Student Profile

Lauren Ostopowicz

Lauren Ostopowicz

Major: Chemistry with a minor in Mathematics


Class Year: 2018
Hometown: Lansdale, PA

Additional Information

Internships/Research/Projects:

Since the fall of 2016, I have had the opportunity to work as a research student under the mentorship of Dr. Steven Bonser.  My project is to synthesize and characterize 1-aroyldiaziridine derivatives, that contain several different substituents, in order to study how the electronic effects of the substituents might affect the bond-breaking selectivity of the diaziridine ring.  In other words, will the substituents help to direct C – N, or N – N bond breaking, of the ring system.  Diazirdines, a class of three-membered ring heterocycles that contain one carbon and two nitrogen atoms, are useful intermediates in the synthesis of more complex heterocyclic compounds, some of which have been utilized in the pharmaceutical industry. 

During the summer of 2017, I attended a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at Rutgers University.  There, I worked as a research student in Professor Charles Dismukes’ laboratory under the mentorship of Dr. Anders Laursen. My project was the Electrochemical Ammonia Evolution Reaction (AER).  This evolution reaction technique converts a clean, abundant resource, nitrogen gas, into an incredibly important industrial chemical, ammonia, with the assistance of a reactive ruthenium oxide (RuOx) on carbon nanoparticles catalyst.  Unlike the current production technique of ammonia, we were able to consistently produce ammonia at room temperature, atmospheric pressure and micro Amps of reductive current.

Highlights:

The highlight from my science career thus far has been my summer REU at Rutgers.  I made great friends from around the country, networked with postdoctoral researchers and professors, and gained much needed advice from current graduate students.

Takeaway:

The biggest take away from my summer REU was gaining invaluable exposure to how graduate level research is conducted.  Prior to the REU, I was unsure of the graduate school route was the right choice for me, but after that experience, I was sure that I am making the correct professional decision in attending graduate school.

Advice:

Getting to know your professors is the best advice that I have for incoming freshman.  Professors chose to be professors because they want to teach and advise their students; therefore, you should take advantage of their office hours. Another important piece of advice is to get involved with academic activates that you enjoy early because gaining experience is very important to finding your professional goal.

Aspirations:

After graduating from Millersville, I plan on attending graduate school for Analytical Chemistry, with a focus in Environmental Chemistry.