Summer in the chemistry lab: A satisfying science experience

Summer in the chemistry lab: A satisfying science experience

Posted by: on August 15, 2017   |Comment (1)|Student Engagement

It’s been a week since I finished summer research and life is different. It feels weird not being in the lab every day. I miss all the fun moments I had in the lab with the research team. I miss listening to hip-hop and R&B while working up a reaction. I miss getting lunch with my lab mates almost every day. Bianca, Matt, Gersham, Kyle, Yazan & I became so close that we all developed a special bond. We became so comfortable with each other that we would talk about anything. I would look forward to our lunch dates every day. We went to a lot of great restaurants Providence has to offer like The Abbey, Anthony’s, and many others on Thayer St., like East Side Pockets.

In the last few weeks of research, our biggest adventure was the 10th Annual Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Conference at the University of Rhode Island. The SURF program funds most of the research conducted over the summer throughout Rhode Island. In turn, researchers funded by SURF attend the conference and present their work. Our group presented our work by assembling a poster containing all the projects we worked on this summer. The conference was great because the team and I got to present all our hard work and got to see many other chemists, biologists, and biochemists. We were also hands-down the best dressed group at the conference! See the picture for yourself. We kept on receiving compliments from multiple people on how well dressed we were. It was nice to get dressed up and not wear sweatpants all day for once.

I am close to finishing my project which is a-carboline synthesis. I completed the final step of my project the day before the conference, and I produced high yields! Although summer research is over, that doesn’t mean my research is over. I plan on continuing my research in the fall. I’m looking forward to completing my project and all the chemistry that awaits me in the year to come!  I’d like to thank Dr. Mulcahy and the Providence College Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry for granting me the opportunity do research this summer. I have learned a lot, and I can’t wait to continue learning in the upcoming semester. I’d also like thank all of you for reading my blog and keeping up with all the exciting events that happened this summer.

Vincent Ndahayo

It’s been a week since I finished summer research and life is different. It feels weird not being in the lab every day. I miss all the fun moments I had in the lab with the research team. I miss listening to hip-hop and R&B while working up a reaction. I miss getting lunch with my lab mates almost every […]MORE

Gaining Independence in the Lab

Posted by: on July 14, 2017   |Comments (0)|Student Engagement

 

Hello everyone,

It’s finally starting to feel like summer here in Friartown. The sun is out, the days are longer, and everyone wants to be at the beach! For the first couple weeks of research, it was raining and always cold outside, as if it were October. One of my lab mates, Yazan, who is from Jordan, asked us in lab one day “Is this how summer is here in Rhode Island?” We told him that the weather we experienced the first few weeks of research was very unusual, especially for May and June. We also told Yazan that New England weather is very unpredictable and to always be ready for anything.

I have completed my first five weeks of research and I feel like the time is flying by. I feel like 2017 is flying by, and I will be graduating in no time. Now that I am halfway done with summer research, I now have a good feel for the lab and I know where almost everything is. I run experiments on my own, and Dr. Mulcahy does not have to shadow everything I do anymore. It feels great to do the work on my own and to know that whenever I have questions Dr. Mulcahy, is around to help. In the remaining five weeks, I will be running completely new chemical reactions and doing completely new science. I’m excited to be doing new science and it is one of the many joys of research. Be on the lookout for some new chemistry coming your way soon!

On another note, there is a lot of construction happening on campus this summer, but the project I’m most excited about is the construction of the new science complex. When I walk to lab every day, I pass the construction site and see all the hard work being done. In fact, where my lab is located, I have a perfect view of all the construction that is happening to the science complex. However, it can be frustrating to work while there is construction. One time I was trying to weigh out one of my reagents for a reaction and I could not get a steady number for the weight. It was due to the construction workers who were taking out a sidewalk and causing the ground to shake. Then, one other time this summer the construction triggered the fire alarm and everyone had to evacuate the building. Minor things like that are not a big deal because when the science complex will be finished, it will all be worth it in the end. The science complex will open fall 2018 – the fall semester of my senior year. I’m looking forward to working in the new labs and doing work in the new complex.

Vincent Ndahayo

  Hello everyone, It’s finally starting to feel like summer here in Friartown. The sun is out, the days are longer, and everyone wants to be at the beach! For the first couple weeks of research, it was raining and always cold outside, as if it were October. One of my lab mates, Yazan, who […]MORE

Starting Off: First Lab Experience

Posted by: on June 16, 2017   |Comments (0)|Student Engagement

Hello – My name is Vincent Ndahayo, and I am a rising junior at Providence College. I am from Manchester, NH, and I have five siblings (three sisters and two brothers). I am the second oldest, and I was born in Tanzania. I am a chemistry major, and I am doing research this summer with Dr. Seann Mulcahy in his organic chemistry lab. This is my first blog ever so this is a new thing for me, and I hope you enjoy reading it. I will be updating you throughout the summer on what conducting summer research is like at PC.

Doing summer research has been one of the goals I have wanted to accomplish while I am in college, and I am very thankful for having the opportunity. I have not taken organic chemistry yet, so my experience for the first three weeks in lab have been completely new. I was nervous and anxious about doing research in the lab because I believed that I was going to do something so bad that I would be kicked out of the lab. Or, I would do something embarrassing that I would not be able to show my face lab ever again. However, I was also excited to do work in the lab because I was eager to learn all the joys of research, especially the potential for creating something new to the science community and the world.

My research is centered around making new molecules from scratch. The picture attached to this blog are two reactions I set up. Dr. Mulcahy has explained to me multiple times how the goal of our research this summer is to use new methods to synthesize molecules that can potentially be used as pharmaceuticals. I would like to pursue a career in pharmacy, and I believe doing research this summer will be a step in the right direction.

I am working with five other students this summer. The other members of the research team are: Bianca, the only senior on the team this summer; Gersham, the only returning member from Dr. Mulcahy’s lab group; Matthew, a cool guy; and my classmates from this past year, Yazan and Kyle. I enjoy coming into lab everyday doing work with this group. We all get along well, and we are always playing music in lab so it’s a fun work atmosphere. It’s like a competition every day to see who will play music first. We all have different taste in music so whenever someone plays music, someone is always complaining about the music. For example, Matt is always joking around about Bianca’s music being too aggressive because she plays a lot of hip hop. Then when Matt or Kyle play their country music, Bianca and Yazan complain.

Dr. Mulcahy has been very patient with all of us, especially Kyle, Yazan, and me because he has taught us how to do everything we need to know due to our lack of experience in an organic chemistry lab. He is always around the lab helping everyone out with their projects.

My first three weeks of research have been worthwhile, and I have got to spend them with some great people. Stay tuned for my next blog in where I will explain in more detail about the new experiences and reactions I have learned about in lab. Until next time, have a great day and see you soon!

Vincent Ndahayo ’19

Hello – My name is Vincent Ndahayo, and I am a rising junior at Providence College. I am from Manchester, NH, and I have five siblings (three sisters and two brothers). I am the second oldest, and I was born in Tanzania. I am a chemistry major, and I am doing research this summer with […]MORE