Rich Gurney

Professor and Co-Chair of the Chemistry and Physics Department
  • Chemistry and Physics
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About Me

Dr. Gurney is an expert in the field of Green Chemistry Education, where he has been actively developing curricula for the past 20 years. He focuses his teaching and research on the applications of green chemistry and finding solutions for everyday problems using materials that are "benign by design." Dr. Gurney is currently studying the effectiveness of a two-semester CURE Organic Chemistry Curriculum as one component of a completely re-engineered, undergraduate, green-laboratory curriculum. The Program encompasses a fundamental reengineering of the undergraduate laboratory curriculum using the principles of green chemistry to expose students to the excitement of research beginning as early as their first-semester of their undergraduate career. The integrity of the knowledge learned within the CURE laboratory sequence has been maintained, while providing an environment for students to hone their higher-order cognitive skills such as analysis, synthesis and evaluation. Dr. Gurney also continues to develop and deliver undergraduate research opportunities through a tiered mentoring approach within the Science Mentoring Assistantships for Research Training Program at Simmons University. Dr. Gurney is also highly active in the development of greener polymeric systems, which serve to engender antimicrobial and antiviral activity to surfaces and in the detection of endocrine disrupting chemicals in consumer products. Dr. Gurney is one of the ten founding faculty members and a former board member for the Green Chemistry Commitment (2011-2021). For the past seven years, Dr. Gurney has taught "Toxic Consumables" within the Simmons PLAN Curriculum (Purpose, Leadership and Action) to bring to light issues of social justice within the chemistry enterprise educating women to take action upon learning of the toxicants hidden in personal care products and consumer goods. As a Science Advisory Board member of the Toxic Use Reduction Act of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Dr. Gurney reviews the toxicity profiles of chemicals and provides recommendations for whether these chemicals should be listed as being used by manufacturers in the Commonwealth above a certain threshold limit. Dr. Gurney also serves as a member of the Purdue University Chemistry Department Advisory Committee. Dr. Gurney’s 35 publications have been cited a total of 800 times as of 2022.

What I Teach

  • CHEM 112 Introduction to Chemistry: Organic Lecture and Laboratory
  • CHEM 150 Research Experience in STEM (Instrument or Technique Training)
  • CHEM 224 Organic Chemistry I Lecture and Laboratory
  • CHEM 225 Organic Chemistry II Lecture and Laboratory
  • CHEM 250 Research Experience in STEM (Participating in a Research Project)
  • CHEM 341 Advanced Analytical Chemistry Lecture and Laboratory
  • CHEM 346 Advanced Organic Spectral Interpretation
  • CHEM 350 Independent Study (Designing and Running a Research Project)
  • CHEM 355 Independent Study with Thesis Defense and Oral Presentation

Research/Creative Activities

Simmons Undergraduate Research Experiences (SURE) & Senior Mentoring Assistantships for Research Training (SMART) Scholars.

Undergraduate Simmons women work with faculty mentors to bring their senior-thesis research projects into the standard teaching curriculum and serve as Research Teaching Assistants and Instrumental Teaching Assistants (SMART Scholars) to underclasswomen. Typically, these Senior and Junior Undergraduates will recruit the most research-capable students to join the research laboratory in their Sophomore year as SURE Scholars. The SMART Scholars then mentor the SURE Scholars in groups of 2 to 3, while they are working on their Senior Thesis Projects in the research laboratory. During the first semester research "rotation" SURE Scholars either decide to join the research group and begin to develop a related project of their own, or they may choose to pursue another faculty member to experience another research project in a different discipline.

In recent years there has been great interest in the design and construction of surface coatings to engender antimicrobial or antiviral activity. Our studies involve the synthesis, characterization and copolymerization of monomers containing thymine residues, 1-(4-vinylbenzyl) thymine (VBT), 1,3-bis(4-vinylbenzyl)thymine with ionic styrene derivatives, 4-vinylbenzyl triethyl ammonium chloride (VBA) and 4-vinylphenyl sulfonic acid (VPS).

Projects

Bacterial Growth Inhibition via Immobilizable Vinylbenzylthymine Quaternary Ammonium Terpolymers

Many unsuitable antibacterial chemicals with concerning toxicity profiles (i.e. triclosan, monomeric quaternary ammonium salts, silver nanoparticles) have been employed with the goal of interrupting the chain of infection via contact surfaces. In this study, we investigate the bactericidal activity of a green VBT:QAC copolymer. The two monomers provide the copolymer with dual functionality; vinylbenzylthymine (VBT), a bioinspired photoresist allows the copolymer to be crosslinked onto surfaces and a quaternary ammonium compound (QAC) engenders biocidal efficacy. The cationic nature of the QAC encourages adsorption onto the negatively charged bacterial cell wall and the lipophilic alkyl chain lyses the cell. Copolymerization of VBT and QACs with varying chain lengths results in a green, water-soluble copolymer that, once crosslinked by UV irradiation, becomes insoluble due to dimerization and high molecular weight. While examples of QACs incorporated in polymers can be readily found in literature This direct copolymerization has the advantage of ensuring no unreacted QACs capable of leaching remain in the coating and ensures full quaternization, as the quaternization of a styrene derivative to produce the QAC comes before polymerization. Post-quaternization, a popular strategy, is sterically hindered and full functionality is rarely achieved. To improve solubility of the 16-carbon QAC copolymers, trimethyl QACs (TMQ) were incorporated at varying ratios, producing water-soluble terpolymers. In this work, we present a proof of concept and initial data for both testing polymers on surfaces against S. aureus and utilizing qHNMR for terpolymer characterization/ ratio determination. Preliminary data has shown excellent coating permanence on nursing scrub fabric and VBT: QACs inhibited a bacterial challenge up to 28e6 CFU/mL.

Integration of Vinylbenzyl Thymine Research in Undergraduate Organic Chemistry Laboratories

To provide students with a better understanding of the scientific process, the Organic Chemistry I and II courses at Simmons University were integrated with faculty research (Course Based Undergraduate Research Experience [CURES]) involving synthesis of co-polymers of compounds vinylbenzyl thymine (VBT), vinylbenzyl quaternary ammonium (VBA) and vinylphenyl sulfonates. These green polymers have applications as antimicrobial and antiviral thin films. The research integration program greatly benefits students, who rate personal levels of knowledge and confidence in the lab as much higher with the implementation of the research in normal course lab time. Students gain exposure to a research setting and to green chemistry in practice. Research integration also aids faculty, who have an opportunity to incorporate components of personal research into class time both as a learning tool and as a project showing real world applications of chemistry skills, and in addition allows for the opportunity to create publishable research at a faster rate. The funding for the implementation of the research integration program at Simmons has been sponsored in part by the William M. Keck Foundation, the Semiconductor Research Corporation and the National Science Foundation.

Identification of Crystal Violet Lactone Protonation Sources in Thermal Register Receipts

Until 2011, bisphenol-A or BPA was widely used as the protonation source for crystal violet lactone within a waxy matrix to enable color development upon heating with a stylus. Upon public outcry and subsequent banning of BPA, from consumer goods, BPA has been removed from thermal register receipt formulations. While safer possibilities exist such as salicylic acid, concern and consumer mistrust question whether other structurally similar bisphenol derivatives, such as BPS or BPZ are being used as a regrettable substitute for BPA. BPA derivatives are not banned but still maintain the potential for mimicking estrogen and providing endocrine disrupting function in the human body. A systematic analysis of thermal register receipts in use across the Boston metropolitan area is underway with the assistance of undergraduate researchers in their first-year at Simmons University and current High-School seniors who have deposited to enter Simmons University in the Fall Semester.

Publications/Presentations

Publications

35. Emily Hammel, Thomas F. Webster, Rich Gurney, Wendy Heiger-Bernays,Implications of PFAS definitions using fluorinated pharmaceuticals, iScience, Volume 25, Issue 4, 2022, 104020, ISSN 2589-0042, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2022.104020. (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2589004222002905)

34. "Developing antibacterial surgical adhesives: An enhancement of cyanoacrylate polymers," Stevens, Rhianna; Esteban, Gabrielle; Jenkins, Emma; Saitow, Cassandra; Gurney, Rich Journal of Applied Polymer Science (2021), 138(23), 50538.

33. "Incorporation of Automated Column Chromatography Instrument into Undergraduate Laboratory Curriculum," Lee, Nancy, Gurney, Richard W.& Kumarjiguda, Deepa, Chem. Educator 2017, 22, 18–21.

32. "Second order multivariate curve resolution of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopic data of the photo-induced crosslinking of thymine functionalized polymers," Bortolato, Santiago A.; McDonough, Kristin; Gurney, Richard W.; Martino, Debora M., Talanta, (2014), 127, 204-210. DOI:10.1016/j.talanta.2014.04.014

31. "Using Green Chemistry Principles As a Framework To Incorporate Research into the Organic Laboratory Curriculum," Lee, Nancy E.; Gurney, Rich; Soltzberg, Leonard, Journal of Chemical Education, (2014), 91(7), 1001-1008. DOI:10.1021/ed300283y

30. "Study of solvent-free asymmetric reduction of 1-acetonaphthone," Aleknaite, Ugne; Liu, Virgnia; Thomas, Kathleen; Bourassa, Daisy; Gurney, Richard; Lee, Nancy E., Journal of Undergraduate Chemistry Research, (2012), 11(3), 78-80.

29. "Entrecruzamiento fotoinducido en copolimeros medioambentalmente benignos", R. Urteaga, R.W. Gurney, D.M. Martino, S. Bortolato, Conference Proceedings: Taller Argentino de Ciencias del Ambiente, Rosario, Argentina, 15 al 18 de mayo de 2012, 7-24.

28. "Evaluation of photo-induced crosslinking of thymine polymers using FT-IR spectroscopy and chemometric analysis," Bortolato, Santiago A.; Thomas, Katelyn E.; McDonough, Kristin; Gurney, Richard W.; Martino, Debora M., Polymer, (2012), 53(23), 5285-5294. DOI:10.1016/j.polymer.2012.09.007

27. "Evolution of the Women in Materials program: a collaboration between Simmons College and the Cornell Center for Materials Research," Goldberg, Velda; Soltzberg, Leonard J.; Kaplan, Michael D.; Gurney, Richard W.; Lee, Nancy E.; Malliaras, George G.; Schember, Helene R., Materials Research Society Symposium Proceedings (2010), 1233(Materials Education), Paper #: 1233-PP10-05. DOI:10.1557/PROC-1233-PP10-05

26. "Microkinetic analysis of the epoxidation of styrene catalyzed by (porphyrin)Mn encapsulated in molecular squares," Oxford, Gloria A. E.; Curet-Arana, Maria C.; Majumder, Debarshi; Gurney, Richard W.; Merlau, Melissa L.; Nguyen, SonBinh T.; Snurr, Randall Q.; Broadbelt, Linda J., Journal of Catalysis, (2009), 266(1), 145-155. DOI:10.1016/j.jcat.2009.06.003

25. "Integrating green chemistry throughout the undergraduate curriculum via civic engagement," Gurney, Richard W.; Stafford, Sue P., ACS Symposium Series, (2009), 1011(Green Chemistry Education), 55-77. DOI:10.1021/bk-2009-1011.ch004

24. "Molecular recycling: application of the Twelve Principles of Green Chemistry in the diversion of post-consumer poly(lactic acid) waste," Boice, Jennifer N.; King, Christina M.; Higginbotham, Carol; Gurney, Richard W., Journal of Materials Education, (2008), 30(5-6), 257-280.

23. "Preparation of Lactic Acid from (Poly)Lactic Acid Biodegradable Cups," Gurney, Richard W.; Boice, Jennifer N. Think Green Fischer Scientific URL - http://www.fishersci.com/wps/portal/CMSTATIC?href=/ScienceEducation/scienceEduStandard/Features/Think_Green/ se_std_ThinkGreen_040708_1435.jsp&store=ScienceEducation&segment= scienceEduStandard, Accessed June 2008.

22. "Templating the Nucleation of Calcium Oxalate Monohydrate via Micropatterned Self-Assembled Monolayers on Gold," Cabrera, Tania M.; Friguglietti, Leigh M.; King, Christina M.; Larson-Mekler, Amanda E.; Graham, Chelsea E.; Gurney, Richard W., Crystal Growth & Design, (2007), 7(12), 2436-2443. DOI:10.1021/cg060494x

21. A Media Lab (Green Nanotechnology) for Chapter 3 of the Prentice Hall Chemistry Text: Chemistry for Changing Times, 11th Ed. by John Hill and Doris Kolb, 2007.

20. "Monitoring Aniline Polymerization with MALDI-TOF- Mass Spectrometry," Soltzberg, L.J.; Gurney, R.W.; Doerr, K.L.; Keddy, M.B., Proceedings of the 54th ASMS Conference on Mass Spectrometry and Allied Topics, May 28-June 1, 2006.

19. "Templating the Growth of Calcium Oxalate Monohydrate on Gold via Microcontact Printing," Cabrera, Tania A.; Friguglietti, Leigh M.; Gurney, Richard W. The Nucleus, 2006, LXXXIV (10), 14-20.

18. "Women in Materials: a collaborative effort between Simmons College and the Cornell Center for Materials Research," Goldberg, Velda; Malliaras, George G.; Schember, Helene; Kaplan, Michael; Soltzberg, Leonard; Gurney, Richard W.; Johnson, Patrick, Materials Research Society Symposium Proceedings, (2006), 909E(Forum on Materials Science Education), edited by Trevor R. Finlayson, Fionna M. Goodchild, M. Grant Norton, Scott R. J. Oliver, Paper #: 0909-PP03-10.1.

17. "Organic Photovoltaics Interdigitated on the Molecular Scale," Martinson, Alex B. F.; Massari, Aaron M.; Lee, Suk Joong; Gurney, Richard W.; Splan, Kathryn E.; Hupp, Joseph T.; Nguyen, Son Binh T., Journal of the Electrochemical Society, (2006), 153(3), A527-A532. DOI:10.1149/1.2165788

16. "Approaches to conjugated macromolecules via electrophilic carbohydrate reagents," Keddy, M.; Gurney, R.; Tran, B.; Sandman, D. J., Polymer Preprints (American Chemical Society, Division of Polymer Chemistry), (2005), 46(1), 601-602.

15. "Comparative x-ray standing wave analysis of metal-phosphonate multilayer films of dodecane and porphyrin molecular square," Libera, Joseph A.; Gurney, Richard W.; Schwartz, Craig; Jin, Hua; Lee, Tien-Lin; Nguyen, SonBinh T.; Hupp, Joseph T.; Bedzyk, Michael J., Journal of Physical Chemistry B, (2005), 109(4), 1441-1450. DOI:10.1021/jp0457038

14. "Directed Assembly of Nanoporous Porphyrin-Based, Molecular Square Thin Films," Schwartz, Craig. P.; Nguyen, SonBinh, T.; Gurney, Richard W., Nanoscape, (2004), 1, 7-15.

13. "X-ray Nanoscale Profiling of Layer-by-Layer Assembled Metal/Organophosphonate Films," Libera, Joseph A.; Gurney, Richard W.; Nguyen, SonBinh T.; Hupp, Joseph T.; Liu, Chian; Conley, Ray; Bedzyk, Michael J., Langmuir, (2004), 20(19), 8022-8029. DOI:10.1021/la048904b

12. "Walljet Electrochemistry: Quantifying Molecular Transport through Metallopolymeric and Zirconium Phosphonate Assembled Porphyrin Square Thin Films," Massari, Aaron M.; Gurney, Richard W.; Schwartz, Craig P.; Nguyen, SonBinh T.; Hupp, Joseph T., Langmuir, (2004), 20(11), 4422-4429. DOI:10.1021/la049900+

11. "Ultrathin micropatterned porphyrin films assembled via zirconium phosphonate chemistry," Massari, Aaron M.; Gurney, Richard W.; Wightman, Matt D.; Huang, Chien-Hao Kane; Nguyen, SonBinh T.; Hupp, Joseph T., Polyhedron, (2003), 22(22), 3065-3072. DOI:10.1016/S0277-5387(03)00428-5

10. "A Crystalline Langmuir Monolayer Designed as a Template for Selective Intercalation of Water Soluble α-Amino Acids," Alonso, Coralie; Gurney, Richard W.; Eliash, Ran; Hong, Seok-Cheol; Shen, Yuen Ron; Jensen, Torben R.; Kjaer, Kristian; Konovalov, Oleg; Lahav, Meir; Leiserowitz, Leslie, Crystal Growth & Design, (2003), 3(5), 683-690. DOI:10.1021/cg034033c

9. "Charge Transfer between a Gold Substrate and CdS Nanoparticles Assembled in Hybrid Organic-Inorganic Films," Samokhvalov, A.; Gurney, R. W.; Lahav, M.; Cohen, S.; Cohen, H.; Naaman, R. Journal of Physical Chemistry B, (2003), 107(18), 4245-4252. DOI:10.1021/jp022215w

8. "Adsorption energetics of potassium sulfate dye inclusion crystals," Carter, Damien J.; Rohl, Andrew L.; Gale, Julian D.; Fogg, Andrew M.; Gurney, Richard W.; Kahr, Bart, Journal of Molecular Structure, (2003), 647(1-3), 65-73. DOI:10.1016/S0022-2860(02)00511-2

7. "Electronic Properties of Hybrid Organic/Inorganic Langmuir-Blodgett Films Containing CdS Quantum Particles," Samokhvalov, A.; Gurney, Richard W.; Lahav, M.; Naaman, R., Journal of Physical Chemistry B, (2002), 106(35), 9070-9078. DOI:10.1021/jp0202340

6. "Optical probes of crystal growth mechanisms: intrasectoral zoning," Gurney, Richard W.; Kurimoto, Miki; Subramony, J. Anand; Bastin, Loyd D.; Kahr, Bart, ACS Symposium Series (2001), 798(Anisotropic Organic Materials), 143-156. DOI:10.1021/bk-2001-0798.ch010

5. "Incorporation of fluorescent molecules and proteins into calcium oxalate monohydrate single crystals," Touryan, L. A.; Clark, R. H.; Gurney, R. W.; Stayton, P. S.; Kahr, B.; Vogel, V., Journal of Crystal Growth, (2001), 233(1-2), 380-388. DOI:10.1016/S0022-0248(01)01441-5

4. "Dyeing Crystals," Kahr, Bart; Gurney, Richard W. Chemical Reviews (Washington, D. C.), (2001), 101(4), 893-951. DOI:10.1021/cr980088n

3. "Salting Benzenes," Gurney, Richard W.; Mitchell, Christine A.; Ham, Sihyun; Bastin, Loyd D.; Kahr, Bart, Journal of Physical Chemistry B, (2000), 104(5), 878-892. DOI:10.1021/jp992424p

2. "Kinetic Stabilization of Biopolymers in Single-Crystal Hosts: Green Fluorescent Protein in α-Lactose Monohydrate," Kurimoto, Miki; Subramony, Paramjeet; Gurney, Richard W.; Lovell, Scott; Chmielewski, Jean; Kahr, Bart, Journal of the American Chemical Society, (1999), 121(29), 6952-6953. DOI:10.1021/ja991069d

1. "On the mechanism of matrix-assisted room temperature phosphorescence," Mitchell, Christine A.; Gurney, Richard W.; Jang, Sei-Hum; Kahr, Bart, Journal of the American Chemical Society, (1998), 120(37), 9726-9727. DOI:10.1021/JA981963P.

Presentations

82. "Panel discussion on diversity, equity and inclusion in chemistry education," Dr. Edward Brus, Alyssa Deline, Saritha Nellutla, Grace Lasker, Richard Gurney Abstracts of Papers, 263rd ACS National Meeting, March 20- 24, 2022.

81. "Impacts on inclusion, belonging & retention through implementation of a learner-centered grading method focused on reaching proficiency with course learning outcomes," Richard W. Abstracts of Papers, 263rd ACS National Meeting, March 20- 24, 2022.

80. "Developing antibacterial surgical adhesives: An enhancement of cyanoacrylate polymers," Stevens, Rhianna; Jenkins, Emma; Saitow, Cassandra; Gurney, Richard W. Abstracts of Papers, 261st ACS National Meeting, April 5-16, 2021 (2021).

79. "Synthesizing an antimicrobial, adhesive copolymer for the closure of contaminated surgical sites," Stevens, Rhianna; Jenkins, Emma; Saitow, Cassandra; Gurney, Richard W. Abstracts of Papers, 259th ACS National Meeting & Exposition, Philadelphia, PA, United States, March 22-26, 2020 (2020), PMSE-0007.

78. "Flipped classroom in undergraduate organic chemistry: 10 years' experience," Radwan, Ahmed E.; Gurney, Richard W.; Lee, Nancy Eun-Joo Abstracts of Papers, 259th ACS National Meeting & Exposition, Philadelphia, PA, United States, March 22-26, 2020 (2020), CHED-1851.

77. "Two-semester undergraduate research-integrated laboratory in organic chemistry: 10 years' experience," Radwan, Ahmed E.; Gurney, Richard W.; Lee, Nancy Eun-Joo, Abstracts of Papers, 259th ACS National Meeting & Exposition, Philadelphia, PA, United States, March 22-26, 2020 (2020), CHED-0071.

76. "Antimicrobial VBT:TMQ:DMHDQ (1-(4-vinylbenzyl) thymine, vinylbenzyl trimethyl QUAT, and vinylbenzyl dimethylhexadecyl QUAT) terpolymer permanence and performance on hospital scrubs," Baulsir, Elaine; Yandian, Megan; Jaber, Aliya; Laemmle, Ruby; Gurney, Richard W. Abstracts of Papers, 257th ACS National Meeting & Exposition, Orlando, FL, United States, Mar. 31-Apr. 4, 2019 (2019), CHED-1580.

75. "Integrating ethics and social responsibility of scientists into freshman undergraduate courses," Berger, Michael; Gurney, Rich; Gray, Bruce Abstracts of Papers, 256th ACS National Meeting & Exposition, Boston, MA, United States, August 19-23, 2018 (2018), CHED-365.

74. "Developing and standardizing a methodology to investigate antibacterial surface coatings against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus," Laemmle, Ruby Rose; Jung, Michelle; Horgan, Caitlin; Jaber, Aliya; Yandian, Megan; Baulsir, Elaine; Gurney, Richard; Scott, Elizabeth, Abstracts of Papers, 255th ACS National Meeting & Exposition, New Orleans, LA, United States, March 18-22, 2018 (2018), CHED-1751.

73. "Synthesis and investigation of the bactericidal properties of quaternary ammonium chloride monomers for thin-film copolymer coatings," Jung, Michelle; Horgan, Caitlin L.; Hixon, Kimberlee; Lee, Nancy E.; Walker, Stephanie; Gurney, Richard W., Abstracts of Papers, 253rd ACS National Meeting & Exposition, San Francisco, CA, United States, April 2-6, 2017 (2017), CHED-1038.

72. "Investigating properties of VBT-VBA copolymer as a chemical rubber antiozonant: Development of the controlled rubber ozonization method," Gurney, Richard W.; Lee, Nancy E.; Voronina, Maria; McKeon, Annmarie; Genevich, Joseph, Abstracts of Papers, 250th ACS National Meeting & Exposition, Boston, MA, United States, August 16-20, 2015 (2015), CHED-354.

71. "Design of experiments approach to optimize the yield of 1-(4-vinylbenzyl) thymine," Koelln, Rebecca; Schalck, Hannah; Horgan, Caitlin; Vickey, Kirsten; Chen, Nina; Pallozzi, Julie; McDonough, Kris; Dupuy, Kiara; Lee, Nancy E.; Gurney, Richard W., Abstracts of Papers, 249th ACS National Meeting & Exposition, Denver, CO, United States, March 22-26, 2015 (2015), CHED-811. | Language: English, Database: CAPLUS

70. "Evaluation of the Photodimerization of 4 Vinyl Thymine Ammonium Chloride Polymers and Copolymers Induced by Ultraviolet Light d) Kristin McDonough, B. Tran, C. Normand, D. Martino, K. Dupuy, N. Chen, R. Gurney, R. Koelln, S. Bortolato, Nancy Lee, Presented at the 15th Annual TECCON Conference, September 8-9, 2013.

69. "Infrared spectroscopic evaluation of the photodimerization of 4-vinyl(benzyl) thymine and 4-vinyl(benzyl) trialkyl ammonium chloride containing polymers and copolymers induced by ultraviolet light," McDonough, Kris; Koelln, Rebecca; Dupuy, Kiara; Chen, Nina, Chennevert, Jenna; Bortalato, Santiago; Gurney, Rich; Martino, Debora, Abstracts of Papers, 245th ACS National Meeting & Exposition, New Orleans, LA, United States, April 7-11, 2013.

68. "Characterizing the antibacterial activity of a VBT/VBA copolymer against common nosocomial gram-negative bacteria: Applications for new surface coating," Reynolds, Cynthia; Caruso, Brittany; Gurney, Richard; Roecklein-Canfield, Jennifer, Abstracts of Papers, 245th ACS National Meeting & Exposition, New Orleans, LA, United States, April 7-11, 2013 (2013), CHED-352.

67. "Analyzing the antimcrobial properties of bacteriostatic copolymer, vinylbenzyl-thymine and vinylbenzyl triethylammonium chloride via 96-well assay," Corrielus, Maureen; Caruso, Brittany; Gurney, Richard; Roecklein-Canfield, Jennifer, Abstracts of Papers, 245th ACS National Meeting & Exposition, New Orleans, LA, United States, April 7-11, 2013 (2013), CHED-342.

66. "Evaluation of photo-induced crosslinking of thymine polymers using FT-IR and chemometric analysis," McDonough, Kris; Koelln, Rebecca; Dupuy, Kiara; Chenevert, Jennett; Anwar, Getey; Khun, Monica; Coughlin, Caroline; Kumarjiguda, Deepa; Bortolato, Santiago; Martino, Debora; Gurney, Richard, Abstracts of Papers, 245th ACS National Meeting & Exposition, New Orleans, LA, United States, April 7-11, 2013 (2013), CHED-206.

65. "Photosensitization of water-soluble polystyrene copolymers of vinylbenzylthymine and vinylphenylsulfonate," Nowakowski, Veronica; Gurney, Rich; Martino, Debora M., Abstracts of Papers, 244th ACS National Meeting & Exposition, Philadelphia, PA, United States, August 19-23, 2012 (2012), CHED-353.

64. "Synthesis and characterization of 1,3-bis(4-vinylbenzyl)thymine and its polymerization with vinylbenzyl triethyl ammonium chloride," Vy, Ngoc Chau H.; Lee, Nancy E.; Gurney, Richard W., Abstracts of Papers, 244th ACS National Meeting & Exposition, Philadelphia, PA, United States, August 19-23, 2012 (2012), CHED-351.

63. "Using green chemistry principles as the framework to incorporate research into the organic laboratory and the resultant effects on the entire undergraduate chemistry curriculum," Gurney, Richard; Lee, Nancy; Chen, Changqing; Lavoie, Cheryl, Abstracts of Papers, 244th ACS National Meeting & Exposition, Philadelphia, PA, United States, August 19-23, 2012 (2012), CHED-141.

62. "Characterization of copolymers of vinylbenzyl thymine (VBT) and vinylbenzyl chloride (VBC) using MALDI-TOF MS," Thistle, Katrina; Lee, Nancy; Gurney, Rich; Chen, Changqing, Abstracts of Papers, 243rd ACS National Meeting & Exposition, San Diego, CA, United States, March 25-29, 2012 (2012), CHED-1224.

61. "Integration of vinylbenzyl thymine research in undergraduate organic chemistry laboratories." Nowakowski, Veronica C.; Vy, Ngoc Chau; Werner, Melissa; Huynh, Anna; Koelln, Rebecca; Yasi, Emily; Kirch, Vera; Chen, Changqing; Lee, Nancy; Gurney, Rich, Abstracts of Papers, 243rd ACS National Meeting & Exposition, San Diego, CA, United States, March 25-29, 2012 (2012), CHED-1167.

60. "FT-IR study and chemometric analysis of photoinduced crosslinking in thymine copolymers," McDonough, Kris; Bortolato, Santiago A.; Thomas, Katelyn; Lee, Nancy; Gurney, Rich; Martino, Debora, Abstracts of Papers, 243rd ACS National Meeting & Exposition, San Diego, CA, United States, March 25-29, 2012 (2012), CHED-1120.

59. "Characterization of copolymers of vinylbenzyl thymine (VBT) and vinylbenzyl chloride (VBC) using size exclusion chromatography," McLaughlin, Amanda L.; Gurney, Richard W.; Lee, Nancy; Chen, Changqing, Abstracts of Papers, 243rd ACS National Meeting & Exposition, San Diego, CA, United States, March 25-29, 2012 (2012), CHED-331.

58. "Entrecruzamiento fotoinducido en copolimeros medioambentalmente benignos", R. Urteaga, R.W. Gurney, D.M. Martino, S. Bortolato, Taller Argentino de Ciencias del Ambiente, Rosario, Argentina, 15 al 18 de mayo de 2012.

57. "Curing of Bioinspired co-Polymers based on Vinyl Benzyl Thymine and vinylsulfonic acid" K.M. Thistle, A. McLaughlin, R. Gurney, D.M. Martino, IX Simposio Argentino de Polímeros (SAP2011), Bahía Blanca, 15-18 noviembre 2011.

56. "Synthesis, characterization and quaternization of vinylbenzyl thymine-containing copolymers: Applications as antimicrobial thin films," McLaughlin, Amanda L.; Thistle, Katrina M.; Corrielus, Maureen; Veronica, Nowakowski; Okey-Igwe, Nnennaya; Vy, Chau; Werner, Melissa; Gurney, Richard W.; Chen, Changqing, Abstracts of Papers, 242nd ACS National Meeting & Exposition, Denver, CO, United States, August 28-September 1, 2011 (2011), CHED-240.

55. "Undergraduate laboratory renaissance for organic chemistry," Gurney, Richard W.; Lee, Nancy E.; Chen, Changqing, Abstracts of Papers, 242nd ACS National Meeting & Exposition, Denver, CO, United States, August 28-September 1, 2011 (2011), CHED-121.

54. "Undergraduate laboratory renaissance for organic chemistry." Gurney, Rich; Lee, Nancy; Chen, Changqing, From Abstracts of Papers, 242nd ACS National Meeting & Exposition, Denver, CO, United States, August 28-September 1, 2011 (2011), CHED-16.

53. "Synthesis characterization and greening of vinylbenzyl thymine monomer, vinylbenzyl thymine, and vinylpyridine copolymer," Bento, Jennifer; Malamen, Deborah; Williams, Milo; McLaughlin, Amanda; Thistle, Katrina; Gurney, Richard; Lee, Nancy," Abstracts of Papers, 241st ACS National Meeting & Exposition, Anaheim, CA, United States, March 27-31, 2011 (2011), CHED-1178.

52. "Alternative Recycling of Post-Consumer PLA Waste at a Molecular Level," Gurney, Rich; Boice, Jennifer; Haffner, Jessica; Cacoq, Cassandra; Taylor, Amanda; Lee, Nancy; invited presentation at the "Green Science: How Analytical Chemists Do it," Eastern Analytical Symposium and Exposition, Expand your Horizons, Garden State Exhibit Center, Somerset, New Jersey, November 15, 2010.

51. "Undergraduate laboratory renaissance for organic chemistry," Gurney, Rich; Lee, Nancy, Abstracts of Papers, 240th ACS National Meeting, Boston, MA, United States, August 22-26, 2010 (2010), CHED-341.

50. "Alternative recycling of post-consumer PLA waste at a molecular level," Cacoq, Cassandra; Taylor, Amanda E.; Lee, Nancy E.; Gurney, Richard, Abstracts of Papers, 240th ACS National Meeting, Boston, MA, United States, August 22-26, 2010 (2010), CHED-318.

49. "Solid reduction of ketones using sodium borohydride/boric acid with chiral reagents." Liu, Virginia; Thomas, Katelyn; Bourassa, Daisy; Aleknaite, Ugne; Yang, Bib; Gurney, Richard; Lee, Nancy, Abstracts of Papers, 240th ACS National Meeting, Boston, MA, United States, August 22-26, 2010 (2010), CHED-263.

48. "Grazing angle incidence specular reflectance FT-IR characterization of the photocrosslinking of 4-vinylbenzyl thymine (VBT) and 4-vinylbenzyl trialkyl ammonium chloride (VBA) copolymers." Thomas, Katelyn; Searls, Lauren; Bento, Jennifer; Martino, Deborah M.; Gurney, Richard, Abstracts of Papers, 240th ACS National Meeting, Boston, MA, United States, August 22-26, 2010 (2010), CHED-106.

47. "Green Chemistry in Education" Rich Gurney on behalf of the American Chemical Society’s Green Chemistry Institute, Invited Plenary Lecture at the Simposio Microquim 2010, XX Aniversario de Centro Mexicano de Quimica Verde y Microescala, Universidad Iberoamericana, Cuidad de México, México, July 14th 2010.

46. "Green Chemistry in Industry" Rich Gurney on behalf of the American Chemical Society’s Green Chemistry Institute, Invited Plenary Lecture at the Simposio Microquim 2010, XX Aniversario de Centro Mexicano de Quimica Verde y Microescala, Universidad Iberoamericana, Cuidad de México, México, July 15th 2010.

45. "Undergraduate Laboratory Renaissance." Soltzberg, Leonard J.; Lee, Nancy E.; Gurney, Richard W., Invited Lecture at McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, January 19, 2010.

44. "Undergraduate Laboratory Renaissance." Soltzberg, Leonard J.; Lee, Nancy E.; Gurney, Richard W., American Association of Colleges and Universities, Providence, RI, November 7, 2008.

43. "Metrics for Greening the Undergraduate Laboratory Curriculum: Greening the Oxidation of Borneol to Camphor," The 20th Biennial Conference on Chemical Education, Bloomington, IN, July 27-31, 2008.

42. "The Many Applications of Post-Consumer Poly Lactic Acid Waste." The Gordon Research Conference on Green Chemistry, Bates College, Lewiston, ME, August 3-8, 2008.

41. "Cups to Cleaners, Trash to Treasure: A Green Chemistry Educational Initiative." The Gordon Research Conference on Green Chemistry, Bates College, Lewiston, ME, August 3-8, 2008.

40. "Trash-Talk: Green-chemical curriculuar applications of post-consumer waste poly-lactic acid," The 20th Biennial Conference on Chemical Education, Bloomington, IN, July 27-31, 2008.

39. "Trash talk: The many green-chemical applications of post-consumer waste PLA." at the Green Chemistry in Education Workshop, University of Oregon, June 15-21, 2008.

38. "Green Asymmetric Reduction of 1-Acetonaphthone," Liu, Virgina S.; Huang, Henglian; Lee Nancy E.; Gurney, Richard W. 235th National American Chemical Society Meeting, April 5-9, 2008 in New Orleans, LA.

37. "Reduction of a ketone using chiral polylactic acid as solid support," Liu, Virgina S.; Boice, Jennifer N.; Gurney, Richard W.; Lee, Nancy E., Abstracts of Papers, 235th ACS National Meeting, New Orleans, LA, United States, April 6-10, 2008 (2008), CHED-435.

36. "Green asymmetric synthesis, an upper-level undergraduate, research based laboratory course," Wiggins, Colleen M.; Petrozziello, Gillian L.; Lin, Yin Yin; King, Christina M.; Bass, Deborah S.; Boice, Jennifer N.; Haffner, Jessica E.; Huang, Henglian; Liu, Virgina S.; Oheim, Brittany M.; Tsui, ShunYi; Warsame, Aisha A.; Lee, Nancy E. Gurney, Richard W.; Abstracts of Papers, 235th ACS National Meeting, New Orleans, LA, United States, April 6-10, 2008 (2008), CHED-405.

35. "Chiral chromatography utilizing post-consumer polylactic acid waste," Tsui, Shun Yi; Haffner, Jessica E.; McFarland, Meredith A.; Boice, Jennifer N.; Morrell, Lauren E.; Souza, Katelyn T.; Cacoq, Cassandra; Petrozziello, Gillian L.; Lee, Nancy E.; Gurney, Richard W., Abstracts of Papers, 235th ACS National Meeting, New Orleans, LA, United States, April 6-10, 2008 (2008), CHED-392.

34. "Green synthesis of (-)-ethyl L-lactate and pyruvic acid from post-consumer polylactic acid waste," McFarland, Meredith A.; Haffner, Jessica E.; Boice, Jennifer N.; Morrell, Lauren E.; Gidwani, Monali S.; Souza, Katelyn T.; Cacoq, Cassandra; Lee, Nancy E.; Gurney, Richard W., Abstracts of Papers, 235th ACS National Meeting, New Orleans, LA, United States, April 6-10, 2008 (2008), CHED-378.

33. "Green asymmetric synthesis, an upper-level undergraduate, research based laboratory course," Bass, Deborah S.; Boice, Jennifer N.; Haffner, Jessica E.; Huang, Henglian; Liu, Virgina S.; Oheim, Brittany M.; Tsui, Shun Yi; Warsame, Aisha A.; Lee, Nancy E.; Gurney, Richard W., Abstracts of Papers, 235th ACS National Meeting, New Orleans, LA, United States, April 6-10, 2008 (2008), CHED-053.

32. "Trash talk: The many green-chemical applications of post-consumer waste PLA," Boice, Jennifer N.; Lee, Nancy E.; Gurney, Richard W., Abstracts of Papers, 235th ACS National Meeting, New Orleans, LA, United States, April 6-10, 2008 (2008), CHED-052.

31. "Consumption: Chemistry and Conscience: The Tao of Shoe, a Learning Community Between Green Chemistry and Environmental Ethics" Invited Guest Speaker, Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, NY, November 2, 2007.

30. "Learning to be Green: Involve Students in the Decision Making Process: Greening the Oxidation of Borneol to Camphor; 1. A Guided-Inquiry Investigation into Green Metrics; 2. An Open-Inquiry Investigation" 2-year College Chemistry Educators across the United States and is an affiliate of Division of Chemistry (DivCHED) of the American Chemical Society, Bergen Community College, Paramus, NJ, September 23, 2007.

29. "Learning to be Green: Involve Students in the Decision Making Process: Greening the Oxidation of Borneol to Camphor; 1. A Guided-Inquiry Investigation into Green Metrics; 2. An Open-Inquiry Investigation" Perkins and Will (Green Architectural Firm) National Summit, Boston, MA. September 11, 2007.

28. "Undergraduate laboratory renaissance," Gurney, Richard W., Abstracts of Papers, 234th ACS National Meeting, Boston, MA, United States, August 19-23, 2007 (2007), CHED-500.

27. "Cups to cleaners: Trash to treasure," Boice, Jennifer N.; Gurney, Richard W., Abstracts of Papers, 234th ACS National Meeting, Boston, MA, United States, August 19-23, 2007 (2007), CHED-223.

26. "Chemistry and consumption: Introducing green chemistry to the general college community through greened consumer products," Gurney, Richard W., Abstracts of Papers, 234th ACS National Meeting, Boston, MA, United States, August 19-23, 2007 (2007), CHED-118.

25. "Cups to Cleaners - Trash to Treasure NatureWorksTM PLA in the Undergraduate Lab." Fisher Green Chemistry Workshop hosted at Simmons College, August 18, 2007.

24. "Learning to be Green: Involve Students in the Decision Making Process: Greening the Oxidation of Borneol to Camphor; 1. A Guided-Inquiry Investigation into Green Metrics; 2. An Open-Inquiry Investigation" at the Green Chemistry in Education Workshop, University of Oregon, July 7, 2007.

23. "Learning to be green: involve students in the decision making process," Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference,Washington, DC. June 26-29, 2007.

22. "Experimental factors influencing the growth of calcium oxalate monohydrate on coinage metal substrates," King, Christina M.; Wong, Susanna M.; McFarland, Meredith A.; Morrell, Lauren E.; Bankowski, Heather A.; Gurney, Richard W., Abstracts of Papers, 233rd ACS National Meeting, Chicago, IL, United States, March 25-29, 2007 (2007), CHED-451.

21. "Conscience and Consumption: The Tao of Shoe," Association for Practical and Professional Ethics Annual Meeting, February 23-25, 2007.

20. "From chemistry to philosophy and middle school to majors: Green chemistry across the curriculum," Gurney, Richard W., Abstracts of Papers, 232nd ACS National Meeting, San Francisco, CA, United States, Sept. 10-14, 2006 (2006), CHED-436.

19. "Learning to be green: Involve students in the decision making process."The 19th Biennial Conference on Chemical Education, July 30-August 3, 2006. Building the Community of Green Chemistry Educators - Session 1.

18. "Greening the curriculum - green chemistry courses – Consumption: Chemistry and conscience: The Tao of Shoe, a learning community between green chemistry and environmental ethics" The 19th Biennial Conference on Chemical Education, July 30-August 3, 2006. Building the Community of Green Chemistry Educators - Session 2.

17. "Completely solvent-free oxidation of borneol to camphor: Synthesis, isolation, and purification." The 19th Biennial Conference on Chemical Education, July 30-August 3, 2006. Approaches to Research and Organic Chemistry – Session 1.

16. "Templating the growth of calcium oxalate monohydrate on gold via microcontact printing." University of Massachusetts, Lowell - Center for Green Chemistry, April 13, 2006.

15. "Templating the growth of calcium oxalate monohydrate on gold via microcontact printing," Cabrera, Tania M.; Friguglietti, Leigh M.; Gurney, Richard W., Abstracts of Papers, 231st ACS National Meeting, Atlanta, GA, United States, March 26-30, 2006 (2006), CHED-329.

14. "Controlling the size, orientation, density and nucleation of calcium oxalate monohydrate crystals using self-assembled monolayers," Cabrera, Tania M.; Friguglietti, Leigh, M.; Gurney, Richard W. 2005 Leo Hendrick Baekeland Award Symposium and Presentation, Murray Hill, NJ, November 10, 2005.

13. "Learning to be green: Involving students in the decision making process." Green Chemistry in Education Workshop, University of Oregon, July 25-31, 2005. Invited Key Note Speaker.

12. "Approaches to conjugated macromolecules via electrophilic carbohydrate reagents," Sandman, D. J.; Keddy, Marcy; Gurney, Richard; Tran, Bao, Abstracts of Papers, 229th ACS National Meeting, San Diego, CA, United States, March 13-17, 2005 (2005), POLY-327.

11. "Learning to be green: Involving students in the decision making process," Gurney, Richard W. Abstracts of Papers, 229th ACS National Meeting, San Diego, CA, United States, March 13-17, 2005 (2005), CHED-1312.

10. "Sustainable approach to conducting polymers using electrophilic carbohydrate reagents," Keddy, Marcy Beth; Gurney, Richard W.; Sandman, Daniel J., Abstracts of Papers, 229th ACS National Meeting, San Diego, CA, United States, March 13-17, 2005 (2005), CHED-1203.

9. "Templating calcium oxalate monohydrate for in-situ crystal growth studies," Cabrera, Tania M.; Brennan, Christina P.; Berry, Becca J.; Johnson, Ashley M.; Gunn, Erica M.; Gurney, Richard W., Abstracts of Papers, 229th ACS National Meeting, San Diego, CA, United States, March 13-17, 2005 (2005), CHED-1118.

8. "Greening the oxidation of borneol to camphor in the undergraduate organic laboratory," Lin, Yin Yin; Sala, Marc A.; Schwartz, Craig P.; Gurney, Richard W., Abstracts of Papers, 229th ACS National Meeting, San Diego, CA, United States, March 13-17, 2005 (2005), CHED-422.

7. "Greening the oxidation of borneol to camphor in the undergraduate organic laboratory," Green Chemistry in Education Workshop, University of Oregon, July 24-29, 2004.

6. "A Dry, Microwave-Assisted Oxidation of Borneol and a Reduction of Camphor for an Undergraduate Organic Lab" The Gordon Research Conference on Green Chemistry, Roger Williams University, Bristol, RI, July 4-8, 2004.

5. "Directed-Assembly of Nanoporous, Porphyrin-Based, Molecular-Square Thin-Films Using Zirconium Phosphonate Chemistry." Guest lecture at the University of Massachusetts – Lowell. June 9, 2004.

4. "Sensing Strategies Based Upon Porphyrin/Rhenium Molecular Square Films," 8th IEC Semi-Annual Scientific Meeting, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, September 2002.

3. "Electronic Properties of Hybrid Organic/Inorganic Langmuir Blodgett Films Containing CdS Quantum Particles," International Conference on the Organic Solid State (ICCOSS), Max-Plank Institute, Munich, Germany, July 2001.

2. "Salting benzenes," Gurney, Richard W.; Bastin, Loyd D.; Ham, Sihyun; Kahr, Bart, Book of Abstracts, 218th ACS National Meeting, New Orleans, Aug. 22-26 (1999), ORGN-073.

1. "Luminescent probes of crystal growth mechanisms," Kahr, Bart E.; Gurney, Richard, Book of Abstracts, 217th ACS National Meeting, Anaheim, Calif., March 21-25 (1999), ORGN-162.

Awards, Grants and Fellowships

  • Simmons University 2021 Faculty Service Award
  • Semiconductor Research Corporation Educational Alliance Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program, January 2013 – 2016. ($75,000)
  • W.M. Keck Foundation, "Undergraduate Laboratory Renaissance," $244,000, July 2008.
  • Simmons College, College of Arts and Science, Dean’s Award for Exceptional Teaching, September 2007.
  • Presidential Fund for Faculty Excellence, "Green Asymmetric Synthesis," $14,744 (2007)
  • Pottruck Technology Resource Center, Simmons College, with Sue Stafford to develop "Consumption: Chemistry and Conscience: The Tao of Shoe, a Learning Community Between Green Chemistry and Environmental Ethics" $12,000 (2006)
  • James Flack Norris and Theodore William Richards Undergraduate Summer Research Scholarship for Tania M. Cabrera (Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society) $3,250 (Summer 2006)
  • Technology at the Crossroads (Proposal # 0423588) – Awarded by the National Science Foundation through the ITEST program, with Deborah Muscella (Girls Get Connected Collaborative) Funded $933,465 (2004 - 2009)
  • American Chemical Society, Petroleum Research Fund – Summer Research Fellowship - supplementary award to PRF Grant No. 40263-AC7. "Approaches to Structurally Ordered Conjugated Macromolecules via Solid State Polymerization." (Summer 2004)
  • SENCER - Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities, the AAC&U's NSF-funded program, Summer Institute 2004 – Grant / Workshop to develop the Colleges of the Fenway Environmental Forum course for S05.
  • Camille and Henry Dreyfus Postdoctoral Fellowship in Environmental Chemistry (2001-2003)
  • Feinberg Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Weizmann Institute of Science (2000)
  • University of Washington Royalty Research Fund Graduate Student Fellowship (1998)
  • Purdue University Alumni Graduate Teaching Award (1994)
  • AMOCO Chemical / Benedictine University Undergraduate Research Internship / Fellowship (1993)
  • Fauske and Associates Environmental Health and Safety Award (1991 & 1992)
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute Undergraduate Research Fellowship (1992)
  • Recognition Award for Volunteerism Efforts in Recycling in Illinois (1991)

See also Research Gate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Richard_Gurney