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Dr. Constantinos Pistos invited talk at Chromatography Forum of Delaware Valley

Dr. Pistos will give a talk at the Chromatography Forum of Delaware Valley's (CFDV) 2023 annual Symposium in Claymont, DE on April 20th. His speech is entitled “Green Analytical Toxicology: What is the future in Forensic Toxicology?”.

The Chromatography Forum is an active and engaging organization and fosters a spirit of fraternity among those engaged in chromatography. It promotes practical use and theoretical knowledge for educational benefit and professional development of its members. This will be the first in-person symposium of CFDV since 2019, and this year’s theme is “Saving the World through Chromatography”.  The symposium will have a student poster session that includes prizes. Regular student registration is $25, but student poster participants are free. This is a great way to meet chromatographers and analytical chemists throughout the region.

Winterthur Conservation Scientists Visit Chemistry Department

Last week we had some visitors from the Winterthur Museum Scientific Research and Analysis Laboratory (SRAL) in the Chemistry Department. Conservation Scientist Catherine Matsen, along with Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation (WUDPAC) graduate student Tammy Hong visited the research lab of Dr. Zachary Voras to investigate the composition of Chinese export miniature paintings. Further information can be found here.

Dr. Kimberly Mullane to speak at Philadelphia Inorganic Colloquium

Dr. Mullane will deliver an Invited talk at the Philadelphia Inorganic Colloquium to be held on 22 April at the College of New Jersey. Her talk is titled "Early (Zr, Hf) and Late (Cu) Transition Metals in Energy Applications." If you would like to attend, registration is now open. Free for all attendees.

The Philadelphia Inorganic Colloquium is a forum for chemists in the Delaware Valley. Each Colloquium features lectures from local researchers and a poster session for undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral scholars. Learn more.

Free Pizza & Seminar: Friday February 24th at 5 pm in SSL 151

Lukman Solola, Senior Scientist, Axalta, Glen Mills, PA

Free pizza at 5 pm

Seminar at 5:15 PM, Friday, February 24th, SSL 151

Axalta is a global coatings company focused on providing customers with innovative, colorful, and sustainable solutions. With more than 150 years of experience in the coatings industry, Axalta continues to find ways to serve more than 100,000 customers with the finest coatings, application systems and technology. During this talk, I’ll provide some insights into the businesses we serve as well as our product development cycle and sustainability goals.

Professor Kurt Kolasinski Named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Kurt Kolasinski, WCU professor of chemistry, has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the Science family of journals. This honor recognizes his lifetime work, specifically “his outstanding contributions to surface science and his efforts to educate others about this field.” Read more here.


Study on sensor that detects mercury published

Dr.  Jingqiu Hu along with WCU undergraduate researchers Matthew Graves, Erica S. Knorr , and John B. Griffith, along with Dr. Michael S. Elioff of Millersville University have published a study in Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy titled "A fluorescent turn-on sensor for mercury (II) ions in near neutral poly(metharylic acid) solution."



Chemistry Scholarships

More information on scholarships can be hound on the Chemistry Departments Scholarships page. Most chemistry scholarships require students to be at least sophomores. Complete the application at the link below to apply for scholarships housed within the Chemistry Department for the 2022-23 academic year. The answers you provide along with the information on file with West Chester University will be matched with available scholarship funds.

Link for application:

The deadline for submissions is September 26, 2022 at 11:59pm.

Tenure-Track Position in Physical Chemistry

Join a vibrant campus community whose excellence is reflected in its diversity and student success. West Chester University of Pennsylvania's ACS certified Department of Chemistry invites applications for a full-time, Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Physical Chemistry. The position will begin in August 2023. Applications are being accepted our NeoGov website. Review of applications will begin November 1, 2022 and continue until the position has been filled. Finalists must successfully complete an interview, teaching demonstration, and research presentation. Details can be found here .

Welcome to the WCU Department of Chemistry

Click here to watch a welcome to our department from our Chair, Professor Mahrukh Azam.

NSF Grant for a new Scanning Electron Microscope Awarded

The National Science Foundation has funded our proposal for the purchase of a field emission scanning electron microscope (FE-SEM). The $391,730 grant will be used to purchase an  Apreo 2 from ThermoFisher FEI  to replace our existing SEM. This instrument, which can image objects with 1 nm resolution and quantify elemental composition, is used in advanced undergraduate laboratory courses as well as research. It will be housed in the Center for Microanalysis and Imaging Research and Training (CMIRT), which is a facility supported by the College of the Sciences and Mathematics. Principle Investigator Dr. Kurt Kolasinski (Chemistry) was joined by Dr. LeeAnn Srogi (Earth & Space Sciences), Dr. Howell Bosbyshell (Earth & Space Sciences), Dr. Brandon Mitchell (Physics) and Dr. John Pisciotta (Biology) in the proposal. These researchers will use the new instrument to probe the structure of nanomaterials and semiconductors, to investigate the interactions of nanoparticles with the environment, and to study microtextures and chemical composition of mineral grains.

Student Award Winners 2022

Congratulations to all those who received special recognition!


    • ACS Student Award 2022

  • Conner Balickie (center) accepting the American Chemical Society (ACS) Scholastic Achievement Award in Chemistry from Dr. Ivona Sasamovich, Chair of Phila. Local ACS (left), and Dr. Grant Dobereiner, Chair of the Awards Committee (right)
  • American Institute of Chemists Award – Chemistry: Armin Mahdavi
  • American Institute of Chemistry Award – Biochemistry: Ashley Loignon
  • The Reid-Fenton Award for Forensic & Toxicological Chemistry: Blake Kerstetter
  • Chemistry Minor Award: Carley Cirafesi 
  • ACS Award in Analytical Chemistry: Ashley Loignon
  • ACS Award in Organic Chemistry: Kai Goldenstein Vonkiel
  • ACS Award in Physical Chemistry: Juliana Hetzel
  • PPD Pre-Pharmacy Outstanding Students Award: Hunter Trzeciak
  • PPD Outstanding Student Award: Brooke Kerstetter

Report of the Alternative Sampling Strategies Committee of the IATDMCT Published

Check page 3 of this issue of The IATDMCT Compass where you will find a report written by Dr. Constantinos Pistos titled "Applicability of Volumetric Absorptive Microsampling in pediatric population. What is the future? ". The International Association of Therapeutic Drug Monitoring & Clinical Toxicology (IATDMCT) fosters education, research and practice in therapeutic drug monitoring and clinical toxicology.

150 Most Influential Women of West Chester University

Melissa HeadhsotCongratulations to Dr. Melissa Cichowicz, who has been honored at one of WCU's 150 Most Influential Women for her numerous contributions to our Department, the University and the field of chemistry. Dr. Cichowicz came to WCU in 1986 and was awarded tenure and promotion to Associate Professor in 1992. She has served the University in a variety of roles including: Director of Sponsored Research, Associate Dean - College of Arts & Sciences, Pre-Medical Program Director, Chemistry Department Chair and Assistant Department Chair. She served as the founding faculty advisor to Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity, Alpha Epsilon chapter, and advisor to other groups such as Women in Science, Pre-Medical Student Association and the Equestrian Club. Dr. Cichowicz has served the chemical community for over 30 years as an elected member of the Board of Directors, Philadelphia Section of the American Chemical Society, including a 3-year term as Chairman of the Board. She has also served as a National Councilor with appointments to CEPA (Committee for Economic & Professional Affairs) and MAC (Membership Activities Committee), and is also a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemists. She has won both Meritorious and Distinguished Service awards from the Philadelphia Section ACS, as well as “National Advisor of the Year” from Phi Sigma Pi and WCU’s “Outstanding Faculty/Administrator of the Year” and in 2006 was selected for WCU’s “Legacy of Leadership” class. She has engaged in research with numerous students on projects related to organic synthesis of natural products, or development of novel synthetic methodology, and has over 30 papers and presentations on those results at regional and national conferences. 

Those associated with the department over the years will remember Dr. Helen Reid, who passed in March 2020 and was also recognized as one WCU's Most Influential Women. Dr. Reid conceived and developed the B.S. Forensic & Toxicological Chemistry program at WCU and was instrumental in that program achieving accreditation (as one of only 5 programs in PA) by FEPAC (the Forensic Education Program Accreditation Council). In order to learn what students needed to be taught, Dr. Reid worked for no salary at a variety of police, medical examiner and toxicology laboratories in the area during the summer for several years, and developed & gained CAPC approval for the Forensic Chemistry courses CHE & CRL 371; her contacts also enabled students to complete for-credit (CHE 451) professional internships at state and local police labs, medical examiners’ offices, and commercial toxicology laboratories as a required part of their degree program. The continued tremendous popularity of this major is due to her selfless dedication to serving our students for many years. 

Chemistry Outreach Event with the YMWIC

As you can see here, we had a blast when we hosted scholars from the Young Men & Women in Charge Foundation for three evenings of chemical demonstrations and fun. Thank you to the Alchemists and, in particular, Jackie DiPietro, Stephen Dilullo, Juliana Hetzel, Ruthy Hunjo, Ashley Loingnon, Eric Nash, Allison Pereira-Ogan, Michael Quagliariello, Amir Sumpter, and Parker Voit and well as Dr. Abbie Ganas for loads of preparation work and helping out with three evening events.

NSF S-STEM Scholarships Available

Interested in chemistry and a scholarship? Complete information is available here.

This opportunity comes with an academic scholarship of $9,000 per year for up to four years, paid summer research and internship opportunities, and other mentoring and support.

If you have already been accepted at WCU and are planning to major in Physics, Engineering, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, or Geosciences and qualify for a Pell Grant according to your FAFSA, you should submit an application for the S-STEM scholarship program. You will be taken to the S-STEM scholarship application after you sign in. Submit before April 15th to have priority consideration.

1871 Award & Publication on Surface Modification

Congratulations to chemistry major Jacklyn DiPietro for being named among 40 outstanding students to receive West Chester University’s 1871 Award. This award recognizes students who excel in the academic and co-curricular realms. Apropos of this award, Jackie is not only the President of the Alchemist Club and the Gamma Sigma Epsilon Chemistry Honor Society, she also is first author on a study titled "Characterization of Mechanochemical Modification of Porous Silicon with Arginine" that was just published in the journal Surfaces.


Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award

John TownsendCongratulations to Professor John Townsend, who was named the winner of the 2021 Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in Chemical Science. The award is presented by the Philadelphia Section of the American Chemical Society and is sponsored by Merck & Co.





Data/Graph Chart

Molecule Example

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