What’s Happening in Chemistry Circles

Issue #109

March 31 , 2004


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

written by Dr. John L. Hogg


            Dr. Chip Kent (B.A. in chemistry and physics; 1999) sent along a note to say that Los Alamos National Labs posts job openings at: http://www.hr.lanl.gov

            Rachel Salazar (B.S. 2002) and her son David (3 years old) stopped by for a short visit recently.

            Stuart Gregory (B.S. 1994) sent the following e-mail recently to announce the birth of his son. “Just wanted to drop a quick line to give you a sign of life. Things have been busy here since the end of last year. On Dec 10, 2003 I became a dad! We had a healthy happy little boy and named him Noah Stuart Gregory. He is quite a handful, but a real joyous addition to our family. He is 2.5 month old now and growing like a weed. I love my new role as a dad and look forward to cashing in my lab coat for a burp rag at the end of the day. I have attached a picture of the little fella' at 2 months as well as one more recently taken with a fellow new dad friend of mine and his new girl (older by almost a month, but looks tiny next to Noah!). Gotta run...enjoy the Orbitals. Keep 'em coming!” Congratulations to Stuart and his wife. You may contact them at: GREGORY_G_STUART@Lilly.com

            Oliver Robinson (B.A. 1997) touched base recently with the following e-mail in which he also announced the birth of a child . “I hope all is well in B/CS. I figure it's time to give you an update. I finished my MBA at the Wharton School in May 2003 and we packed up and headed back to Houston. Holly got a job teaching biology at Houston Community College and I got a job doing real estate development (planning and building shopping centers) in Houston with Trammell Crow Company. More importantly we had our first child, Luke, on February 5. Holly and Luke are doing great. I talked to Akshat Shah (B.A. 1997) a couple weeks ago. He's married and practicing medicine (sports rehab) near NYC. Finally, do you happen to have contact info for David Molina (B.S. 1999)? Been trying to track him down but I haven't been able to. Picture enclosed of Luke and parents (I know how much guys like looking at pics of other people's kids, but you know what it's like being a new dad).Thanks.” Congratulations, Oliver and Holly. Friends may contact them at: orobinson2@trammellcrow.com

            Jodi Crutchfield (B.A. 1997) continues her world travels which started when she joined the Peace Corps. She provided the following update recently: “Hi Mr. Hogg. This is Jodi. I just wanted to say thanks for always sending out the Orbitals issues. I haven't been able to always check them as my inbox fills up too quickly - I've been traveling loads and have a hard time keeping up with email. I am in Texas right now, I left Nepal in the summer and lived up in Minneapolis and in Northern Michigan for a bit. I will be moving to Guatemala City this summer. I have a position teaching Biology and Physical Science at the international school. I do have plans to commander the chemistry position too, as they had hired the chem teacher before I was in the picture. I do enjoy teaching biology and what better way to convince the kids that chemistry is the best science than by agreeing to it as a biology teacher.

I hope all is well in your family. I would love to come visit sometime since I'm finally back in Texas after all these years. Let me know if you want me to come give a Peace Corps presentation, I don't know if you want your graduates going off gallivanting across the world, but perhaps its another option of what one can do with a chemistry degree.

Take care Mr. Hogg, and again, Thanks for all of the effort that you put into keeping us informed!

Cheers, Jodi” Contact Jodi at: jcrutch@hotmail.com


            Dr. Patty Lathan (B.A. 1998) has written to say she is at Mississippi State University but will be moving soon. Hey, Dr. Hogg– Even though I rarely write, I do enjoy receiving my copy of "Orbitals"every month. If nothing else, it allows me to waste time while visiting amusing web-sites. Sadly, a large portion of the information contained in songs of the musical website had exited my brain. It has probably been pushed out with all of the vet info I've had to cram in! I hope all is going well there. Last time I heard, didn't your kids already have jobs? I hear where I'll be for the next 3 years tomorrow. The results of the Match program for veterinary residencies will be released at 7 am. Hopefully I get to stay in the South! I'm enjoying my present 1-year internship down here in Mississippi. I never imagined that I'd love MS so much, but it's a great place (then again, what's not when compared to the Northeast?). I'm in the midst of completing a research project dealing with the effects of sedation on stress hyperglycemia in cats. I got to develop the idea, write the grant proposal, call all of the shots, and will be the primary author on the paper(s), thanks to the Intern research program they have down here. I also just found out on Friday that my first two publications (primary author) have been accepted by the Compendium (on Continuing Education). They're review articles on Addison's disease, but they're publications nonetheless! Pretty exciting! Well, I just meant to write to tell you how amusing the Musical Chemistry web-site was. I hope everything is going great there. I'll let you know where I'll be after this year as soon as I find out! Take care. Patty.” Contact Patty at: lathan@cvm.msstate.edu

            Chassity Allen (B.S. 2003) is now employed in Temple and wrote with the following news. “Dr. Hogg, It has been awhile! I just wanted to let you know that I have just started a new job. I am a research assistant for a soil scientist at the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Temple, TX. We conduct research on the fertility, physical and biological characteristics, extracting methods of the soil as well as many other things. We do lab work as well as field work on 80 acres of land. It is really a nice facility and I never that I would learn so much about soil. Well I hope all is well. I hope you had a good Spring Break. Friends may contact Chassity at: callen@brc.tamus.edu

            Michael Irwin (B.A. 2003) wrote from his internship in Japan to say that he now has two publications that have finally made it to press in the last few months. They are based on his research here at A&M with Dr. Fackler. He reports that the best news is that he was accepted to my #1 grad school choice, Northwestern and has accepted their offer. He will be doing his research under Dr. Tobin Marks, the second Cotton alumnus under which he will have studied. You may contact Michael at:irwin@tamu.edu

            Erin Greenwald (B.A. 2002) received an honorable mention in the competition for NSF graduate fellowships recently. Erin is currently a graduate student in the A&M Chemistry Department where she works with Dr. North.


            Jess Miller, senior, will be attending the Duke Medical Enrichment Program from June 5 to July 17. The program consists of preparatory medical courses and physician shadowing.

            Kendall Fruchey, senior, has been accepted the DOE's SULI research program at Argonne National Lab over the summer.

            Creshaun Zewalk, graduating senior, has been accepted into the PharmD program at the University of Houston.

            Several chemistry majors will be doing internships with Celanese this summer. They are sophomores Jorja Duffin and Hannah Malcolm (both at Clear Lake) and junior Blake Yarbrough (Bay City).

            Adam Dao, junior, has received an NSF-REU summer position at the University of Akron Department of Polymer Science. His mentor will be Dr. Colleen Pugh and he will work on a project titled "Effect of Tetrafluorination on the Alternating Tendency of Styrene and Fluorinated Styrenes in Radical Copolymerization.

             Shawn Fitch, Vanessa Chapa and Jeffery Johnson will enter our Ph.D. program in chemistry after completing their degrees.

            Jennifer Heiner, junior, has accepted a position as an intern with the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality (TCEQ), in the Beaumont, TX office for the summer.

            Matthew Rowan, senior, has been accepted into the Masters of Forensic Science program at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. for the fall semester.

              Roxanna Schaffino, senior, will participate in"E3 Teacher Summer Research Program for Secondary Math and Science Teachers" sponsored by the Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&M University, the Texas Engineering Experiment Station, and the National Science Foundation this summer. 

            Jennifer McBee, senior, will enter the Ph.D. program in chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley this fall.

            Laura Bourque, senior, is still undecided about where she will attend graduate school but she has been accepted at Stanford University, UC-Irvine and the University of Texas. 


            The Hach Foundation will fund six $6000 scholarships for undergraduate chemistry majors this fall and at least half of them will be reserved for people whose primary focus is chemical education (i.e. teaching at the secondary level). If you would like to be considered for this (teaching only) but have been unsuccessful in using the new College of Science scholarship web site, please send me an e-mail stating your interest. 


            Pre-registration begins April 5. Class schedule books are no longer printed. You will find the class schedule information and information about when your registration time will be sent to you by accessing the following web site: http://myrecord.tamu.edu

            Just as last fall’s registration, students must register using the Internet. You will be assigned a registration start time and have 48 hours from that start time to complete registration. The start times are totally random within a certain classification. Information about this may be found at: http://register.tamu.edu/ 

            Chemistry majors must take the special section of Chemistry 227 (Organic Chemistry I) 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. You should register for the laboratory for chemistry majors (Chem 231) when you take Chemistry 227.

            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 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. See your degree plans in the catalog.

            Chemistry majors who plan to take Chem 234 will not meet with the problems in registering for this course that they have in the past. The course is no longer listed as an honors course so any chemistry major may register for the course as you would any other course.

            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.  


            College of Science undergraduate degree candidates for the spring semester will receive their diplomas at the ceremony on Friday, May 14 at 7 p.m. More details about graduation may be found at: http://graduation.tamu.edu/ceremon.shtml 


            Monday, April 5 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 Friday, April 16 in the Hagler Center on the A&M campus.