New Year Message from the Chair

At the beginning of the new year one can do nothing but cherish the great achievements our department has accomplished in 2007.

Dr. Moni Chauhan followed her 2006 tenure granting with a promotion to the rank of Associate Professor in the Spring 2007. We all congratulate her success and recognition.

In the Fall of 2007 Dr. Mihaela Bojin joined our department as a tenure track Assistant Professor raising the total number of full time faculty to nine. Six years ago our department had only five full time faculty. We all wish her the best as she starts her academic career with us.

The increase in enrollment has continued its upward trend. The number of students taking chemistry has more than doubled during the academic year since 2001, while the summer session numbers have increased eight-fold in the same period (646 vs. 84). For the first time ever our department offers two courses during the January intersession (CH-127 and 128).

Dr. Jun Shin had his first peer-reviewed publication carrying the names of two Queensborough students (Yoomi Kim and Sabrina Song).[click] This raises the total number of such publications to eight since 2002.[click]

On December 11 Dr. Sasan Karimi was awarded the QCC Award for Excellence in Faculty Scholarship in a college wide ceremony.[click] His recognition followed that of Dr. Paris Svoronos in 2005.

2007 was a superb year for the Department’s quest for grants. First Dr. David Sarno in conjunction with Dr. Moni Chauhan and Biology Department’s Dr. Roland Scal were awarded more than $70,000 for an electron microscope. Dr. Sharon Lall-Ramnarine was awarded a CUNY collaborative grant. Drs. Sarno and Shin were also awarded PSC-CUNY grants. An $840,000 ATE grant was awarded to Dr. Svoronos (Co-PI) in conjunction with York College, Bronx Community College and Kingsborough Community College. But the largest grant ever obtained by our college was a $2,000,000 NSF grant awarded to our college (Dr. Svoronos, PI) in conjunction with QCC’s Biology chair Dr. Mel Gorelick , Queens College’s Chemistry Department and Brookhaven Laboratories. Half of this money will be used to support both Queensborough faculty and students during the summer.[click]

The first undergraduate research lab financed by a $253,000 Perkins grant was finally opened on December 14 during the annual Holiday party.[click] This will enable our faculty to conduct their research in house. Kudos to Dr. Sarno for keeping up with the bureaucratic complications and Mr. Pedro Irigoyen for his input.

Dr. Sarno starts his chairmanship of the ACS-NY section on January 1, 2008. Dr. Shin was elected chair of the ACS-Long Island section for 2009. Drs. P. and S. Svoronos as well as Dr. Luis Vargas will also serve in the board of that section as directors-at-large.

Our students also had unique successes. Nadia Aboley was selected as an American Chemical Society scholar, one of only 100 nationwide. She is only the second Queensborough student to earn this honor after Rosa Rosales in 2006. The scholarship money that is attached to this award will come really handy. Alana Doonachar was also awarded a scholarship by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) during a ceremony in Douglaston in June.

The number of students involved in research keeps on its upward trend. In 2000 the practice started in our department with one student participating at the URS (Undergraduate Research Symposium) of the ACS-NY section. Our students had a total of 24 oral presentations at the 55th Undergraduate Research Symposium of the ACS-NY section at Manhattan College easily surpassing every other college or university in the New York City area. Twenty-two of them proceeded to have poster presentations at the 39th Middle Atlantic Regional Meeting (MARM) at Ursinus College, PA in mid May and 18 poster presentations at the 234th National ACS Meeting in Boston MA on August 21.[click]

So what’s next? The focus is in the MARM 2008 conference that will be held at Queensborough in May. Accomplishing this will be a great achievement as it will be the first time ever that this meeting is being held in New York City and the first time ever that it will be hosted by a community college.

There are better days ahead of us.

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