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Chaparral 2013-2014: 22.4 Chemistry and Motivation

Chemistry and Motivation (March 2014)

Synthesis of Organic Chemistry and Student Motivation

by Nare Garibyan

 

Left to right: Mary Abramyan, Leah Andriasian, Marina Sargsyan, Raymond Sarksian, Gaspar Malatucas, Colton Ku, and Professor Asmik OganesyanThe essential elements needed to motivate students to actively participate in their education include knowledgeable and enthusiastic mentor(s), funding, the support of campus and community constituencies, and of course, motivated students. The culmination of these elements occurred on Tuesday, February 25 during the first lecture of the Glendale Community College (GCC) Science Lecture Series for the spring 2014 semester.

Six organic chemistry students, Mary Abramyan, Leah Andriasian, Colton Ku, Gaspar Malacutas, Marina Sargsyan, and Raymond Sarksian, under the guidance of Asmik Oganesyan, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, succinctly explained their research on the synthesis of gallic acid based dendrimers: selective approach to acylation of amides. The group is preparing a manuscript to submit to the Journal of Chemical Education and will present their research at the American Chemical Society’s National Meeting and Exposition in San Francisco, in August 2014. They have also established collaboration with the City of Hope to test their compounds for cytotoxicity towards cancer cells.

The chemistry lab research program was initiated in 2010 with a $15,000 donation from CSULA. According to Oganesyan, six rounds of research projects have been completed, along with the training of 54 students, preparing them to gain research lab positions after transferring to four year universities. Her goal is to provide “community college chemistry students with the opportunity to experience a real research lab setting, to open up their career choices and to show them how science really works, on a day-to-day basis.”

Left to right: Mary Abramyan, Colton Ku, Gaspar Malatucas, Raymond Sarksian, Leah Andriasian, and Marina Sargsyan

At the end of the lecture, students acknowledged the following people: Cathy Durham and Tom Voden, Directors of the Title V Gauss STEM NSF grant for funding the project, complete with the latest lab equipment; Mary Mirch, Vice President of Instructional Services, for funds to attend the American Chemical Society’s meeting. Along with Professor Oganesyan’s former research students, Jonathan Saboury and Arabo Avanes, who processed the project’s high resolution spectral data at CSULA. GCC’s retired “organic chemistry king,” Dr. Byrd, for his continuous help in the set-up and repair of NMR instrumentation; in addition to Dr. Guglielmino, chair of the physical science division for his support of the research program. Professor Oganesyan received an honorarium; funds were generously donated by William Gohlke, in memory of Ole W. Gohlke and Stephannie A. Gohlke. The students and Professor Oganesyan also received individualized recognition certificates for their work from the offices of the 43rd District Assemblyman, Mike Gatto. 

The second science lecture of the spring 2014 semester will take place on March 25, 2014, in CS 177, from 12:20pm-1:30pm. Jesse Gilbert, the Media Technology Chair, at Woodbury University will present the following topic: Between analysis and synthesis: SpectralGL, audio visualization, and the new paradigm for real-time interactive instruments. The event is free and open to the public, with FLEX credit available for faculty and staff.

 

 

 

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