Chemistry faculty accepted into competitive summer programs

Radford University Department of Chemistry Professors Tim Fuhrer and Kristina Roth-Stefaniak will travel across the United States this summer to attend different programs emphasizing research topics and teaching techniques unique to each professor.

Fuhrer, associate professor of chemistry, will travel to Colorado to participate in the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Summer Faculty Fellowship Program (SFFP). It is a program designed to bring professors from outside of the Air Force and Naval Academies on site to do research that complements work being done by the professors at the academies.

“Since one of the primary uses of fullerenes [pure carbon molecules] is in solar cells, there was an application that Tim had in common with one of the professors at the Air Force who looks for renewable alternative energy sources,” according to fellow chemistry professor and director of the Office of Undergraduate Research & Scholarship (OURS), Joe Wirgau. “Tim had a successful proposal for synthesizing a fullerene with the functional group their professor uses [fulvene].”

The proposal includes a stipend, travel, housing and materials for a total award of roughly $35,000.

Roth-Stefaniak, assistant professor of chemistry, was selected to participate in the Active Learning in Analytical Chemistry Workshop at Indiana University.

This workshop is part of a grant funded through the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Improving Undergraduate STEM Education program. As part of this workshop, she will share and develop active learning materials for the analytical classroom and lab at Radford University and partake in follow-up activities. The expenses for the July workshop and the subsequent 2019 workshop will be covered through the NSF grant. This will help to support the goals of the university’s REALISE (REALising Inclusive Science Excellence in Biology, Chemistry and Physics) initiative and will be directly implemented into fall classes.

In addition to these specific faculty research and development opportunities, Wirgau said, almost all members of the chemistry department will be attending the 25th Biennial Conference on Chemical Education, hosted by the University of Notre Dame at the end of July.

“It is exciting to see how proactive and committed the faculty are at developing their craft and to imagine the future benefits our students will receive from the ideas that will be implemented from these faculty development opportunities,” Wirgau said.

May 24, 2018
Mary Hardbarger
(540) 831-5150