Chemistry Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Summer Scholars

Throughout the summer Chemistry majors Sahar Caravan ‘21, Chase Laxdal ’20, and Niralee Rana ’22 (pictured above with Professor Kara Jaremko) have been conducting sophisticated research under the mentorship of Hofstra professors as part of the Dr. Bruce and Doris Lister Endowed Fellowship in Chemistry Research.

Sahar Caravan ’21 of Malverne, NY, is working with Professors Ling Huang and Kevin Bisceglia on research about the long-term effect of e-cigarettes to learn more about the possibly harmful thermal degradants that emerge when vape fluids are heated. The team is using a Gas Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometry Instrument (GCMSMS) to mimic e-cigarette conditions. Given the growing popularity of e-cigarettes, Caravan hopes this research will provide important health information for consumers.

Chase Laxdal

Traces of toxic metals can be found in the shells and nails of deceased turtles in Jamaica Bay, Queens, and Chase Laxdal ’20 of Bluffton, SC, is working with Chemistry Professor Sabrina Sobel and Biology Professor Russell Burke on finding a way to measure these levels. While it is not unusual for trace amounts of metal to be found on the turtles, accurate measurements are necessary to set a baseline because higher than normal readings could signal a problem with environmental pollutants.

Niralee Rana ’22 of Clifton, NJ, is working on projects with Professor Kara Jaremko involving organic synthesis. By piecing together small compounds, they are constructing larger, more complex ones, and applying them to various fields of study, including bioremediation. This is a process that uses bacteria to break down local environmental pollutants. They are studying the bioremediation of polychlorinated biphenyls (manmade chemicals) – a pollutant found in the Long Island Sound.

Sahar Caravan

The Lister Fellowship was established in 2013 with a $250,000 gift from Dr. Bruce Lister and his wife, Doris. Selected students receive a $4,000 stipend and a grant to cover half of their on-campus housing costs. The purpose of the fellowship is to give students the financial freedom to immerse themselves in classwork and research during the summer months.

Students are selected based on their academic achievement, research potential and demonstrated interest in pursuing a career in scientific research.

Dr. Bruce Lister, a long-time supporter of Hofstra’s science and engineering programs, passed away earlier this year. He served on the Dean’s Advisory Board of the Fred DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Science and was awarded an honorary doctorate in 1998 in recognition of his professional achievements and commitment to Hofstra.

Doris Lister with fellowship recipients Chase Laxdal and Sahar Caravan at an end-of-year celebration for the Chemistry Department in May.

“Dr. Lister’s generosity has helped Hofstra in so many ways,” said Dr. Will Nirode, Chair of the Department of Chemistry. “Scholarships in his name assisted many students in achieving their goals and going on to great success after graduation.”

Summer 2020 applications for the Lister Fellowship will be available online in January.

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