Ph.D., University of Chicago
M.S., University of Chicago
B.A., Augustana College, IL
Rebecca Black is a synthetic organic/organometallic chemist and chemical education researcher. Her graduate work focused on the design and synthesis of phosphine-sulfonate ligands for Pd(II)-catalyzed α-olefin (co)polymerization. Her current work with NCF students, funded by the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund, involves the synthesis of new axially-chiral biphenyl bisphosphine ligands and their corresponding Ru(II) complexes for acceptorless dehydrogenation catalysis, a clean organic synthetic method that generates hydrogen gas as its only byproduct. Her chemical education research projects center on developing activities and projects for students to develop information literacy, problem solving, teamwork, and written communication skills. Two ongoing projects involve investigating (i) the impact of term-long, scaffolded research projects in Organic Chemistry I and II lecture courses on the development of information literacy and problem-solving skills and (ii) how learning to write in professionally-relevant genres in Organic Chemistry laboratories affects the development of writer and STEM identity and persistence in STEM. Her teaching interests include Organic Chemistry, Organometallic and Inorganic Chemistry, Catalysis, Polymer Chemistry, Advanced NMR Spectroscopy and Structure Elucidation, the History of Science, and Chemistry in Art.
- Organic Chemistry I & II Lecture
- Organic Chemistry II Synthesis Laboratory
- Organometallic Chemistry and Catalysis for Organic & Polymer Synthesis
- Chemical Research, Communication, and Careers
- General Chemistry I
- Black, R. E. Problem-solving our way to a sustainable future: An Organic Chemistry I student-driven research project centered on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In Engaging Students with Real-World Context; King, D. B., Webster, G. H., Eds.; ACS Books. Invited Book Chapter – Accepted. Book forthcoming 2023.
- Black, R. E.; Kilyanek, S. M.; Reinhard, E. D.; Jordan, R. F. Olefin Insertion Reactivity of a (Phosphine-arenesulfonate)Palladium(II) Fluoride Complex. Organometallics 2019, 38, 4250–4260. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.organomet.9b00545
- Black, R. E. Olefin Polymerization Behavior and Reactivity of Palladium(II) Alkyl and Fluoride Complexes Bearing Phosphine-Sulfonate Ligands. Doctoral dissertation, The University of Chicago, 2018. https://knowledge.uchicago.edu/record/1618?ln=en
- Black, R. E. and Jordan, R. F. “Synthesis and Reactivity of Palladium(II) Alkyl Complexes that Contain Phosphine-cyclopentanesulfonate Ligands.” Organometallics 2017, 36, 3415-3428. DOI: 10.1021/acs.organomet.7b00572
- Dragisich, V.; Keller, V.; Black, R.; Heaps, C. W.; Kamm, J. M.; Olechnowicz, F.; Raybin, J.; Rombola, M.; Zhao, M. “Development of an Advanced Training Course for Teachers and Researchers in Chemistry.” J. Chem. Educ., 2016, 93, 1211-1216. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.5b00578
Selected Presentations (*indicates New College student)
- Black, R. E. “How do organic chemists contribute sustainable solutions to problems? A student-driven Organic Chemistry I research project based in the UN sustainable development goals” Florida-ACS FAME Conference, Palm Habor, FL, In-Person Poster Presentation on June 3, 2023.
- ACS Spring 2023 National Meeting & Expo. March 26-30, 2023.
- Black, R. E. “How do organic chemists contribute sustainable solutions to problems? A student-driven Organic Chemistry I research project based in the UN sustainable development goals” Chemical Education Division, ‘Green Chemistry Theory and Practice: Engaging Students in the Crossroads of Chemistry for the Betterment of Society’ Symposium. In-Person Oral Presentation and Invited SciMix Poster Presentation.
- Black, R. E. “Ru(II) Complexes Bearing Bulky BIPHEP-type Ligands: Synthesis, X-ray Diffraction Analysis, and Performance in Alcohol Acceptorless Dehydrogenation.” In-Person Oral Presentation.
- Alam, I.*; Goldberg, M. J.*; Bouchard, M. A.*; Cemek, A. B.*; Lopez, W. R.*; Ismatulla, K. F.*; Pare, O.*; Swain, K. A.*; Black, R. E. “Synthesis and Characterization of Ru(II) Complexes Bearing BIPHEP-type Ligands and a Chelating Phosphine-Bromoarene Ligand.” In-Person Poster Presentation.
- Black, R. E. “Writing-Enhanced Organic Chemistry II Lab: Learning to Write in Professionally-Relevant Genres.” Chemical Education Division, ‘High Impact Educational Practices in the Chemistry Classroom’ Symposium. ACS Fall 2022 National Meeting & Expo. In-Person Oral Presentation and Invited SciMix Poster Presentation. Aug. 22, 2022.
- ACS Spring 2022 National Meeting & Expo. March 20-24, 2022.
- Goldberg, M. J.*; Alam, I.*; Stryker, J. S.*; Markham, S.*; Black, R. E. “Synthesis, Characterization, and Catalytic Acceptorless Dehydrogenation Performance of Ru(II) Complexes Bearing BIPHEP-type Ligands.” Inorganic Chemistry Division Poster Session. In-Person Poster Presentation.
- Black, R. E. “Ru(II) Complexes Bearing (Non-)Base Functionalized BIPHEP-type Ligands: Synthesis, Characterization, and Catalytic Alcohol Acceptorless Dehydrogenation Performance.” Inorganic Chemistry Division Symposium. In-person Oral Presentation.
- Black, R. E. “Problem-solving our way to a sustainable future: An Organic Chemistry I student-driven research project.” Chemical Education Division Symposium. In-person Oral Presentation.
- Goldberg, M. J.*; Alam, I.*; Stryker, J. S.*; Markham, S.*; Black, R. E. “Synthesis, Characterization, and Catalytic Performance of Ru(II) Complexes Bearing 2,2′-bis(diphenylphosphino)Biphenyl (BIPHEP) Derivatives.” Multidentate Ligands in Inorganic Chemistry Session. South Eastern Regional Meeting (SERMACS). In-Person Poster Presentation. November 11, 2021.
- ACS Spring 2021 National Meeting & Expo.
- Goldberg, M. J.*; Alam, I.*; Black, R. E. “Pendent base-functionalized biphenyl-derived bisphosphine ligands: synthesis and characterization.” Virtual Poster Presentation, April 21, 2021; Recording published to SciMeetings May 27, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1021/scimeetings.1c00373
- Black, R. E. “Building Professional Writing Instruction into Organic Chemistry II Lab: Replacing the Lab Report.” Virtual Oral Presentation, April 5, 2021. Recording published to SciMeetings May 27, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1021/scimeetings.1c00382
- Black, R. E. “Working at a Small Liberal Arts College” with the UChicago Women in Chemistry series, University of Chicago (Virtual), Invited Speaker, March 24, 2021.
- ACS Spring 2020 National Meeting & Expo.
- Black, R. E. “Writing science news article reflections and wiki articles in organic chemistry to build student chemical literature and information management skills.” Virtual, March 21-25, 2020. Poster published to SciMeetings Apr 30, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1021/scimeetings.0c06000
- Black, R. E.; Goldberg, M. J.* “Synthesis and characterization of biphenyl-derived bisphosphine ligands bearing pendent bases.” Virtual, March 21-25, 2020. Published to SciMeetings Apr 29, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1021/scimeetings.0c04176
- Black, R. E. “Teaching using POGIL (Process-Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning),” Teaching Tuesdays, New College of Florida, Sarasota, FL, Presentation and Workshop, Nov. 2019.
- Black, R. E. “The Impact of Organic Ligand Design on Homogenous Transition-Metal Catalyst Performance: Toward More “Green” Polymers and Organic Reactions,” Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Physics Lecture Series, Florida Southern College, Lakeland, FL, Invited Seminar Presentation, Oct. 2019.
- Black, R. E. “Copolymerization of Ethylene and Polar Monomers Using Palladium(II) Catalysts Bearing Phosphine-Sulfonate Ligands and Designing Catalysts for Acceptorless Dehydrogenation Reactions,” Natural Science Seminar, New College of Florida, Sarasota, FL, Invited Seminar Presentation, April 2019.