What’s Happening in Chemistry Circles

Issue #100 January 21, 2003

web address: http://www.chem.tamu.edu/ugrad/

[a publication of the Department of Chemistry at Texas A&M University]

written by Dr. John L. Hogg


            Twelve undergraduate chemistry majors received degrees at the December 20, 2002 commencement ceremony. Karl Schultz (B.A.), Emily Squibb (B.S.) and Christina Thompson (B.S.) graduated cum laude (GPR 3.5-3.699). Karl also received University Honors and Foundation Honors. Oakley Davis graduated magna cum laude (GPR 3.7-3.899) and Marc Wilson graduated summa cum laude(GPR >3.9).


            B.A. degrees: Erin E. Greenwald, Joseph M. Harmon, Joseph A. Jessup, Anita P. Patel, Caleb M. Porter, and Karl A. Schultz.


            Erin has entered the graduate chemistry program at A&M, Joseph Harmon has been commissioned into the Navy, Joseph Jessup plans to enter pharmacy school, Anita Patel is teaching high school, Caleb has taken an industrial position, while Karl plans to enter graduate school, I think.


            B.S. degrees: Jared M. Benedict, Oakley T. Davis, Tara R. Kaspar, Emily A. Squibb, Christina M. Thompson, and Marc D. Wilson.


            Jared has accepted a position with Pharmaform in Austin, Oakley and Emily have both accepted positions with Celanese, Tara has entered graduate school at Rice University and Christina and Marc plan to enter graduate school in chemistry this fall.




            Three additional chemistry majors were recognized with $500 IUCCP-A.E. Martell Undergraduate Chemistry Scholarships for the spring 2003 semester based on their fall grades. The students and the sponsoring IUCCP company are: freshman Christopher Dalrymple (Rohm and Haas Company) and sophomores Amanda Jenkins (Abbott Laboratories) and Melisssa Loontjer (BASF Corporation). They replaced graduating seniors and an international student who was unable to attend A&M as anticipated.




            Michael Irwin, senior B.S. chemistry major, has accepted a 1-year internship at Dojindo Laboratories in Japan to begin in June after he completes his degree this May. This was arranged by Dr. Keiyu Ueno who received his Ph.D. at Texas A&M in 1977.




            Erin Witt (B.S. 2000) and Julie Orf (B.S. 2000) stopped by for a very short visit just before Christmas as they were on their way to Melissa Supak’s (B.S. 2000) wedding. Actually, they were on their way to what was planned to be a wild batchelorette party. Erin is still employed by Entergy Nuclear Northeast at the Indian Point 3 Nuclear Power Plant in Buchanan, NY and Julie finished (December 13) her master’s degree in inorganic chemistry (Functionalization of Boron Clusters for Drug Delivery) at UCLA. She has now returned to UCLA to complete her Ph.D. in chemistry. She told me she had recently received one of six teaching award ($750) to graduate students in chemistry and biochemistry. Julie was accompanied by her boyfriend Naser Hamdi, who looked every bit the Texas cowboy in his hat and boots which, Julie assured me, were not just an affectation for his visit to Texas.


             Lindy (Sparks) Stoll (B.S. 1994) and her husband, Ben, have announced the birth of twin boys (Tyler and Joseph) on October 27, 2002. She sent a Christmas card with pictures of the boys in Santa hats and cuddling with stuffed reindeer toys. Cute. Lindy just defended her master’s thesis in physical chemistry last June at the University of Louisville and will probably start teaching a section of freshman chemistry this summer or fall. Congratulations on both accomplishments, Lindy. Friends can check out the family web page at: http://home.bellsouth.net/p/PWP-StollPosse


or e-mail them at: bdstoll@bellsouth.net


            Dr. Christine (Mullen) Barondeau (B.S. 1994) sent along a Christmas photo with her husband and three children. Her husband, Dave, is still at The Scripps Research Institute and she is still teaching at the University of San Diego.


            Tommy Miller (B.S. in chemistry and math, 2000) and his girlfriend (Nicola) were in College Station shortly before Christmas and stopped by to visit. Tommy is now studying at Oxford University in England. Nicola was surprised at how much College Station resembles London (not really). It was nice to see them both again since Janet and I had the pleasure of visiting with them last summer in London.


            Carrie LaRue (B.S. 1997) and her sister Martha stopped by before Christmas to show off her new baby. She and her husband, Stephen Willis (B.S. 1997), are the proud parents of Nathaniel LaRue Willis, born on November 4, 2002, at 2:09 pm. He was just a little over 9 pounds and 21 3/4 inches long -- a big boy! Congratulations! Additional congratulations may be sent to Carrie and Stephen at: SouthernScribe@hotmail.com


            The following announcement was sent from T.A. Hennard (B.A. 1991) back in November. I don’t think he’ll mind me sharing this. “Howdy folks! There will be more later, since I have been a busy little bee--Dubai, Istanbul, back to Dhaka, down to the Bangladesh Sundarbans–but they all take a back seat to the real news of the day: Bec and I are going to be parents! She and our friend Diana Martelly went to the doctor in Bangkok yesterday and got it confirmed (as though the 9 or 10 EPTs in a row weren't evidence enough!). She is 7 weeks along with a due date of July 1st. The sonogram shows an 0.87 cm proto-person who, she says, looks just like me. I think she means that it's bald. Anyway, we're quite happy, as you can imagine and Rebecca is only ill for approximately 80% of the day. Her "morning sickness" seems to be stuck on Greenwich Mean Time since it really kicks in about 1 pm here. But then the Brits do carry Great Britain with them wherever they go. I wish everyone well. Take care all and there will be more later.” As you may have inferred from the e-mail, T.A. is now in teaching chemistry and physics at the American International School in Dhaka. Let’s see, that means he’s taught in Norway, Venezuela, and now Dhaka, in addition to Mineral Wells, Texas and Montana in the United States. What a life! You may send congratulations to T.A. and his wife at: t_a_h_3@hotmail.com


            Lori Fuller (B.S. 2000) is now employed as a forensic drug chemist at the Dallas County Crime Lab (SWIFS). Forensics seems to have attracted a lot of our chemistry majors recently. Friends may contact her at the following e-mail address: lfuller@dallascounty.org


            Leah Whiteker (B.S. 2002) was here in December to attend the graduation of several friends. She was accepted into the MBA program at the Citadel and has now begun classes there. Contact her at: lwhiteker@hotmail.com


            Chad Shear (B.S. 1996) reported in after a long period of no communication to say “I have not checked in since shortly after graduation, I am sure that you do not recognize the name. I graduated in 1996 with Mike Lacey (my roommate at the University of Illinois) and attended law school. I am currently practicing patent law in Washington D.C. If any of your students are thinking of law school, especially if they are interested in patent law, feel free to give them my email address. I would be more than happy to help out in any way that I can. Looking back, I think that the office of professional school advising gave me some questionable advice re: patent law. I hope all is well in College Station. Say hello to Dr. Romo for me if you see him.”


            After communicating with me, Chad then sent the following e-mail with additional details of his career path at my request. “I graduated from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1999. After practicing with a law firm in Dallas for two years, I left private practice to clerk for the Honorable H. Robert Mayer, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington D.C. (It is the court that handles all patent appeals from any lower court in the U.S.). My clerkship will end next fall and my wife, son, and I are exploring are options as to where we will go next.”


            Chad’s e-mail address is: shearw@cafc.uscourts.gov


            Vanessa Walters (B.S. 2001) sent along a Christmas e-mail to say that she is still enjoying working in the McAllen crime lab. Contact Vanessa at: vanessa_l_walters@hotmail.com


            Rene (Navarette) Nowalk (B.A. 1983) and her husband stopped by last fall and I asked her to update me on what she’s been doing for the past twenty years. Here is her response, in a somewhat edited form. “Well, since I have been gone from A&M I have been busy. I got married in 1984 and then had a son in 1985. My husband, Joe, is an Aggie (TAMUG class of ‘81) and is a process chemist at the Shell Oil Deer Park refinery. My son, Brandon, is currently 17 years old and a senior at Friendswood HS. As you can imagine, we are currently in the college application mode. As far as my career has gone, since I graduated, I have been employed as an analytical chemist specializing in separation sciences. In 1991 we moved to the San Francisco bay area where I got a job as a QA chemist-then-manager at a plant for seven years prior to relocating to the Houston area. That was a great experience, but we were anxious to return to our home in Houston. When we returned to Houston, I was able to secure a position with Shell Chemicals as a Research Chemist. Really, I am an Analytical Chemist responsible for gas chromatography techniques for the analysis of gases, lpgs and other types of process samples. I do a lot of High Temperature Simulated Distillations and multi-dimensional techniques I have several technicians in my group and I manage them as well as doing chemistry. I am involved in two commercial areas: Refinery Chemistry and olefins manufacturing. Other than work, our family is involved in Boy Scouts. Joe and Brandon are both Eagle Scouts and we have been involved in a troop in our area for the past several years. Even I am involved in the troop. I just completed my first 50 mile backpacking trip this summer at Zion National Park. We do a lot of family hiking and camping outside of scouts. I cannot think of anything else to tell you. That pretty well covers the past 18 years.” Thanks for the information. I’m sure old friends and faculty will enjoy reading this. You may contact Rene at: rmnowalk@Shell.Com


            Tammie (Tuggle) Warren (B.S. 2000) has sent an e-mail with news of her life since graduation. “I just thought I would send a note to update y'all what was going on so you would have something to put in Orbitals! I worked in an analytical lab in Bryan after graduation till October when I got a job working for the USDA. I worked for the Farm Service Agency in College Station while my husband Mike (ENTC, Dec.2000) finished up his masters degree. He finished up his degree in the summer of 2001, and the Air Force moved us to Langley Air Force Base, in Hampton Virginia. We are expecting our first child at the end of this month. We have had several ultrasounds and know it is a boy. I am staying at home to take care of our baby while we are here. I hope to go back to work someday, but for now, taking care of the baby will be job enough for me! Have a great semester and I will send you an update after the baby is born!” Friends may contact Tammy at: fruityfriends@yahoo.com


              Chris McFarland (B.S. 1998) is working on a Ph.D. in natural product synthesis under the supervision of Dr. Matthias McIntosh at the University of Arkansas. Friends may contact Chris at: chris_mcfarland@yahoo.com


            Dr. Lynda Yang (B.S. 1988) has returned to the states after spending a year working at the Royal National Orthopedic Hospital in London. She is back at the University of Michigan. Her e-mail address is: ljsyang@umich.edu




            The Chemistry Department at Texas A&M University has received an invitation to participate in the Pfizer Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowships Program in Synthetic Organic Chemistry. We have been asked to nominate two students for fellowships for the summer of 2003. Participants will be selected by Pfizer based on the following criteria: demonstrated interest and talent in synthetic organic chemistry, merit and feasibility of the research project, commitment of the faculty mentor to support the student in the work, academic record of the student (particularly in organic chemistry and related sciences) and demonstrated importance of the award in facilitating the personal and career plans of the nominee.

            Additional information about the award ($4000 to the student and $1000 to the mentor for supplies/expenses) may be obtained in Dr. Hogg’s office. The deadline for application is February 21, 2003. Please contact your research advisor if you are interested in applying for this program since he/she will be involved in preparing the application with you. 



            The American Chemical Society Scholars Program will award approximately 100 scholarships to undergraduate students interested in four-year degrees in the chemical sciences, to those interested in transferring from two-year colleges to four-year colleges, and to high school seniors who will be entering college for the first time this fall. The scholarships are valued at up to $2500 for academic freshmen and up to $3000 for sophomore, juniors and seniors.. The scholarship is designed to encourage African-American, Hispanic and Native American students to pursue degrees in the chemical sciences. Information about the program may be obtained at: http://chemistry.org/scholars or from Dr. Hogg in Room 104 Chemistry. The deadline for application is February 15.


            The Eli Lilly & Company is sponsoring a program to provide funding for undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral women chemists to travel to scientific meetings in 2003-2004 to present the results of their research. There are special funds set aside just for undergraduates. The deadline for application is February 15, 2003 for meetings between July 1 and December 31, 2003 and there is a second September 15, 2003 deadline for meetings between January 1, 2004 and June 30, 2004. Application forms are available at http://membership.acs.org/W/WCC/travap00.pdf or from Dr. Hogg in Room 104 Chemistry.



            The undergraduate advising office has received quite a collection of announcements about summer research programs for undergraduates. Please stop Room 104 to check out the folder. Many of these programs have February 15 or earlier deadlines so don’t delay.