Rising sophomores Ellen Chinchilli and Catherine Ryczek recently attended the 66th Annual Conference on Mass Spectrometry and Allied Topics in San Diego.

Led by Instrumentation Specialist Greg Rahn, the students presented their work to determine the amounts of Fluorene-9-bisphenol (BHPF) in consumer products. Their poster was titled “Fluorene-9-bisphenol (BHPF): The New BPA? An investigation into BHPF Extraction/Detection Methods in Common Consumer Products.”

Chinchilli and Ryczek began their research as an independent project of the laboratory portion of Chemistry 125 Principles of Chemistry: Fundamentals to Applications. In the course, which is typically open only to first-year students during the fall semester, students propose, design, and complete projects focused on the analysis of environmental or consumer product-based toxins or toxicants.

With encouraging results from their work in Chem 125, Chinchilli and Ryczek enrolled in Chem 298: Independent Research for the spring semester to continue developing their detection methodologies.

In addition to presenting their work at the conference, Chinchilli and Ryczek attended myriad oral and poster presentations, technical workshops, and vendor expositions.

The trip was partially funded by the Dean of Faculty’s office, the Department of Chemistry, and a travel award from the American Society for Mass Spectrometry.

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