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Natural Science and Mathematics Blog


Mount Math Madness is a student friendly competition meant to inspire students to challenge themselves with finding solutions to complex math problems....Read More...

Laura The Psychology Department was pleased to have Laura Fenaroli, '08, be the final "First Friday Alum" for the academic year! Laura told the students and faculty about her path to her current position (Senior Business Development Analyst, Distributed Energy Division, with Constellation Energy), and how she uses her psychology degree every day. Laura was part of the team that built the solar farm on the east campus, and has been steadily advancing at Exelon (Constellation's parent company). Thank you Laura!...Read More...


This summer Sarah Bonson, C17 will be working with NIST (National Institute for Standards and Technology) in Boulder, CO. Bonson will be working under the mentorship of Nate Ofloff and on a project titled “Electromagnetic Response of Nanoparticles in Microfluidic Channels.”...Read More...

The new student chapter of Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) created by Dr. Jonelle Hook, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, is off to a great start.  Members participated in an AWM webinar on November 19th which connected them to the AWM headquarters and other AWM student chapters around the United States. The next meeting is being held on Tuesday December 8th at 4pm in SCI 117....Read More...

Student adv.









Back row from left to right: Dr. Jeffrey Simmons (Dean), Jenny Carey, Erin Pratico, Matthew Koury (President), Maria Conner (Vice President). Front row from left to right: Austin Walters, Brooke Adolfo, Camille Werzowa, and Elaine Esteron

Last Spring Matt Koury (’17), a sophomore Biochemistry major approached Dean Jeffrey Simmons with an idea for a student advisory board for the School of NSM. Matt was looking for a way to improve the communication between students and administration. “I was intrigued with Matt’s proposal and impressed by his determination,” commented Dean Simmons. “We discussed the idea a few times and agreed that there were significant benefits to having a student advisory board.”   Matt enlisted some fellow students and together they wrote up some by-laws, obtained the necessary permissions and held their first election in September. 
This first year, the eight-member Board will be focused on providing information to the Mount Ambassadors (students who lead Admissions tours), better publicity for internship opportunities, outreach activities to local schools, and whole-School social events. The student advisory board had a chance to meet and mingle with their alumni counterparts from the SNSM Advisory Board on October 8th.

John AndjabaJohn Andjaba C’16 has earned a rare honor for an undergraduate – his research paper is going to appear in a premier chemistry journal, Chemical Communications. John, a senior Chemistry major, has been working on his research project since his freshman year under the mentorship of Dr. Christopher Bradley, Assistant Professor of Chemistry. Dr. Bradley is one of the co-authors of the paper entitled, “Cp*Co(IPr): synthesis and reactivity of an unsaturated Co(I) complex” along with Jesse W. Tye (Ball State University), Pony Yu (Princeton University), and Iraklis Pappas (Princeton University) . The Chemical Communications Journal is in the top 10-15% of chemistry journals worldwide in impact factor and in the past year has published research from top schools such as Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, and Oxford. Dr. Bradley explains, “Undergraduates rarely end up publishing articles in such journals as the first (primary) author. This particular journal probably has 1-2 articles a year with undergraduates as the primary author.” This publication sets John apart from other chemistry undergraduates and will open up doors in his future.


John’s research, funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation obtained by Dr. Bradley, is aimed at finding better catalysts for industrial chemical processes. Converting petroleum by-products to useful end products requires a chemical catalyst. One of the most effective catalysts, iridium, is also one of the most rare and expensive metals. John has been attempting to design and create a new catalyst using cobalt, a much more common and less expensive metal, in place of iridium. Not only did John successfully synthesize the molecule, he also was able to identify and describe a never-before-seen molecule, which was the focus of his publication.

Although John experienced many peaks and valleys during his research he explains, “The most exciting part of my research was watching Dr. Bradley’s reactions of joy when we got the final product.” Dr. Bradley and John having been working together for four years, Dr. Bradely explains "working with student’s like John on original research projects reinforces why I chose to work at an undergraduate institution. The ability to mentor someone with the drive and interest in science that John possesses makes it exciting to come to work each day." This publication could not have occurred at a better time as John prepares his applications for graduate school. In fact, a professor from Texas A&M, that watched him present his research at a conference in New York, reached out to John to invite him to apply to his lab. John plans to go into the Organic Chemistry field and is hoping to get accepted into a Ph.D. program. It’s safe to say that his publication will help give him the edge over other applicants for whatever path he chooses after the Mount. 

Dr. Patterson BrewingThe Science of Brewing, one of the newest courses in the Science Department, generated a LOT of interest among the students last spring. That is, until they saw the prerequisite – general chemistry. Although the name might cause one to wonder about the academic nature of the course, the students who took the course found out that it is indeed a serious science course. The course was conceived by assistant professor Dr. Garth Patterson to study the wide range of biological and physical processes that take place during the brewing process. Just like any other course offered at the Mount, Dr. Patterson aimed to make the course content connect to other courses being taught in other classrooms. “It was my intent to provide context to the same type of material that is taught in other classes, allowing students to have a better understanding of why we might ask them to be more fully engaged with a topic.” The laboratory portion of the course involves experiments devoted to water analysis using atomic absorption, gas analysis of hops’ aromas, ultraviolet-visible spectrometry analysis of alpha and beta acids in hops, and liquid density analysis to confirm alcohol content. The experiments developed for this class have exposed students to scientific instrumentation that they might not otherwise have access to as part of their required coursework.

6 pack As well as being a professor at the Mount, Dr.  Garth Patterson is also Chief Executive Officer  of Cherry Lane Group, LLC, an analytical  chemistry company. He holds 15 U.S. patents  and has several international patents which  mostly focus on the development of novel  designs for mass spectrometers and related  components. Mass spectrometers are widely  used for many applications from detecting  traces of explosives at airport check points to  analyzing food and beverage products. Dr.  Patterson is thrilled with the success and popularity of his new course and is currently serving as the faculty advisor of the new Brewing Club. He hopes to build on the interest of this course by adding related courses that would be accessible to a larger group of students. Dr. Patterson explains, “Students in the brewing club are coming from all academic disciplines at the Mount, discussing the context of the beer we brew and their own areas of interest. The students are making connections on their own, without intervention or contrived exercises.”  


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