Small Splash, Big Waves Symposium

Research at Primarily Undergraduate Institutions

This symposium brings together a variety of PUI faculty from across the nation, highlighting their impact on the field of organic chemistry. We have carefully chosen speakers that are in various stages in their careers from PUI colleges and universities across the country. We hope that this symposium will encourage networking between faculty, postdocs and students and will spur new research collaborations. Enjoy!

Presider Shannon Biros

Presider Shannon Biros

Presider Todd David

Presider Todd David


We are grateful to the following organizations for financial support of the Small Splash, Big Waves symposia

2017 Fall ACS Speaker List (Washington, DC)

Norma Dunlap (Middle Tennessee State University)

  • “Synthesis of readily diversified cyclopropyl peptidomimetics as enzyme inhibitors”

Joan Schellinger (University of San Diego)

  • “Design, synthesis and characterization of starch-functionalized dibromomaleimide for peptide delivery”

Chiles Downey (University of Richmond)

  • “Trimethylsilyl trifluoromethanesulfonate as both silylating agent and Lewis acid catalyst in organic reactions new and old”

Joel Karty (Elon University)

  • “Lesson learned about resonance effects and inductive effects: Application of a vinylogue methodology toward fundamental organic systems”

Amy Roy MacArthur (US Naval Academy)

  • “Microwave-assisted copper-catalyzed amidation of aryl chlorides via concurrent tandem catalysis”

Jonathan Fritz (Aquinas College)

  • “Effect of ligand and carboxylic acid structure on under air direct arylation reactions”

Timm Knoerzer (US Air Force Academy)

  • “Employing homogeneous gold catalysis to synthesize complex molecular structures”

John Thoburn (Randolph-Macon College)

  • “Synthesis, structure, and properties of supramolecular porphyrin metallocubes”

2016 Fall ACS Speaker List (Philadelphia)

Christian Rojas (Barnard College)

  • “Synthesis of stereochemically diverse 2-amino sugar building blocks via metallanitrenes”

Rongson Pongdee (Sewanee: The Univ. of the South)

  • “Synthetic studies toward the resorcylic acid lactone pochonin J”

Robert LaDuca (Lyman Briggs College, Mich. State Univ)

  • “Structure and properties of coordination polymers containing hydrogen-bonding capable and conformationally flexible dipyridyl ligands: An Introductory Undergraduate Research Program at Lyman Briggs College at Michigan State University”

Laura Wysocki (Wabash College)

  • “The power of darkness: Contrast in fluorogenic dyes”

Louise Charkoudian (Haverford College)

  • "Mining soil bacteria for chemical diversity"

George Greco (Goucher College)

  • “Synthesis, evaluation, and fluorescence properties of small molecule DNA ligase inhibitors”

Luis Sanchez (Niagara University)

  • “Exploration of selectivity control in reactions for the assembly of non-ribosomal peptide moieties”

Homar Barcena (Kingsborough Community College)

  • “Chemical upcycling: Expired drugs as a platform for undergraduate involvement”

2015 Fall ACS Speaker List (Boston)

John Miecznikowski (Fairfield University)

  • “Toward a better understanding of liver alcohol dehydrogenase: Synthesis, characterization, and activity of zinc (II) model complexes based on bis-triazole and bis-imidazole precursors and water-soluble functionalities”

Sarah Goh (Williams College)

  • “Polyphenols for antioxidant delivery”

Benjamin Gorske (Bowdoin College)

  • “Form and function: Foldamers for catalysis and biochemical inquiry”

Amy Balija (Fordham University)

  • “Rational modification of macromolecular scaffolds to mediate water purification”

Paul Bonvallet (College of Wooster)

  • “Synthesis, switching, and supramolecular chemistry of a calixarene-capped azobenzene: A tale of undergraduate persistence”

Kristine Nolin (University of Richmond)

  • “Calcium catalyzed addition reactions”

Reuben Hudson (Colby College)

  • “Acetylene-activated SnAr/intramolecular cascade sequence for the synthesis of indoles, benzofurans, and related heterocycles in DMSO”

Stephen Chamberland (Utah Valley University)

  • “Direct, early stage guanidinylation as an enabling strategy for the total synthesis of bioactive marine natural products”

Elizabeth Colby Davie (Assumption College)

  • “Adventures with the natural product montamine: Synthetic efforts and structural insights”

2014 Fall ACS Speaker List (San Francisco)

Robert Mebane (University of Tennessee, Chattanooga)

  • “Adventures with atoms and molecules through catalytic transfer hydrogenation”

Gregory O’Neil (Western Washington University)

  • “Major products from minor products: Examples from a primarily undergraduate synthetic organic research program”

Jason Gillmore (Hope College)

  • “Synthesis, photochemistry, electrochemistry, and computation: Undergraduate research toward perimidinespirohexadienone-based photochromic products”

Shirley Lin (US Naval Academy)

  • “Concurrent tandem catalytic methodologies for the transformation of aryl halides”

Matthew Mio (University of Detroit Mercy)

  • “Modified Sonogashira- and Glaser-type couplings: reaction methodology for undergraduate research”

LuAnne McNulty (Butler University)

  • “Reactions of cyclic alkenylboronic half acids”

Jordan Fantini (Denison University)

  • “Synthesis and cone-cone interconversions of 2-alkylidene- and 2-arylidenetetrahydroxycalix[4]arenes”

Jeffrey Katz (Colby College)

  • “Exploring acetylene-activated SnAr reactions for heterocycle and macrocycle synthesis”

Kimberly Jackson (Spelman College)

  • “Computational modeling of novel androgen-receptor binding sites in advanced prostate cancer”

Timothy Hanks (Furman University)

  • “Alginate-polypyrrole ionomers for biomaterials engineering”

2013 Fall ACS Speaker List (Indianapolis)

Nancy S. Mills (Trinity University)

  • “Antiaromaticity: Can it tell us anything about aromaticity?”

Kraig A. Wheeler (University of Eastern Illinois)

  • “New frontiers in desymmetrized molecular crystal reactions”

Todd A. Davis (Idaho State University)

  • “Developing new methods for stereoselective additions to alpha-fluorocarbonyls”

Dipannita Kalyani (St. Olaf College)

  • “Transition metal catalyzed C-H arylation”

Jeffrey B. Johnson (Hope College)

  • “Transition metal-catalyzed C-C single bond activation: Mechanistic understanding and new reactivity”

Dalila G. Kovacs (Grand Valley State University)

  • “Biomass conversion to value-added chemicals: A divergent approach with mechanistic insights”

Eric J. Werner (The University of Tampa)

  • “Macrocyclic Schiff base/phenolate ligands for lanthanide complexation”

Peter M. Iovine (University of San Diego)

  • “Synthesis and characterization of end-functionalized starches for novel self-assembled materials”

KC Russell (University of Northern Kentucky)

  • “Synthetic and spectroscopic studies of a series of isomeric push-puss [14]annulenes”

Page last modified June 11, 2018