New Year Message from the Chair

At the beginning of the new year one can do nothing but cherish the great achievements and changes our department has accomplished in 2009.

During the Spring of 2009 all three faculty, Drs. Sharon Lall-Ramnarine, David Sarno and Jun Shin, were promoted to the rank of associate professorship after they were granted tenure in Fall 2008. We all congratulate them for their productive accomplishments.

Dr. Jordan Verdis served as a Substitute Assistant Professor for the 2008-09 and 2009-10 academic years and Professor Thomas Wong as substitute lecturer in the Fall 2009. Dr. Dennis Capitanio also served as a Substitute Assistant Professor for the Spring 2009 semester. We are grateful for their availability, loyalty and service.

The increase in enrollment has continued its upward trend. The number of students taking chemistry courses has more than tripled during the academic year since 2001, while the summer session numbers have increased nine-fold in the same period (757 vs. 84). When compared to the Fall 2008 semester our department’s Fall 2009 registration increased by 28.8% in FTEs, the highest in the college and more than 60% higher than the average of all departments. For the third straight year our department offered two courses during the January 2010 intersession (CH-127 and 128).

2009 was outstanding in terms of our department’s peer reviewed publications carrying our students’ names with a total output of three. Dr. Sasan Karimi has had one more peer-reviewed publication carrying the name of former Queensborough student Varsha Patel; Dr. Lall Ramnarine had one with former students Jasmine Hatcher; Dr. Moni Chauhan also published her work with Abhishek Roka. This raises the total number of such publications to eleven (11) since 2002.[click]

2009 was a superb year for the Department’s quest for more state of the art instrumentation. Through Vice Chancellor Small’s efforts, the Title V grant and a PKAL grant several instruments were purchased. These include a SENTRO Tech Furnace, a VWR 1415 Vacuum Oven, an INNOV X Systems x-ray fluorescence, a Chromatron, a Rudolph Research Analytical Automatic Polarimeter and a DIONEI Ultimate 3000 HLPC.[click]

Through the second year of the $840,000 ATE grant awarded to Dr. Paris Svoronos (Co-PI) in conjunction with York College, Bronx Community College and Kingsborough Community Colleges eight of our students had the opportunity of a $3,000 internship analyzing water samples at the DEP in Owl’s Head.

This was the second year of the $2,000,000/ 5 years largest NSF grant awarded to our college (Dr. Svoronos, PI) in conjunction with QCC’s Biology chair Dr. Mel Gorelick , Queens College’s Chemistry and Biology Departments and Brookhaven Laboratories. Half of these funds were used to support both Queensborough faculty and students during the summer as well as subsidize conference trips and PLTL tutorials. [click]

Grant applications were submitted for a second to the NSF in conjunction with the Department of Biological Sciences undergraduate research lab and Geology and a second (different capacity) x-ray fluorescence through the Dreyfuss Foundation.

Dr. Verdis starts his chairmanship of the ACS-NY section on January 1, 2010 after Dr. Shin’s expired in 2009. Drs. Paris 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. Eunchul Kim was awarded an REU at Princeton but later declined due to personal reasons. Eight of our students had summer internships at Brookhaven Labs.

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 more than 32 oral presentations at the 57th Undergraduate Research Symposium of the ACS-NY section at Pace University-Pleasantville easily surpassing every other college or university in the New York City area. There were 25 poster presentations at the 238th National ACS Meeting in Washington DC on August 16-20, 2009 out of a total of 200 undergraduate accepted posters.[list of presentations] [pictures]

There are better days ahead of us here at Queensborough.

Previous New Year Messages: [2007], [2008], [2009]

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