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Chemistry majors show their stuff to colleagues, kids

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College chemistry students have been busy lately.

Oct. 17-18, five students and two chemistry faculty attended the American Chemical Society Midwest Regional meeting in Springfield, Mo. Three students presented posters about their research, and one faculty member gave an oral presentation.

Senior Rachel Evans, Bel Aire, presented “Characterization of Differences in Norepinephrine: Rural Versus Urban Emergency Responders.” Co-authors were Kathryn Layman, associate professor of chemistry/physics, and Dwight Krehbiel, professor of psychology.

Seniors Michelle Kaufman, Moundridge, and Jared Regehr, Halstead, presented “Effects of Reducing Sugars and Metal Ions on pbr322 Strain of E. coli Bacterium.” Co-author was Gary Histand, professor of chemistry.

Layman also gave an oral presentation, “Investigation of P-Cresol Oxidation on Alumina-Supported Metal Oxide Catalysts.” Her co-authors were Casey Budd, senior from Newton, and graduates Jordan Esley-Kohlman and Trey Ronnebaum.

Jason Friesen, junior from Inman, and Dylan Jantz, junior from Newton, also attended the ACS meeting.

Starting in late November, Bethel College chemistry majors, with Histand, are doing chemistry demonstrations in several local schools.

Nov. 25, Histand, Friesen and Jantz visited Prairie Hills Middle School in Hutchinson. They presented demonstrations to more than 180 students and several faculty members.

“Mr. Jantz got the attention of the entire school when he set off a mini-explosion and teachers came running to see what happened,” Histand said. “Expecting tragedy, the only thing they found was a large group of students having a good time.”

The host teacher, Teresa Poulseen, blogged about the experience, and the Bethel students even got their picture on the Prairie Hills Facebook page.

What Histand calls the “Chemistry is AAAAmazing” Tour will travel next to Chisholm Middle School in Newton.

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2013-14 analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States, and is the highest-ranked Kansas college in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2013-14. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

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