Student will present project at national conference
Friday, March 30, 2001
Lacey, Wash.- A Saint Martin's College chemistry student is working
on a synthesis project that, when finished, could be used as a map for
organic chemistry students around the nation.
Aufort, a junior biology major with a minor in chemistry, is working on
a synthesis project that essentially would turn mothballs into vanilla
in five simple steps.
"It's hard to find a lab for organic students that allows them to
perform a multiple step lab with relevance to what they're studying in
class," Aufort said of the need for his project. "This project will
serve as an educational tool for future students, whereas it's a
research tool for me."
Aufort, who began working on the synthesis project in January,
already has finished three of the five necessary steps. He will be
presenting his findings at the American Chemistry Society's National
Spring Conference April 2 in San Diego. The conference runs from April
"This is THE conference in chemistry," said Nick Drapela, Aufort's
chemistry professor at Saint Martin's. "There will be representatives
from almost every higher education institution in the country and some
"By using five common chemistry transformations, Ryan will be able to
take moth balls and make something that smells very nice. Once he's
finished this will be a lab exercise that organic chemistry students can
use to see how what they study in class can be applied in a lab."
Aufort, who is from Eugene, Oreg., will be representing Saint
Martin's at the conference, which is one of the premier events for
chemistry instructors and students alike.
"I feel a little bit of pressure to be representing the institution
but at the same time it's rewarding knowing a professor believes in you
and your abilities," Aufort said.
For more information:
Nick Drapela, professor
Christina Ramírez-Milhoan, communications specialist
Office of Communication