LSU Chemistry students win awards at NOBCChE conference

LSU Chemistry | October 26, 2021

 

BATON ROUGE, LA- At the 2021 National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) Conference, three graduate students from the LSU Department of Chemistry received poster or oral presentation awards.  The awards recognize students that demonstrate a combination of excellent research, innovation, and presentation. Award recipients include: Fatimat Badmus, Aderonke Simi Folorunso, and Callie Stern. 

 

Fatimat BadmusFatimat Oluwayemisi Badmus

Fatimat O. Badmus, a fifth-year graduate student, received the Organic Chemistry and Catalysis Division Graduate Poster Presentation Award at the 2021 NOBCChE National Conference.

After earning her bachelor’s degree from Obafemi Awolowo University (Ile-ife, Osun State, Nigeria), Badmus came to LSU for graduate studies and joined the research group of Associate Professor Rendy Kartika

Badmus’ research project focuses on the development of new and expedient synthetic methods towards heterocycles and other organic compounds with great bioactivities and applications. 

"I have been able to develop a method that affords biologically relevant tetrahydrobenzofurans (using the chemistry of silyloxyallyl cations), and an enantioselective approach to construct synthetically challenging but important compounds with quaternary centers,” Badmus stated. 

In addition to her research, Badmus is active in various student organizations, including the Chemistry Graduate Student Council (Historian 2020-2021, Vice President 2021-present), African Graduate Student Association (Membership Chair 2020-2021, President 2021-present), and the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (2017-present). She also enjoys participating in community engagement and educational activities with the LSU Chemistry ChemDemo program and the LSU Chapter of NOBCChE.  

Badmus plans to receive her PhD in chemistry in 2022.  Following graduation, Badmus hopes to be involved in doing research in drug discovery or a related field where she can “contribute to making people's lives healthier and better.” 

 

Aderone FolorunsoAderonke Simi Folorunso 

Aderonke Folorunso, a fourth-year graduate student in the Lopata research group, received the Computational Chemistry and Physical Chemistry Division Graduate Poster Presentation Award at the 2021 NOBCChE National Conference.  

Prior to graduate school at LSU, Folorunso received her bachelor’s degree in Pure and Applied Chemistry from Obafemi Awolowo University (Ile-ife, Osun State, Nigeria). 

Folorunso’s current research involves the study of Attosecond Charge Migration (CM) dynamics with the aim of giving simple rules on how different molecules’ properties such as the type of bonding, halogen, length, functional group change with respect to these dynamics. These rules of thumb will be useful in identifying molecules and optimizing CM detection methods in future experiments. 

“I am excited about studying CM because it can open a platform for understanding the fundamental processes involved in drug delivery or the use of nanoprobes for cancer cell detection in the human body,”

Folorunso is an LSU Student Government Senator and a Graduate Ambassador for the LSU International Students’ Association. She also served on the Chemistry Graduate Students' Council (Fall 2019 - Spring 2021).  She is a current member of NOBCChE, the American Physics Society, and the American Chemical Society. 

Folorunso hopes to receive her Ph.D. in chemistry next year and pursue a career in either academia or industry. 

 

Callie SternCallie M. Stern 

Callie M. Stern, a fifth-year graduate student, received the Inorganic Chemistry Division Oral Presentation Award for her talk at the 2021 NOBCChE National Conference.

After earning her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Georgia State University, Callie came to LSU as a Board of Regents scholar for graduate studies and joined the research group of Assistant Professor Noémie Elgrishi

In the Elgrishi lab, Stern’s research project focuses on studying the speciation and electrochemical properties of hexavalent chromium in water. “We are interested in developing electrocatalysts capable of mediating complex Proton-Coupled Electron Transfer (PCET) reactions involved for energy-efficient water purification,” said Stern. 

Stern served on the department’s Chemistry Graduate Student Council as secretary and vice president and is currently a member of LSU NOBCChE and Iota Sigma Pi, the national honor society for women in chemistry.  She likes stopping by Mike the Tiger’s habitat for a quick chit chat and loves performing ChemDemos at community and LSU events.

“I enjoy sharing my research and teaching something new to others,” Stern shared. “Sparking scientific curiosity and presenting research benefits the community as a whole.” 

Stern plans to receive her Ph.D. in 2022 and pursue a rewarding job in the field of environmental chemistry. As a steward of the environment, she feels it is important to continue the fight for a greener future.

 

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Media Contact:
Gretchen Schneider
LSU Chemistry
Gschne2@lsu.edu