Senior Capstone

Chemistry majors fulfill the Senior Capstone Experience by conducting a yearlong research project in collaboration with a chemistry faculty member and writing a thesis-quality report.

Many projects involve synthetic and preparative procedures and include the use of the department’s research-grade UV-VIS, FTIR, AA, NMR, GC, HPLC, GC-MS, ICP-MS, electrochemical analyzer, and polarimeter. Students pursuing the ACS-certified degree in Chemistry must perform a laboratory-based research project for their SCE to meet the number of laboratory hours required by the ACS. This requirement could be waived if ACS-certified majors have already performed research for credit during the academic year or during the summer.

Seniors present the results of their project in a poster session that is open to the College community. The department has a set of Senior Capstone Experience Guidelines that are distributed to both junior and senior chemistry majors each fall. For those students meeting the College-wide standards of eligibility for departmental honors at graduation, the capstone experience also forms the basis of an oral examination given at the end of the student’s final semester.

Students must enroll in CHE SCE in their final semester to obtain credit for the Senior Capstone Experience. The Senior Capstone Experience is graded according to the Washington College grading system, which involves the use of letter grades (A-F) that may be modified by a minus or a plus.

2014 SCE Projects


Josh Goheen (advisor: Prof. Rick Locker)

Quantitative 19F-NMR: A Fluoxetine Instrumental Methods of Analysis Lab Using Surrogates (lab-based)

Corinne Staub (advisor: Prof. James Lipchock)

Determining the mechanism of phosphohistidine phosphatase 1 (lab-based)

Karine Sager (advisor: Prof. James Lipchock)

Structural Investigations into the Substrate Specificity of Vaccinia H1-Related Dual Specificity Phosphatase (VHR) (lab-based)

Kodi Webb (advisor: Prof. Leslie Sherman)

Historic Heavy Metal Concentrations in Chester River Sediment (lab-based)

Michael Giroux (advisor: Prof. Anne Marteel-Parrish)

Synthesis and Functionalization of Zeolite-X to Increase Hydrophobicity (lab-based)

Emily Sahadeo (advisor: Prof. Anne Marteel-Parrish)

The Synthesis of Zeolite A and Functionalization with Silanes to Increase Hydrophobicity (lab-based)

Sara Martin (advisor: Prof. Aaron Amick)

Palladium Catalyzed Annulation Method for the Synthesis of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (lab-based)

Kelly Ward (advisor: Prof. James Lipchock)

Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors as New Tumor Suppressor Drugs (in-depth literature review)

Laura Nicely (advisor: Prof. Leslie Sherman)

Antifouling Paints and Sediment Contamination (hybrid: lab-based and in-depth literature review)

Steve DiPasquale (advisor: Prof. Aaron Amick)

Synthesis of 5-bromobenzo[c]phenanthrene, an intermediate of the missing fullerene C72  (lab-based)

Dee Kaur (advisor: Prof. Anne Marteel-Parrish)

The Effect of Polychlorinated Biphenyls in Production of Paints, Inks and Dyes (in-depth literature review)

Robert Mix (advisor: Prof. Aaron Amick)

The Synthesis of a New Class of Aromatic Ketones (lab-based)