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Dordt College News

NSF grant will fund chemistry research

August 9, 2005

The chemistry department at Dordt College and six other educational institutions in Iowa, North and South Dakota have been named as recipients of a $2,973,000 grant award from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The prestigious NSF award will be used to establish a “Northern Plains Undergraduate Research Center” during the next five years. Nationwide only five undergraduate research centers have been funded by the National Science Foundation over the past two years.

The NSF funding will enhance undergraduate chemistry research at seven colleges and universities: in Iowa, Dordt College (Sioux Center) and Buena Vista University (Storm Lake); in South Dakota, Augustana College (Sioux Falls); Mount Marty College (Yankton); Sinte Gleska University (Rosebud); and University of South Dakota (Vermillion); and in North Dakota, Fort Berthold Community College (New Town).

“This is a fantastic opportunity for our freshman and sophomore students to get involved in research activities at our partner institutions,” said Dr. Mary Berry (U.S.D.), project director for the grant. “Students will have many opportunities to conduct chemical research in freshman chemistry labs, take workshops that focus on research, and also participate in intensive summer-long research experiences. Our hope is that by involving students in research at an earlier stage, more students will become interested in science.”

Dr. Edwin Geels of Dordt’s Chemistry Department will be doing research with undergraduate students on the chemistry and biochemistry of the honeybee. Also at Dordt College, Dr. Carl Fictorie’s undergraduate group will study the transformation of soybean oil into biodiesel fuel.

For more information, contact Dr. Edwin J. Geels at 712-722-6284.

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