What’s Happening in Chemistry Circles

Issue #125

September 1, 2006


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

written by Dr. John L. Hogg



            Effective with the Summer of 2006, the following conditions will be applied to students seeking to change their major into chemistry, double major or double degree in chemistry, or remain in chemistry beyond the first year. Students enrolled in the chemistry program prior to the summer of 2006 will be given a maximum of two semesters to complete Math 151/152 or Math 171/172 but will not be held to the standard of C's or better in these courses if they completed Math 151/152 or 171/172 prior to the summer of


            To Remain In Chemistry: Students must maintain a 2.00 GPR overall and in chemistry courses. First year students must have received credit for either Math 151 (4) or 171(4) and Math 152 (4) or 172(4) with C's or better in both courses by the end of the first calendar year after enrollment at A&M except under the following condition. An exception will be made for students who have completed only Math 151(4) or 171(4) by the end of the first calendar year if they earned a C or better in either Math 151(4) or 171(4) and are enrolled for Math 152(4) or 172(4) in the following semester. This allows students to be able to take Math 150 (pre-calculus) during their first semester at A&M if they are not prepared to enter calculus. Such students will be allowed to remain in the program at least for the following fall semester contingent upon making a C or better in Math 152 or 171.

            To Change Into Chemistry: Students who wish to change into chemistry after beginning A&M in another major must have an overall GPR of 2.5 or better and a 2.5 or better in chemistry and math courses. They must also have credit for Chemistry 101(4) and 102(4) or equivalent and Math 151(4) or 171(4) with a C or better in all chemistry and math courses.
            To Seek A Double Major or Double Degree in Chemistry: Students must have an overall GPR of 3.0 or better and at least a 2.5 in chemistry and math courses and must have completed Chemistry 101 (4) and 102(4) or equivalent and Math 151(4) or 171(4) with C's or better before this paperwork may be initiated. The “capacity of the program” to accommodate additional majors may limit the number of students accepted for double majors or double degrees.


            We feel this policy is being implemented with the best interests of the students in mind. Students who have not met this standard of performance in the past have generally fared poorly in the program, often struggling to pass other chemistry, physics and mathematics or statistics courses. Students should feel free to contact Dr. Hogg to discuss their individual situation.

            This policy has been approved by Dr. Tim Scott, Associate Dean for Student Relations in the College of Science, and Dr. Mark Weichold, Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Associate Provost for Academic Services.




            Twenty eight chemistry majors received degrees at the May 12, 2006 commencement ceremony.

              Brian Cole, Adam Dao, Holly Henderson, Nicholas Huggins, and Casseday Richers graduated summa cum laude (GPR > 3.9). Nicholas Grizzle and Rachel Wooley graduated with magna cum laude honors (GPR 3.70 - 3.899). Carissa Smith graduated cum laude (GPR 3.50 - 3.699). Lindsey Riddle received a second B.S. degree in biology and Brentley Smith had a double major in chemistry and philosophy.

            The eighteen students receiving the B.A. degree were: Claire Borne, Brian Cole, Sheena Ellis, Nicholas Grizzle, Ann (Holly) Henderson, Christine Kochart, Marcie Madore, Neeley Morgan, Jenna Nelson, Jesse Poucher, Lucki Quirindongo, Lindsey Riddle, Brentley Smith, Carissa Smith, Meghann Smith, Rachel Wooley, Blake Yarbrough and Debby York.

            The ten student who received the B.S. degree were: Adam Dao, Jose Delgado, Garry (Smitty) Grubbs, Angela Hoover, Darijana Horvat, Nicholas Huggins, Stephen Kerlegon, Hannah Malcolm Casseday Richers and Patrick Vinas.



            Six chemistry students completed degree requirements and received their diplomas on August 11, 2006. Joshua Garey and Maral Kawasmi received their B.A. degrees. Angelica Cantillo, Kelly DeCock, Laura Launer, and Katherine Walton received the B.S. degree and Angelica graduated cum laude.



            Tabitha Roybal, B.A. chemistry major, has been accepted to attend Proctor and Gamble's Research and Development Colloquium in Cincinnati Ohio in October! Congratulations, Tabitha.


            Nnenna Agba (B.A. 2003) has left her job in the chemical industry and moved to New York City to pursue her modeling career after her successful stint on the “America’s Next Top Model” this past spring. Although she didn’t win the top prize, she did very well on the show. She has signed a modeling contract with MC2 Karin Model Management in NYC. I think you may still reach Nnenna at: NnennaAgba@yahoo.com

            Lucki Quirindongo (B.A. 2006) has accepted a position to teach high school chemistry at Ellison High School in Kileen beginning with the fall 2006 term.

            Peter Duong (B.A. 2000) has decided to change careers. He is leaving his position as a high school chemistry teacher to enter pharmacy school at A&M Kingsville Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy. He may be contacted via e-mail at: pduong2000@hotmail.com

            Dr. Valerie Meyers (B.A. 2000) is now working with the Toxicology Division at the Texas Division of Environmental Quality in Austin. She provided the following description of her duties in an e-mail in May. “The combination of my chemistry and pathology degrees fairly directly translate to toxicology. Regulatory toxicology is something I knew absolutely nothing about previously. Basically, we set regulatory guideline levels for permitting and monitoring (mostly air, but water and soil too) to protect human health. We analyze data from the lab to determine whether or not these levels have been exceeded and when they are of concern. We often speak to the public about environmental concerns and act as expert witnesses for permit trials and even criminal trials every now and again.” Friends may contact Valerie at: agbonfire00@yahoo.com

            Tanya (Tryon) Jensen (B.A. 1995) is now teaching high school chemistry at Seven Lakes High School in Katy. Her contact e-mail is: carl-jensen@earthlink.net

            Dr. Christopher Govea (B.A. 1995) is currently Assistant Professor of Radiology and Chief of Musculoskeletal Imaging at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. You may contact him at: christophergovea@hotmail.com

            Dr. Jeff Riblet (B.A. 1983) sent the following e-mail in May with some family news I’ll share with you. “How’s it going. Just thought I’d drop a line to see how things are. Things are well with us. The kids are now 9 and 6, they are beating us to death with all their kid stuff. I’m now in private practice in General surgery in Portsmouth Va. Things are good and I don’t miss all the trauma. We are in the final stages of a home addition. Unfortunately our 90 day build has taken a year and 11 days. I’ve been doing a lot myself as the contractor decided he didn’t have to finish the job. Val and I have done hardwood floors, dry wall, tile shower installation, plumbing, electrical, cabinets, you get the picture, but we’re almost done and have a lovely home on the James river. We’re looking forward to the summer and some fun. Hope this finds you and yours well. If you and Janet find that you are in our neck of the woods come by and see the sights of Va. Beach and Williamsburg.” Jeff’s e-mail is: jriblet@csa.hrcoxmail.com

            Margaret Haring (B.S. 2002 in chemistry and in physics) provided the following news in June. “Hello, How are things in College Station? I just thought I'd let you know that I have now officially completed my teaching certification program. I am certified for Math 8-12 and am taking the Science composite 8-12 test next Saturday. I am teaching at a little public school in East Austin about a mile from my house. Right now I have students in Pre-Cal, Algebra II, and Physics. My school, Garza Independent, is a pretty great match for me. It serves a very diverse population, is self-paced, and has a really supportive environment. My kids, Ptolemy and Elizah, are doing well. Elizah plans to read all summer, and Ptolemy will continue to attend preschool. Tom, my husband, will finish his MSLS in the fall and is looking for employment afterwards. As things settle at school I plan to get back into working on my degree from UT. I kind of feel like getting a Master's and then applying to other schools after I have worked three years at Garza. Maybe by then Elizah will be ready for a move and I can get a fresh start with my PhD experience.” Friends may contact Margaret at: margaret_haring@yahoo.com

            Celeste Davis (B.A. 2000 in chemistry and in English) wrote in May to share some news of her recent accomplishments. “Hey Dr. Hogg: Hope all is going well. I thought I would give you an update. I am presently about to graduate from the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University with an MFA in Writing and Poetics, Concentration Poetry. Probably not the most common of degrees for a previous chem major. I also completed my thesis which is an interdisciplinary study of poetry as salt and salt as poetry through the lens of commodification and lack of permanence value of objects. It was wonderful. I have finally bridged the gap between the writing and the chemistry and seem to be using the two interchangeably. I am on the hunt for employment, so if anyone is looking to hire an experienced A/E/C Marketing Consultant, I am the woman. I know it seems strange to combine it all together into Arch/Engineering/Construction, but that is where I fit the best. It allows me to be creative in a technical environment. I am living in Boulder right now, and will probably move to Denver for employment. Life is good overall, I really enjoy seeing the Orbitals and reading about the activities and life changes we have all been making. Take care. Oh, this is my e-mail if anyone wants to get in touch: celestualstarz@yahoo.com

            Angela Hoover (B.S. 2006) has accepted a position with Halliburton in Ft. Worth as a project engineer. After a period of training in Ft. Worth she will be moving to Odessa, Texas. Friends may e-mail her at: angelhoover@gmail.com

            Ronaldo (Ron) Cavazos, Jr (B.A. 2003) stopped by in late July to say that he has now completed his teacher certification. He taught last year at Veteran’s Memorial High School in Mission, TX. He will be teaching at Sharyland High School this year and will also begin work on a Master’s degree at UT- Pan American. You may still contact him at: ron@neo.tamu.edu

            Sarah Holt (B.A. 2003) sent the following news recently.”Hi Dr. Hogg! Just thought I'd sent in an update for Orbitals. Richard (Anthony) Rodriguez (B.A. 2003) and I were married on June 3rd of this year. We bought a new house in Missouri City, a suburb of Houston, so that he could be close to Champion and I would have an easy trip to the Medical Center. We're enjoying being together in the same city. Finally, I started my rotations in July and I've been amazed at the hospitals here in Houston. I just finished my general hospital rotation and I'm starting one in infectious disease on Monday. Anthony is continuing to do well both at work and in school. He's been able to get some more classes in than he expected and will graduate in May with his masters. Hope all is well with you and the chemistry department. Hopefully, we can make it up to College Station for a game this year and come by to say hello.” You may send congratulations to the newlyweds at: sarahholt@mail.utexas.edu

            Emily Brock (B.S. 2004) sent an e-mail to say that she is still teaching dance and has made the Dallas Mavericks dance squad once again. Friends may contact Emily at: emily_brock@hotmail.com

            Eric Hendrickson (B.S. 2005), who works with G.E. Water and Process Technologies as a water chemist, sent the following announcement about career opportunities with G.E. Please take advantage of these. “Dr Hogg, I am going to be hosting the GE booth at the engineering career fair on 9/19. You might mention to your students that there are many openings for chemists within GE as well as summer intern positions. If they would like to stop in, I can answer some of their questions and compare o-chem horror stories with them. I will try to stop by and see you on the 19th if I can get a chance.” You may contact Eric at: eric.hendrickson@ge.com and may check the G.E. web site at: www.gewater.com


            The Student Learning Center (formerly known as the Center for Academic Enhancement) is now located in Hotard Hall. They offer free drop-in tutoring as well as tutoring by appointment. The drop-in tutoring is located in Room 106 Hotard Hall from 4-7 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Tutoring by appointment is more limited but you may schedule an appointment by calling 845-2724. For details of courses and schedules, please see their web site at: http://www.tamu.edu/cae/tutoring.shtml



            There are some free chemical drawing programs that can be downloaded from the Internet. One popular one is called ISIS/Draw. It can be downloaded at http//www.mdl.com/downloads/downloadable/index.jsp There is another called ChemSketch that can be downloaded at http//www.acdlabs.com/servlets/UserAuth?pr=chsk80


            Please go to myrecord.tamu.edu to check your degree audit. This will tell you what courses you are still missing from your degree plan and, in the case of directed electives, tell you which courses will satisfy core curriculum requirements. Often, you will be able to answer your own questions about missing requirements if you simply check here before calling our office.


            While not quite a record enrollment, we welcome 82 freshman chemistry majors to the program for the fall 2006 semester. This entering class fell two short of tying the all-time record of 84 freshmen in the fall of 2004. We have now averaged 81 freshman chemistry majors over the past three years. This is a significant increase over the previous average of 54 from 1996-2003. We welcome the following students to the department:


Luciana Alvarado                   McKinney 

Gabriela Bechara                    Pflugerville

Whitney Becker                      Austin 

Eric Bockoven                        The Woodlands

Kaitlyn Burke                         Denton

David Burkett                         Aledo 

Tara Carrasco                         Del Rio 

AshleyCook                           Houston

Jasmine Cunigan                    Beaumont

CaylenDalrymple                   Freeport

Rash-Dat Danmola                 Hempstead 

Roberto DeAlba                     Laredo

Rock Demarais                       Tomball 

AshleyDixon                          Spring 

Austin Dobbs                         Houston

Courtney Dorsey                    Athens

Michelle Drumm                    Waxahachie

Amanda Dunham                   Katy 

Xing Fang                               College Station 

Katie Foyt                               McKinney 

Samantha Fulbright                Waco 

Michael Galvan                      Brownsville 

Michael Gross                        The Woodlands 

Helen Hamilton                      Sealy 

Terra Hamilton                       Bedford 

Lance Helberg                        Lohn 

Jessica Hemann                      Wylie 

Joshua Hunt                            Pasadena 

Joshua Ivy                              Temple 

Joseph Jacobs                         Mesquite

Christopher Jones                   Houston

Jessica Joseph                         Fort Worth 

Lacie Kilsby                           West Columbia

Ian Kissell                              MidLothian

Nicole Konelick                     Edmond, OK

Justin Law                              Tamuning, GU

AshleyLittle                           Huntsville

Catherine Loftis                      San Antonio 

Michael Lucas                        Houston

Max Marshall                         Austin

Roxanna Martinez                  Marfa 

Christopher McCarty              Canton

Elizabeth McCaskill               Pantego

Mallory McFarland                Denton

Whitney Meador                     Amarillo

Clayton Mercer                       Burleson

Christine Nguyen                   Sugar Land

Andy Nguyen                         Richardson

Robert O'Brien                       Austin 

Sara Patterson                         Houston

Trey Patterson                        Crosby

CrystalPenaloza                     Dallas

Fallon Pitts                             Troy

Daniel Pliego                          New Braunfels

Katherine Popelka                  Colleyville

Margaret Rameriz                   Wichita Falls 

Jennifer Rankin                      Nacogdoches 

Jennifer Reed                          San Antonio 

Bryan Rosewell                      Cookville 

Jessica Sanchez                      San Antonio

Daniel Sanders                       Waco 

Alex Schrumpf                       Tyler

Kevin Scott                             Georgetown

Steven Sfamenos                    Spring

Peter Smith                             Saint Louis, MO

Candace Strayer                     Palestine

Jenna Thornton                       Taylor

Andrew Tindall                      Kingwood

Kirby Tinsley                         Canyon

Travis Triola                           Houston

Aric Turner                             Garland

Caitlin Walker                        Evedale

Andrew Warren                      The Woodlands

Kathryn Webb                        Colorado Springs, CO

Dustin Weghorst                     Austin 

Emily Weiss                           Jonesboro, AR

Hannah Werner                      Round Rock

Danielle West                         Houston

Jamie Wheeler                        Georgetown

Daryl Whitlow                        LaPorte

Sam Wilson                            Yancey

Ian Wright                              San Antonio


            Nine transfer students joined the chemistry program for the fall semester. We welcome the following to the program:

Sean Anderson                       Amarillo College

Jennifer Cayton                      Collin Community College

Aaron Gobert                          San Jacinto College

Matthew Hebert                      East Texas Baptist University

April Holly                             McNeese State University

Noelle Jobe                            Baylor University

Alexander Pemba                   Blinn College

Sandani Samarajeewa             Fairleigh Dickinson University