hero image
Jeanne Berk - Cedar Crest College. Allentown, PA, US

Jeanne Berk Jeanne Berk

Associate Professor, Department of Chemical & Physical Science | Cedar Crest College

Allentown, PA, UNITED STATES

Jeanne Berk is an experienced educator in Organic Chemistry.

Media

Publications:

Documents:

Photos:

loading image loading image loading image

Videos:

Audio:

Social

Biography

Jeanne Berk, Ph.D. is an associate professor of chemistry at Cedar Crest. Her research as a graduate student was based on a new class of polymers called Dendrimers, which she synthesized and then studied their physical properties in solution. She moved to the Lehigh Valley after graduate school and worked as an adjunct instructor at local colleges and universities until finally settling into a position at Lehigh University. There, Berk acted as their first undergraduate laboratory manager, teaching and helping them redevelop their general chemistry laboratories into an inquiry based format. She left Lehigh and joined the Cedar Crest community in order to get back to teaching organic chemistry.

Jeanne has been a member of the American Chemical Society since 1993, and has been active in the Lehigh Valley Section for over 15 years. She has served the LVACS section as the Chair of the Awards Committee, Chair Elect, and Chair, and is currently a councilor for the section.

Jeanne is very active in chemistry academic outreach programs having work for several summers at Lehigh as part of the STAR Program which enhances science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in K-12 schools and the Greater Allentown Math and Science Program which works with local middle school science teachers. Currently she is serving on the committee for the Lehigh Valley Science Festival in collaboration with DaVinci Science Center, and is part of their Meet the Scientist program

Industry Expertise (4)

Education/Learning Laboratory Services Training and Development Research

Areas of Expertise (4)

Organic Chemistry Uv/Vis Organic Synthesis NMR

Accomplishments (9)

Analysis of Organosulfur Compounds found in Skunk Cabbage Tinctures Using Gas Chromatogram-Flame Ionization Detector (GD-FID) (professional)

J. Miller and J. Berk; Lehigh Valley American Chemical Society Meeting, Bethlehem, PA, April 2011.

Environmentally Friendly Synthesis of Novel Mono-Azo and Bis-Azo Dyes Using a Polymer Resin (professional)

A. Pulcini and J. Berk; Lehigh Valley American Chemical Society Meeting, East Stroudsburg, PA, April 2012.

Environmentally Friendly Synthesis of Novel Mono-Azo and Bis-Azo Dyes Using a Polymer Resin (professional)

A. Pulcini and J. Berk; American Chemical Society Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting (MARM), Baltimore, MD, May 2012.

Analysis of Nicotine-like Compounds in Field Horsetail (professional)

T. Allen and J. Berk; Lehigh Valley American Chemical Society Meeting, Allentown, PA, April 2013

Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis of Heavy Metals in Hair Dye Henna (professional)

B. Colburn and J. Berk; American Chemical Society National Meeting, San Francisco, CA, August 2014.

Synthesis of Bis-Azo Dyes Using Polymer-supported Reagents (professional)

S. Cox and J. Berk; American Chemical Society National Meeting, San Francisco, CA, August 2014.

Everyday Chemistry as a Poster (professional)

J. Berk; American Chemical Society National Meeting, San Francisco, CA, August 2014.

Development Studies and Substrate Effects on the Use of Lawsone for the Enhancement of Fingerprints on Paper and Pottery (professional)

E. Williamson, M. Beyer, E. Schaeffer and J. Berk; Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists Annual Meeting, Hershey, PA, November 2014.

Determination and Use of Diazonium ions for the Presumptive Testing of Narcotics Containing an Activated Atomic Ring (professional)

A. Fontanez and J. Berk, Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists Annual Meeting, Hershey, PA, November 2014.

Education (3)

Seton Hall University: Ph.D., Physical Organic Chemistry 1998

Seton Hall University: M.Sc., Physical Organic Chemistry 1994

Miami University: B.Sc., Chemistry 1992

Affiliations (3)

  • Kiwanis International : Member
  • American Chemical Society : Member
  • Alpha Chi Sigma : Member

Style

Availability

  • Moderator
  • Panelist
  • Workshop Leader
  • Host/MC

Fees

*Will consider certain engagements for no fee

Research Focus (3)

Analysis of herbal supplements.

Research into the active components of herbal supplements and testing of purity of commercially available supplements.

The use of Lawsone and Diazonium ions as presumptive test for Drugs.

Developing colormetric tests to allow for the detection of possible drugs in the field.

Synthesis of Azo dyes and their spectral characterization

Research on the synthesis of azo and bis-azo dyes using polymer supported reagents. The compounds are further characterized and their ability to be used as a dye evaluated. Some are being developed for use in metal chelation.

Research Grants (1)

The Camel's Nose is Under the Tent: Refining and Extending the Studio Concept: in Chemistry Instruction

NSF Directorate for Education and Human Resources $146,576

N. Foster and J . Berk, 2005-2006.

Partnerships (2)

Science Mentor

Da Vinci Science Center, Women in Science

Serves as a member and science mentor for promoting women in science.

view more

Meet the Scientist

Da Vinci Science Center, Meet the Scientist

Runs programs geared to introducing youth to real scientists and their research.

Courses (7)

Organic Chemistry I

An introduction of the chemistry of carbon, including the structure, nomenclature and the chemical, physical, and spectroscopic properties of simple organic compounds. Reactivities of compounds such as alkanes, alkenes, alkynes and alkyl halides, being able to predict products given starting materials and to suggest appropriate routes of synthesis. They will understand these reactivities using reaction mechanisms and simple theories of resonance and electrostatic stabilization. Students will also learn to understand the stereochemistry of these compounds and the relationship of the various reactions to the stereochemistry of the reactants and products.

Organic Chemistry II

Continues to cover an introduction of the chemistry of carbon, including the structure, nomenclature and the chemical, physical, and spectroscopic properties of simple organic compounds. Students will learn the reactivities of compounds such as alcohols, aromatic compounds, aldehydes and ketones, being able to predict products given starting materials and to suggest appropriate routes of synthesis. They will understand these reactivities using reaction mechanisms and simple theories of resonance and electrostatic stabilization. They will also learn to understand the spectroscopic techniques used to study the structure of these compounds and see how these techniques can be applied to synthetic methods. This knowledge will be applied in the lab where students will identify unknown compounds and learn modern instrumentation where applicable.

Survey of Organic Chemistry

This course will cover basic principles of organic chemistry including nomenclature, structure, properties, and reactions of the major classes of organic compounds. This course is designed for fields of study that require some basic groundwork in organic chemistry. It is not intended for fields that require an intensive study of organic chemistry, such as chemistry, biochemistry and many areas of biology.

Advance Organic Chemistry

A continuing study of organic chemistry with emphasis on mechanism and structure elucidation, electrophilic addition and substitution reactions, oxidation-reductions, nucleophilic addition and elimination reactions, rearrangements and theory and reactions involving aromatic systems. Planning an organic multistep synthesis and structural verification will also be a focus.

Heterocyclic Chemistry

The aim of Heterocyclic Chemistry is to introduce the student to ring systems containing elements other than carbon and to show how this heteroatom affects the chemistry of the ring. We will discuss the properties of the heterocycles, the reactions they undergo and their syntheses. The importance of naturally occurring and synthetic heterocycles in biological systems and their use as pharmaceuticals will be stressed.

Beer, Bread, Wine and Cheese: Microbial Chefs doing Science in the Kitchen

Bread, cheese, beer, and wine are favorite foods and beverages that have been an integral part of human society for millennia. The common thread that links these foods are the microscopic organisms that although they are invisible to the naked human eye, are absolutely required for food production.
Throughout much of history, humans have produced these foods without knowing how or why bread rises or why alcohol forms when grape juice is stored in sealed wooden casks. It is only in the last few hundred that humans have begun to identify and understand the microorganisms that have played critical roles not only in the production of these foods, but also the vast nuances of texture, flavor, and scent that they impart. This new course will focus on live-culture and fermented foods from the perspectives of science, culture, history, socio-economics, and politics. We will examine the biology and chemistry behind the microbial production of beverages and foods, and explore the larger cultural and historical impacts of these types of microbiologically-derived foods. Potential questions to be address will include: how has the use of microbes in food production helped shape/influence differences in taste across cultures and/or in establishing societal norms in this regard? What role(s) have these types of foods played in establishing cultural traditions and potentially forging cross-cultural connections? How has the use of microorganisms impacted politics and regulations on food production in the U.S. vs. worldwide?

Molecules: The good, bad and ugly

This course is part of a comprehensive First-Year Experience, designed to welcome first-year students into the community of scholars at Cedar Crest College. With a focus on women’s leadership, global connectivity, civic engagement, and health and wellness, as well as serving as an introduction to the liberal arts, the experience as a whole will cultivate students’ integration with the Cedar Crest College community. This First-Year Seminar will be taken concurrently with College Life, with its focus on understanding the connection between optimal wellness and academic success. The Seminar will be followed by Exploring Your Future in the spring semester, which focuses on planning for success in college and in careers. Tying the year together will be “First-Year Fridays,” a program designed to explore the connections between extra-curricular activities, the FYS, and the College’s academic mission.

Articles (2)

Chromophore Labeled Dendrimers: Photophysical Probes of Dendrimer Structure and Dynamics Polymeric Materials Science and Engineering

J.E. Hanson, W.R. Murphy, Jr., J. M. Riley, T.L. Tyler, S.O. Kelly, A. Markarewicz, 1995, 73, 358-9.

Pyrene-Labeled Poly(aryl ether) Monodendrons: Synthesis, Characterization, Diffusion Coefficients, and Photophysical Studies Macromolecules

J. M. Riley, s. Alkan, A. Chen, M. Shapiro, W.A. Khan, W.R. Murphy, Jr., and J.E. Hanson, 2001, 34, 1797-1809.

Contact