Fred Parks '14
Tim Landis '15
2/17/14Randolph-Macon College students Tim Landis ’15 and Fred Parks ’14 recently traveled to Glenville, West Virginia for the Chi Beta Phi national conference. Chi Beta Phi is a national honorary scientific fraternity founded at Randolph-Macon College in 1916. The purpose of the society is to promote interest in science and give recognition to scholarly achievement in its various fields. Membership in Chi Beta Phi is a significant achievement and is only granted to those select few who have demonstrated excellence in a scientific discipline.
At the conference, Parks was awarded the Chapter Key award, which is given to outstanding Chi Beta Phi members, and Parks and Landis each won awards for their research presentations (1st and 2nd place, respectively). In addition, R-MC won the Outstanding Chapter award.
“I am incredibly pleased that our chapter won the Outstanding Chapter Award,” says Biology Professor and Chi Beta Phi Faculty Advisor Melanie Gubbels Bupp. “Last year’s officer team (Alyssa Warren ’13, Chris Wirth ’13, Maggie Benson ’13, and Sierra Mosticone-Wangensteen ’13) began the hard work of enlivening our local chapter, and this year’s officer team (Fred, Tim, Henry Castillo ’15, Sarah Neale ’15, and Nikki D’Ambra ’15) really picked up the torch and ran with it. I am also proud that Fred’s contributions to the organization were recognized with the Chapter Key Award and that both Fred and Tim represented our chapter so well with their research presentations. It is nice to see the founding Chi Beta Phi chapter leading the pack.”
Fred Parks ’14A native of Buckfield, Maine, Parks is a chemistry major who conducted his research under the mentorship of Chemistry Professor John Thoburn. Parks’ research goal is to make a molecular “magnet in a box” that could act as a material for digital information storage. The “box” is a cubic host molecule with a large void space that can encapsulate and bind a guest molecule with magnetic properties. His project, A Self-Assembled M8L6 Manganese-Porphyrin Tetracyanoazulene Host-Guest Complex: A Potential Single Molecule Magnet, examined how best to synthesize a particular guest molecule (tetracyanoazulene).
“I am honored to be recognized by my peers,” says Parks. “I like being a Chi Beta Phi member because it allows me to be surrounded by people who enjoy the sciences just as much as I do.” Parks’ post-R-MC plans include graduate school, where he will pursue his Ph.D. in chemistry.
Tim Landis ’15A chemistry major and psychology minor, Landis is a native of Winchester, Virginia.
“It felt great to be recognized at the conference, not only because of the stiff competition but because our chapter won, too,” says Landis. His project, The Creative Act: An Investigation of Creative Responses in Wild Raccoons (Procyon lotor), examined von Economo neurons, which have been found in a handful of species. Landis researched the creative abilities and behaviors of this unique population of raccoons. He is currently working on a project involving the proteins that are closely tied to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
“I like being a member of Phi Beta Chi because it is a group of scientifically minded students who are constantly learning new things,” says Landis, the recipient of the Jackson Fellowship Scholarship in Chemistry. He plans on attending medical school after graduating from R-MC. “I’d eventually like to have a career in neurology,” he says.