September 26, 2017
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Chemistry graduates present research in Italy
Montgomery, Ala.—Huntingdon College Class of 2017 chemistry graduates Aubree Archie, of Kinston, Alabama, and Emily Fike, of Magnolia, Alabama, traveled with chemistry professor Dr. Maureen Kendrick Murphy to present their undergraduate research in Italy earlier this month. The pair presented “Metal Analysis of Deer Hooves from South Alabama: Sentinels of Deer Health, Nutrition, and the Environment,” for the World Chemistry Conference in Rome. They completed their research during their senior year at Huntingdon. Their research, the first of its kind in the literature, showed that metal content in deer hooves reflects the health, nutrition, and environment of deer in Alabama.
Both avid hunters, the best friends collected deer hooves from deer they killed and from deer processing plants in South Alabama during the 2016–2017 deer hunting season. Since deer hooves contain keratin, the same protein as found in human fingernails and toenails, the metal content absorbed by the deer is reflected in the hooves. Using an inductively-coupled plasma optical emission spectrometer, an instrument purchased through a donation from Montgomery Water Works, the seniors measured the zinc, iron, and copper content in the deer hooves. They worked alongside Murphy to complete the research.
Archie and Fike presented their research at the 2017 Annual Research Symposium at Alabama State University in 2017. Soon after, Murphy received an invitation for the trio to present their results at the World Chemistry Conference. Both students received grants from the Alabama District Exchange Clubs to assist with travel costs. The conference was held September 4–6.
Fike and Archie were active outside the classroom while at Huntingdon, as well. Fike served as president-elect and Archie served as president of Huntingdon’s Collegiate Exchange Club, the first club of its kind on a college campus.Each was elected Miss Alabama Exchange Queen. Both women were also members of Phi Mu women’s fraternity and of Huntingdon’s Student Affiliate Chapter of the American Chemical Society.
Grounded in the Judeo-Christian tradition of the United Methodist Church, Huntingdon is committed to nurturing growth in faith, wisdom, and service and to graduating individuals prepared to succeed in a rapidly changing world. The College motto is “Enter to grow in wisdom; go forth to apply wisdom in service.”
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