Man looking at board of research

Honors Project Virtual Showcase 2020

Brittney Bauers


Analysis of Trends in Metal Concentration as a Function of Distance from Railroads in Southern Louisiana

Increased concentrations of metals such as Iron, Aluminum, Cobalt and Manganese have been demonstrated in the soil and waters near roadways all around the world. From Serbia (1) to Korea (2) to India(3) , and the United States (4) it has been noted that roadways are a cause for metal pollution in the soil and water near them. There are not any published research that has made an effort to examine metal pollution within the waterways due to railway transportation. This work goes over the concentration trends in the North Pass waterway as well as how they compare to previously tested areas.


Karley Bordelon


Advocating for Student's Rights in Higher Education: Using Effective Communication Resources to Instill Change

Great strides have been made to make higher education more inclusive. However, so often students are still faced with trials and stipulations that are disguised as necessary burdens of higher education, when they can actually constitute student rights violations. The laws the defend student rights should be more prevalent in dialogue surrounding local and state policies, and further still, they should be consistently reevaluated to evolve with each university’s culture. An overlooked and prominent resource available to defend student rights is the communication resources that every state, university and student organization can utilize.


Stephanie Carter


Chemistry: From Imagination to Words

Humans have been representing their ideas and dreams through stories and fiction, whether written or oral, since the beginning of civilization. However, chemistry as a science has only been established fairly recently, allowing us to examine firsthand works of fiction dating back hundreds of years featuring the science of chemistry. The subject comes up much more often than most people think.


Joshua Davies


The Synthesis of Novel Ionic Liquids

An ionic liquid is a salt that has a relatively low melting point. Ionic Liquids have several applications in multiple industries from high-temperature cooling to use as green solvents. Our group has recently developed a method for producing mono-2-pyridyl(triphenylphosphonium) ([Mopyphos]+) salts. The bis-trifluromethylsulfonylimide (bistriflimide or Mopyphos]+ have shown to have melting points low enough to be considered ionic liquids. For this project, we investigated whether this chemistry could be expanded into other groups. 


Amber Dutsch


The Bitterness You Crave in Life

At the beginning of the semester, 122 Chmeistry Honors with Benjamin Wicker was given the choice of a research project or an interdisciplinary project. I chose a topic of research that is a part of my daily routine and keeps the majority of Americans functional. Coffee. What compounds give coffee it’s bitterness and aromas, and how different brewing methods affect the concentration of these compounds. To analyze these differences, HPLC (High Pressure Liquid Chromatography) would be used to determine concentrations of the four chemical compounds in the four different brewing: methods: cold brewed, filtered drip, French press, and aeropress.


Madison Fournet


A Glance at Chemical Demonstrations

The purpose of chemical demonstrations is to excite and educate younger generations about Chemistry. It helps to diminish the negative connotation surrounding Chemistry and open up a door for students to gain interest in pursuing science as a possible career choice. In this way, it is important that those who will be demonstrating to younger audiences come prepared and informed.


Zion Louding


Solvent- or Temperature-Controlled Diastereoselective Aldol Reaction of Methyl Phenylacetate

Previous studies of Boron-mediated Aldol reactions included the investigation of numerous phenylacetates; primarily Methyl Phenylacetate with n-Bu2BOTf and Ethyl Phenylacetate with Chx2BI. However, Chx2BI is unstable and is very sensitive to ethereal solvents. Examination was refocused on a Phenylacetate with Chx2BOTf because of its ease to prepare. The research also has allowed complete control of diastereoselectivity by changing the solvent or temperature and by keeping the same reagents.


Zoe McKean and Razan Qamar


The Purification and Characterization of P. falciparum Hypoxanthine Quanine Xanthine Phosphoribosyltransferase From Recombinant E. coli

The human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, is responsible for most of the million annual deaths from malaria. The underlying causes of this disease can be better researched by isolating the proteins and enzymes that it uses for synthesis of purine nucleotides. This parasite is developing a drug resistance to medicines commonly used for treatment, and scientists believe that the enzyme (HGXPRT) can be used to develop new treatments. Our research goal is to sustainably produce and purify HGXPRT and to express it and assess its kinetics in the presence of substrates. Our objective for this semester was to complete a coupled enzyme assay to test the activity and presence of HGXPRT, by measuring the absorbance of the byproducts. Our research is focused on the study of the molecular mechanisms and the biochemistry underlying diseases .


Grant Meadows


Benzimidazoles and How to Synthesize Them

The concept of green chemistry has been playing an important role in recent years for meeting the fundamental scientific challenges of protecting the living environment. One of the thrust areas for achieving this target is to explore alternative reaction conditions and reaction media to accomplish the desired chemical transformation with almost negligible by-products and waste generation as well as elimination of the use of volatile and toxic organic solvents. The goal is to identify simple, effective syntheses of valuable substances using green chemistry techniques and materials.Molecules with benzimidazole moieties are attractive targets for synthesis since they often exhibit diverse and important biological properties.



Layne Miley


Comparison of Cisplatin vs Carboplatin in the Treatment of Cancer

Cisplatin and Carboplatin are two platinum-based agents and are the most widely used agents for the treatment of cancer in the field of oncology. These agents have the ability to crosslink with DNA, more specifically its purine bases, and cause an issue in the DNA’s ability to repair. This process causes damage to the DNA in the cells and eventually leads to the apoptosis, or cell death, of the cancerous cells. When comparing these two agents, a question arises of which one is the more effective option when looking at the treatment of cancer. Shown are some studies that give evidence leading to one agent to be superior to the other in specific cases.


Phoenix Morel


Chemistry Lesson Plan

My goal for this project was to help improve chemistry-education for high school students. With the help of a mentor chemistry teacher, I created an in-depth lesson plan with an assessment. The goal for this project was to be implemented in upward bound schools. I was going to use data from the assessments to make conclusions on how well the students performed and which methods of teaching students in chemistry class responded better to. Due to unforeseen circumstances the implementation portion could not be completed.


Marissa Parker


Mechanism of Benzoyl Peroxide and Benzoyl Peroxide Irritation

Benzoyl peroxide (BPO or BzO2) is an antibacterial agent that is applied topically and has been a pillar in the treatment of acne vulgaris. It is manufactured as both an over-the-counter topical medication as well as an FDA approved prescription medication. BPO is considered to be one of the first modern treatments for acne vulgaris, being first utilized in the 1930’s. Its popularity in the world of medicine stems from the inability of acne vulgaris to produce resistance mechanisms to the medication. Despite these groundbreaking features, BPO does possess irritant activities and contact hypersensitivity can be observed with usage. Because of this, the question posed throughout this research project is: “What in relation to the mechanism of action could be a silent culprit in the severe irritations being observed?”