What’s Happening in Chemistry Circles

Issue #102 March 27, 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



            Jeffrey James (senior B.S. chemistry major) has been admitted to the University of Texas Health Science Center Dental Branch at Houston. He will begin study there in July 2003 and will complete the requirements for his chemistry degree through co-enrollment.


              Brooke Harstad (senior B.A. chemistry major) has received a letter of acceptance from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Brooke also completes her B.A. degree requirements in sociology this May.


            Haley Hagg (senior B.S. chemistry major) has been accepted to Mayo Graduate School in Rochester, Minnesota where she will be working toward a Ph.D in Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.


            Marc Wilson (B.S. 2002) has decided to enter graduate school to work toward a Ph.D. in chemistry at Stanford University. Marc is working at Dow Chemical until he enters Stanford. Marc did his undergraduate research with Dr. Simon North. 

            Aaron Justice (senior B.S. chemistry major) has narrowed his choice of chemistry graduate schools to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign or the University of North Carolina. Aaron has done his undergraduate research with Dr. Stephen Miller.


            Michael Gustavson (senior B.S. chemistry major), who has done his undergraduate research with Dr. Abe Clearfield, will enter graduate school in chemistry this fall at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


            Nolan Griggs (senior chemistry major) has decided to enter the graduate chemistry program at University of Colorado at Boulder. Nolan has done undergraduate research with Dr. Dan Singleton.


            Byron Collins (senior B.S. chemistry major) will enter the graduate chemistry program at the University of Texas in Austin. He has done undergraduate research with Dr. Eric Simanek.


            Michael Irwin (senior B.A. chemistry major) will spend June 2003 through May 2004 working as an intern at Dojindo Laboratories in Kumamoto, Japan before entering graduate school. Michael has done his undergraduate research at A&M with Dr. John Fackler. 


            Sarah Holt (senior B.A. chemistry major) has been accepted into the College of Pharmacy at the University of Texas for the fall term.


            Elizabeth Edwards (junior B.S. chemistry major) has been accepted into the College of Pharmacy at the University of Texas for the fall term.






            Tuan Nguyen (B.A. 1998) sent an e-mail recently to report he is nearing the end of medical school at Texas A&M University and will be a resident of neurosurgery at the University of Mississippi in Jackson beginning this July 1, 2003.

            Dr. Jeff Bahr (B.S. 1995) has finished a two-year postdoctoral stint at Rice University and is now working at Carbon Nanotechnologies, Inc. in Houston. Friends may contact Jeff at: jbahr@cnanotech.com


            Dr. David R. (Chip) Kent IV (B.A. 1999) has finished his degree at Cal Tech and has moved to Los Alamos National Labs. He recently sent along this change of address information with no details about his degree. “Brooke and I will be moving to New Mexico in the next few months. I will be moving mid March, and Brooke will be following in April.” You may contact Chip at: drkent@lanl.gov


            Allan Bates (B.S. 2001) is still working at Texas Fluorescent Labs in Austin and reports he has just purchased a house in Kyle, about 20 minutes south of Austin. You may contact Allan at: goatboy_01@hotmail.com


            Thai Ho (B.A. 1998) sent along the following e-mail chock full of news about former chemistry majors and his life at Baylor College of Medicine. Thai has given me permission to print it here in a slightly edited form. “Dear Dr. Hogg, I just wanted to update you on my progress so far. I am getting married soon; I was recently engaged to a psychiatrist named Dr. Erica Montgomery. I am glad she is a practicing doctor because I know I won't be graduating anytime soon. Roberto Rodriguez (B.A. 1998) and Larry Medina (B.S. 1998) will be among the groomsmen. I had to go to Indiana to meet with her pastor so that "I could be approved" for marriage in a Methodist church (apparently their standards are quite low, because I was approved). I even went to their church in Indiana that Sunday. I did make it a point of signing in the attendance sheet and personally meeting the pastor so that I could prove that I went to church. Recently I was selected to give an oral presentation in Scotland about my data on myotonic dystrophy. Things are progressing quickly so I have to start writing my papers. Although I am doing research in biology, I am constantly haunted by organic. For instance, I am using peptide nucleic acid probes which are synthetic compounds that mimic short strands of DNA. However, the advantage of peptide nucleic acids probes are that their backbones are peptides rather than phosphodiester bonds. Thus they can recognize specific complementary nucleic acid sequences, but bind to the sequences with a higher affinity due to their uncharged backbone (peptide backbone vs. the charged backbone of DNA). Luckily for me I didn't have to synthesize them; all I did was order them and solubilize them in water for my assays. Bobby Delafield (B.S. 1998) got married last December, but I was unable to attend his marriage. I think he is still at UT-Dallas as a graduate student. Larry is buying a new house. I talk to Roberto often and listen to him whine about how his students in school do not have a firm grasp of. I am glad he is teaching AP Chemistry in high school because I know I would not be competent at it. Feel free to use anything for Orbitals; hope to talk to you soon.” Friends may contact Thai at: th692353@bcm.tmc.edu

            Congratulations to Thai on his engagement and to Bobby on his marriage.




            I have received information about a summer internship program at National Starch and Chemical Company in Bridgewater, New Jersey from Dr. Bergbreiter. Please come to Room 104 Chemistry for more details.           





            We have information indicating that we may have up to four $6000 scholarships available for undergraduate chemistry majors whose primary focus is chemical education (i.e. teaching at the secondary level). If you fall into this category and want more details then see Dr. Hogg.




            I’ve recently sent out e-mail about several industrial positions but here is another one that just came in.


            Texas Fluorescence Labs (TEFLABS), an 11 year old small company located in Austin, TX, just completed a new plant in 2003. They manufacture fluorescent dyes for specific intercellular ion (Ca, Mg, Na, Cl, Zn) detection and quantification, as well as fluorescent markers for proteins, peptides, RNA, oligonucleotides. Find out more at their website, www.teflabs.com.

            They have a position for a chemist to do Bench Scale organic synthesis and purification; conduct supervised research projects and/or various standard production schemes. Heavy emphasis on aromatic chemistry. Requirements: Bachelors in Chemistry, much preferred undergraduate synthetic organic research. No industry experience required.

            Contact: Please send resume/cover letter by Fax 512-280-4997, email jobs@teflabs.com, or mail TEFLABS, 9514 Capitol View Drive, Austin TX 78747.


            The information above was provided by Allan Bates (B.S. 2001) who works there.


            We still have an announcement posted on the bulletin board outside our office about positions at URS Corporation in Austin with information provided by Carlos Zapata (B.S. 1994). You may contact him at: Carloz_Zapata@urscorp.com






            Pre-registration begins April 10. Class schedule books with complete registration details are now available at Heaton Hall. Soon, students may also find their individual registration times by accessing Screens 801 or 803 on the BONFIRE system.


            Just as last fall’s registration, students may either register using the Internet or by the usual telephone method. Each student is now given a registration start time and has 48 hours from that start time to complete registration. The start times are totally random within a certain classification. Complete instructions for registration may be obtained by clicking on the HELP section at the following web site: http://register.tamu.edu


            Chemistry majors who plan to take Chem 234 and who do not automatically qualify for honors registration must notify Dr. Hogg of their intent to register for this course and he will save the space for them and enroll them during open registration. Students who qualify for honors should go ahead and register for this course.


            To remind you once again, all B.S. and B.A. chemistry majors must take Chemistry 234 (offered in both the fall and spring semesters now) after taking Chemistry 231 (or Chemistry 237 in some cases) but only B.S. students are required to take Chemistry 334 after taking Chemistry 325. B.A. majors take the sequence Chemistry 325/326 instead. Chemistry majors must take the special section of Chemistry 227 taught by Dr. Hogg or the honor’s section taught by Dr. Bergbreiter unless they have permission from Dr. Tiner or Dr. Hogg to do otherwise.


            Both summer and fall registration may be completed during this time. You may wish to schedule an appointment to talk with Dr. Tiner or Dr. Hogg well in advance of that date to avoid the rush.  





            The Honors Scheduling Consortium, at which you may have a chance to meet the professors scheduled to teach honors classes this fall, is scheduled for Monday March 31 from 7:30-9:00 p.m in room 292 of the MSC, according to the Battalion. 





            The Chemistry 489 Special Topics in Nuclear and Radiochemistry listed in the class schedule book is listed on SIMS and BONFIRE as Chemistry 464. This change reflects the fact that Chemistry 464 is now a 3-credit course and that Chemistry 474 lab is no longer offered.





            College of Science undergraduate degree candidates for the spring semester will receive their diplomas at the ceremony on Friday, May 9 at 7 p.m. More details about graduation may be found at: http://graduation.tamu.edu/ceremon.shtml 





            Monday, March 31 is the last day to Q- drop a course! Do so by coming to Room 104 Chemistry (no appointment necessary) to complete the form.





            Two outstanding undergraduate chemistry majors will receive Celanese Excellence Awards at a banquet hosted by Celanese on Thursday, April 17 in the Hagler Center on the A&M campus.





            Preliminary degree audits for students who have now reached 95 credit hours for the first time are available for you in Room 104 Chemistry. Please stop by to pick yours up if you name is listed below. This is a good time to begin to get things in order for graduation within the next year. We can see what substitution need to be made, what courses are still missing, etc. Do not delay in picking yours up. Audits are available for:


            Amaro, Barnett, Bourque, Chapa, Delbar, Dilley, Edwards, Evett, Fitch, Foulke, Fruchey, Gardner, Hall, Heilman, James, Jensen, Levitt, Lung, Marstaller, McBee, Pate, Perry, Rodriguez, Rowland, Schaffino, Taylor, Truong, Weber, and Zewalk.





            The annual Chemistry Undergraduate Awards Banquet coordinated by the student affiliate chapter of the American Chemical Society has been scheduled for Friday, April 25. More details will be available at a later date.