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Fasana ’22, Anderson bring home a top chemistry honor

portrait of an older woman and a young woman student
Mary Elizabeth Anderson and Christine Fasana '22

Christine Fasana ’22 wasn’t crazy about chemistry when she arrived at Furman four years ago. Then she took Mary Elizabeth Anderson’s chemistry class. Not only did she like it, she was good at it. “It was a good experience and I just kept doing it,” Fasana said.

She was so good, the chemistry major and mentor Anderson received the 2022 American Chemical Society Division of Inorganic Chemistry Award for Undergraduate Research at a primarily undergraduate institution.

In March, the pair was flown to the ACS annual meeting in San Diego. They each received plaques and financial support for attending the conference. Fasana received a $1,000 award, gave an award talk about her research, and mingled with other students and scientists from across the country. “It was fun. I was honored and excited,” she said.

It was Anderson’s second award. She and a student won in 2016 when she taught at Hope College.

Anderson said Fasana would stay in the lab late on Friday afternoons in her first year to learn research techniques from older students. She started by studying nanoparticles for alternative energy applications, then ultra-thin films. Her efforts led to her being the first author on two peer-reviewed research publications, one in 2020 and another in due out later this year.

Most recently, Fasana studied how MOFs, or metal organic frameworks, nanoporous crystalline materials, are formed. MOFs have a multitude of applications, from delivering drugs in the body to capturing gasses, like hydrogen storage or carbon dioxide sequestration.

Fasana, a Beckman Scholar and a Millennium Fellow, also played club soccer and is a Phi Beta Kappa. She will attend medical school starting this fall at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville, where she hopes to continue doing research.

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