project was funded by a University Senate Research Committee Grant and the Academic Excellence and Innovation Award.
The Chemical Education Division held a special symposium on “Food Chemistry Courses in the Liberal Arts Curriculum,” in which Dr. McElroy presented two talks on course development and teaching.
“Food Chemistry: A New Special Topic Lecture Course for Chemistry and Nutrition Majors” described Dr. McElroy's development of CHEM-281 Food Chemistry that was offered for the first time in Fall 2009.
“Brewpub and Brewery Operations: A Collaborative Course Approach” described Dr. McElroy's involvement in and co-teaching of HRIM-404 Brewpub and Brewery Operations. This was coauthored by Dr. Thomas Van Dyke (Hospitality Management) and Dr. William Dietrich, retired (Biochemistry).
Partial travel funds were provided by the University Senate Research Committee and the Department of Chemistry.
The American Chemical Society holds two national meetings each year over a five-day period in early spring and late summer. Over 14,000 chemists from academia, government, and industry attend the meeting to share research in over thirty technical divisions, comprising more than 7,000 oral and poster presentations.
Dr. McElroy’s graduate research focuses on quantitative structure-activity relationships to build predictive computational models that link the structural characteristics of small organic molecules to biological activities and physical properties. His undergraduate research focuses on water quality issues in our local waterways, including monitoring projects using semipermeable membrane devices to trap nonpolar organic contaminants in streams. He is also interested in water quality and its effect on beer brewing.
Dr. McElroy received his B.S. in Chemistry from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and his PhD from Penn State University. He held a Department of Energy fellowship at Battelle Marine Sciences Lab, worked as an analytical chemist at BASF Agricultural Products Center, and held a postdoctoral position as a computational chemist at AstraZeneca Centre de Recherches before joining the Chemistry Department in 2005.