What’s Happening in Chemistry Circles

Issue #110

May 6, 2004

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



            Several undergraduate chemistry majors were honored at the ACS Student Affiliate banquet held on Friday, April 30 in the Faculty Club on campus. The banquet, arranged by Jennifer Goss on behalf of the Chemistry Department and the Student Affiliate Chapter, was attended by about 65 students and parents.


            Dr. Hogg and Dr. Tiner presented the awards for outstanding accomplishments by undergraduate chemistry majors. They were joined by Dr. Emile Schweikert, Head of Chemistry, in congratulating the students as they received their awards. The money for these awards came from the Department of Chemistry, the Texas A&M Section of the American Chemical Society and from Dr. Hogg. The Celanese Excellence Award winners which had previously been announced at a banquet hosted by Celanese were also recognized again. Recipients of all awards were selected by the members of the Chemistry Department’s Undergraduate Awards Committee. Congratulations to these outstanding students!


            Chemistry Department Outstanding Undergraduate Awards ($200 and a certificate) - Given to three outstanding seniors this year. Each plans to enter graduate school.


Laura E. Bourque, Jennifer L. McBee and Scott B. Peterson


            Chemistry Department Achievement Awards ($50 and a certificate) - Given to a few outstanding junior and senior chemistry majors based on GPR and other factors.


Seniors (4th Year Students)


            Joel P. Barton, Cameron L. Hall, Amber M. Jensen , Eleanor L. Pate and Alisha D. Roach 


Juniors(3rd Year Students)


            Kendall S. Fruchey, Ann H. Henderson Amanda L. Higginbotham, Amanda K. Jenkins and Anna K. Schell               


            Outstanding Chemistry Majors in Sophomore Organic ($50 and a certificate):

Six students from the majors and honors sections were chosen to share this award:


            Jorja L. Duffin, Nicholas A. Grizzle, Nicholas G. Huggins,

David M. Pyle, Casseday P. Richers, and Andrew M. Shuff


            Merck Index Award (a copy of the Merck Index presented by Merck) - Given to a graduating senior planning to attend professional school.


            Amber R. Jensen


            CRC Outstanding Chemistry Majors in General Chemistry (a copy of the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics presented by CRC, a $25 check and a departmental certificate) Two students were chosen to receive this award. They are:


            Trevor D. Ewers and Sarah F. Swingle


            Hugh McLean Jr. Award ($200) - Given to a graduating senior who has shown outstanding dedication, perseverance and desire in pursuit of the degree. Two students were selected for this award this year.


            Travis C. Gardner and Jeffery D. Johnson




         Outstanding Analytical Chemistry Student ($50 check) - The award for outstanding accomplishment in Chemistry 415/434 went to:


            Kendall S. Fruchey



            ACS student affiliate chapter officers for 2004-2005 announced at the banquet, will be: Jennifer Goss, president; Gary (Smitty) Grubbs, vice-president; Amanda Jenkins, treasurer; Robert Gapard, secretary; and Ashley Leonard, historian. Dr. Tammy Tiner, associate undergraduate advisor, and Marylin Warren will serve as the co-advisors. You may check out the student affiliate chapter at the following web site: http://www.chem.tamu.edu/ugrad/chemsoc/






            Jennifer L. McBee was selected by a committee of faculty members to receive the Abbott Undergraduate Research Award for this year. She will receive a check for $500 from funds provided by Abbott Laboratories and will have her name inscribed on a nameplate on a departmental plaque which hangs in the Chemistry Building. The award is for outstanding accomplishment and/or potential in organic chemistry research. Jennifer has been doing her research with Dr. Abe Clearfield. She will be receiving her B.S. degree this May and will enter graduate school at the UC-Berkleley this fall





            Laura Bourque and Jennifer McBee were honored as recipients of the twelfth annual Celanese Excellence Awards on April 16, 2004. The dinner honoring these students was hosted by Celanese represented by Dr. Patrick Goguen. Dr. Goguen received both his B.S. (1992) and Ph.D. (1997) from Texas A&M University. Also attending as a Celanese representative was former A&M undergraduate chemistry major Emily Squibb (B.S. 2002).

               Each recipient received a $500 check and will have their name inscribed on a nameplate on a departmental plaque which hangs in the Chemistry Building. The awards recognize outstanding academic and extracurricular activities by senior undergraduate chemistry majors. Laura will receive her B.S. degree in May 2004 and will enter graduate school at UC-Irvine to pursue a career in organic synthesis. She was the recipient of the Abbott Award in 2003 and has done her undergraduate research at TAMU with Dr. Daniel Romo. Jennifer will enter graduate school at UC-Berkeley . She has done her undergraduate research with Dr. Abe Clearfield. Also recognized at the event were Kelly DeCock, Kitri Gandi and Chance McInnis, each of whom currently holds an A.E. Martell-IUCCP Undergraduate Chemistry Scholarship sponsored by Celanese.





            Amber Jensen, who will receive her B.S. degree this month, has been accepted into Pharmacy School at the University of Texas.


            Matt Barnett, senior chemistry major has accepted a summer job with Schlumberger's explosive research and development plant in Rosharon. I will be working on a new type of detonator that has been problematic, and doing detonation tests on a new type of shaped charge. This plant makes shaped charges for the perforation of oil shafts to let the oil in and up the pipe. Basically these are modified armor piercing charges. Shlumberger is the world leader in this area.     


            Matthew Rowan, senior chemistry major graduating this month, has been accepted into The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. where he will pursue an advanced degree in forensic science. He is also getting married to Cynthia Gayle Hardy, who will receive her economics degree this month.


            Alisha Roach, senior chemistry major graduating this month, has accepted a chemist position with PPG Industries in Lake Charles, Louisiana. She will begin work on June 7.    

            Michael Sarahan, junior, will be teaching algebra and chemistry for The Monarch School in Houston at the start of the summer and then will return to A&M work in Dr. Yennello’s lab for the second summer term.

            Jennifer Foulke, graduating senior, will be entering graduate school at Texas A&M University and working in Dr. Watanabe’s lab. She has been awarded a Departmental/Welch fellowship for the first year. 

            Shawn Fitch, graduating senior, will be entering graduate school in chemistry at Texas A&M.

            Hannah Malcolm, sophomore chemistry major, has accepted a position as a summer intern with Celanese.

            Creshaun Zewalk, graduating senior, will enter pharmacy school at the University of Houston.

            Kendall Fruchey, senior chemistry major, will be interning with the SULI undergraduate program at Argonne West Labs in Idaho Fall, ID. He’ll be doing analytical support work for their nuclear energy program.


            Quinn Lung, senior chemistry major, will be in Denton, TX doing a training and discipleship program with the navigators, a Christian organization that has staff working at A&M. In the fall, he will be in Washington, DC part of A&M’s public policy internship program.

            Jennifer Heiner, junior chemistry major, will intern at the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality at the Beaumont Regional Office Field Operations Division this summer.

            Jeffery Johnson, graduating senior, will enter graduate school at Texas A&M where he will continue working in Dr. Macfarlane’s group.

            Jennie Bauman, senior chemistry major, will be researching for a microbiology textbook this summer for Addison-Wesley.





            Rachel (Chanis) Salazar (B.S. 2002) and her husband announced the birth of Alex Ivan Salazar on March 29 at 11:40 am. He's a big guy - 8 pounds, 10 ounces, and 21 inches long. Congratulations!


            Brooke Harstad (B.S.2003) was married to Michael Crockett on April 10. Congratulations Brooke and Michael.





           The application forms for the George C. Bauer Scholarship(s) are now available, for chemistry majors only, in Room 104 Chemistry from Ms. Marylin Warren. The scholarship(s) (which could range up to $1500) are for the 2004-2005 academic year. The simple application is due by May 15 and the awards will be announced during the summer. Financial need is the main criterion for selection although academic performance is considered if financial need is equal. Chemistry majors who will be juniors or seniors during the 2004-05 academic year are eligible for the scholarships. The chemistry undergraduate awards committee will review the applications and make recommendations for the awards. We typically receive very few applications for these scholarships so I encourage you to apply. We have decided to wait until after spring 2004 grades are submitted to make the decisions.   




            As I indicated in Issue #108 or Orbitals, we will make the final decisions on several undergraduate chemistry scholarships once the spring semester final grades are received. Regardless of whether or not you applied for one of our scholarships by using the College of Science web site, all undergraduate chemistry majors will automatically be considered for these scholarships according to the policy outlined earlier and repeated here.


            Consistent with the specific scholarship guidelines we will evaluate all chemistry majors for all of these scholarships. All currently enrolled undergraduate chemistry majors are routinely considered for the chemistry department scholarships and the College of Science scholarships targeted to chemistry majors at the end of each semester. Once grades are received, I go through the complete list of chemistry majors and we award the available scholarships based on cumulative GPR to students who, in almost every case, do not already hold a major scholarship. If there are additional restrictions applicable to a given scholarship as there are for the Hach Scientific Foundation teacher scholarships, I will consider people who meet the criteria whether or not they have applied directly through the College of Science web site. In some cases, as has been done earlier for the Hach Scientific Foundation teacher scholarships, I may send out a general e-mail to all chemistry majors asking those who feel they meet the criteria to contact our office. I also evaluate the entering freshmen in much the same way to try and offer some of the IUCCP-A.E. Martell Scholarships to those highly qualified freshmen who did not receive major university scholarships. In the case of the entering freshmen, the evaluation is based largely, but not entirely, on SAT and high school rank. Career plans and math and science preparation are among other major factors considered. Our policy is to try to spread the scholarship money to as many deserving students as possible. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me in person, by phone or e-mail to inquire about any of these scholarships. For scholarships where applications are required, please stop by Room 104 Chemistry to pick up the application from Dr. Hogg.


            Scholarships for which we will be making decisions soon include:


IUCCP-A.E. Martell Scholarships- outstanding chemistry majors of any classification.


Dow Aggies Scholarships - outstanding junior or senior chemistry majors.


George C. Bauer Scholarship is offered in honor of a former outstanding teacher in the department. Application required; financial need is a major factor; junior or senior chemistry major.


Sharon Merritt Birtcher Scholarship is for students planning to become teachers; must have so indicated to Dr. Hogg and provide evidence of pursuit of the plan.


Dr. Minoru Tsutsui Memorial Scholarship is a recently endowed scholarship in honor of a former chemistry faculty member. Given to a chemistry major who is a Texas resident and plans a career in industry; financial need and achievement considered; application required.


Dr. Herman A. Liebhafsky Scholarship is a recently endowed scholarship in honor of a former faculty member. Given to a chemistry major based on financial need and achievement; preference for someone from a “rural” Texas area; application required.


Eileen and Harry Lewis Scholarship is a recently endowed scholarship in honor of Eileen Lewis ‘65 and Harry (Hank) Lewis ‘65. Preference given to a female chemistry major based on financial need and not primarily academic achievement; application required.


Hach Scientific Foundation Scholarships for students planning to become teachers; must have so indicated to Dr. Hogg.


            Several of these scholarships (the Tsutsui, Liebhafsky and Lewis) are new scholarships this year.


            In all cases, students will be provided with the address of the scholarship sponsor and asked to provide a written thank you note to the sponsor with a copy being forwarded to our office. Students who fail to provide the thank you notes will not be considered for future scholarships as per College of Science policy. All scholarships will be considered on a semester-by semester basis but the expectation is that students will hold the scholarship for at least one academic year, and in many cases for up to four, provided they meet the grade and other requirements.





            Although it is immodest of me to do so, I thought I would share the following good news with you. Some of you have, I know, helped to make these awards possible and I genuinely appreciate your efforts.


            Dr. John Hogg was honored by the Texas A&M University Chapter of Gamma Sigma Delta, the honor society of agriculture, at their April 8 banquet with an Award of Merit for Teaching. The award, consisting of a plaque and cash, was to honor one professor specifically outside the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences who has had a positive impact on students within the college. The selection process is left up to students with no faculty or administrative input.


            Dr. Hogg was also honored with the Mervin & Annette Peters Advising Award at the Texas A&M University Advisors and Counselors breakfast on May 6. The award is to recognize and reward a faculty member who embodies the spirit of caring, compassionate and genuine concern for the welfare of individual students according to the selection committee. Other selection criteria state that the faculty member must directly assist the student in making academic, development, career or life planning decisions regarding his/her academic program; follow student’s progress toward academic and career goals; and master institutional rules, regulations, policies and procedures.


            As you might expect, I was extremely honored by both of these awards.