What=s Happening in Chemistry Circles

Issue #69

September 3, 1998

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

written by Dr. John L. Hogg


The deadline for application for the George C. Bauer Scholarships for chemistry majors has been extended through September 10. There were no applications submitted for the scholarships in the spring so we are willing to consider applications this fall. The applications are available in Room 104 Chemistry from Ms. Marylin Warren. These (probably three or four $500-600 scholarships ) are for the 1998-99 academic year. Financial need is the main criterion for selection although academic performance is considered if financial need is equal. Chemistry majors who are making satisfactory progress toward the degree and who will be juniors or seniors during the 1998-99 academic year are eligible for the scholarships. The chemistry undergraduate awards committee will review the applications and make recommendations for the awards.


Kelly S. Fox (B.S. August 1998) will be teaching third through eighth grade science at St. Martha=s Catholic School in Kingwood during the 1998-99 school year as she prepares for entering medical school. I spoke to Kelly the other day and she said, since she didn=t have time between the end of summer school and the beginning of her classes, she arrives at work at 5 a.m. and leaves at 5 p.m. in an attempt to keep up.

Melissa Lucero (B.S. 1993) received her Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California at Los Angeles in June. She did her graduate work under the direction of Professor Ken Houk. She will begin a postdoctoral with Professor Sam Gellman at the University of Wisconsin in Madison this fall. She plans to use theoretical and physical organic methods to explore the folding of oligomers with unnatural backbones, specifically those of beta-peptides.

Sara Mooney (B.S. 1997) is working at Oxid L.P. in Houston. She has two titles-Brake Fluid Chemist and Environmental Coordinator. As brake fluid chemist, her job responsibilities include: testing of fluid before shipping to customers and formulating new blends. As environmental coordinator, her responsibilities include: shipping all waste from plant to disposal facility; continuous monitoring of air, water and solid waste; keeping the plant in compliance with regulations; reporting monthly, quarterly and annually to various regulation agencies; and handling any environmental emergencies (i.e. spills).

Kim Defriend (B.A. 1998) has sent an e-mail to say that she has begun graduate school at Rice University. She is working in Dr. Barron=s research group and is taking a Transition Metals class with him. She also received an engagement ring from her boyfriend Jason at a graduation party the day after her August graduation. Friends may e-mail her at defriend@ruf.rice.edu.

Andrew Green (B.A. 1995) was married to Rolanda Dumas at College Heights Assembly of God in Bryan on August 29, 1998. Rolanda received her B.S. degree in psychology from TAMU in 1996 and a master=s degree in counseling from Prairie View A&M University in 1998. Andrew will enter Texas Chiropractic College in Houston this fall. Dr. and Mrs. Bergbreiter and Dr. and Mrs. Hogg attended the wedding.

Patty Lathan (B.A 1998) was married to Dr. Albert Ferreira on July 18 in Terrell. Albert was formerly associated with the research group of the late Sir Derek Barton at TAMU. Patty and Albert are now at home in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. Patty will enter vet school at the University of Pennsylvania this fall. Their new address is 197 Thunder Circle, Bensalem, PA 19020-2151. Shelley Lenamond (B.S. 1998) and Angie Wacker, senior chemistry major, attended the wedding and reception as did Dr. and Mrs. Hogg.

Sheryl Wallace (B.S. 1990) stopped by for a short visit over the summer. After receiving a master=s degree in chemistry from George Tech, Sheryl has been working at Shell=s Westhollow Research Center in Houston.

Omar Torres (B.S. 1998) has moved to Los Angeles to begin graduate school in chemistry at UCLA. He had quite an adventure moving out (e.g. the Ryder truck broke down and had to be towed in to LA). I=m sure that is not how Omar wanted to arrive in LA. He has moved into an apartment just across the street from the campus and reports he has a Akiller view of the swimming pool.@ I guess that will keep him entertained since he said his TV caught fire after he moved out there. That followed major problems with his new computer. Omar reports that he has already begun doing research in Professor Hawthorne=s group and is very happy. You may e-mail him at otorres@chem.ucla.edu His new address is 411 Kelton Avenue #239

Los Angeles, CA 90024

Phone: (310) 824-4533

Stephen Willis (B.S. 1997) has entered a graduate program in biological chemistry at Duke University. It is an interdisciplinary program involving the Chemistry Department and the Medical Center. He has begun to set up lab rotations as part of the process of choosing a research advisor. His wife, Carrie Larue (B.S. 1997) is also in the graduate chemistry program there.



The following e-mail message was received was Jodi Crutchfield (B.A. 1997) over the summer.

Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 09:39:36 -0600

To: hogg@chemvx.tamu.edu

From: pcvnepal@wlink.com.np (Peace Corps Volunteers/Nepal)

Subject: From Jodi In Nepal

Howdy Dr. Hogg!

I'm in Kathmandu at the Peace Corps office, so I thought I'd drop you a line. Thank you for sending all the orbitals. It was cool reading about everyone. I knew Kirk Billings, so I found a book store in town that had a few back issues of Climbing magazine, and they actually had the one with Kirk in it. He looks the same. I heard he cooks awesome food. I myself

cook dal baht. Rice and lentils. My didi (big sister) tells me what spices to put in the lentils, and then I just cook it on my kerosene stove for 30 minutes. Let me just put it to you this way; I'm glad to be in

Kathmandu where I can get things like ice cream and pizza. I've had a month monsoon break so I've just been hanging out here in this terribly polluted town. I did get the opportunity to go on a trek on part of the Annapurna trekking circuit. We hiked for 10 days and saw some amazing landscape. We trekked through rivers and rain, as it is the rainy season here, and then got high enough to be in the rain shadow where it is a desert. It was beautiful. Now, I am returning to my village. School starts in 2 weeks which is probably just how long it'll take me to get out there. The road is washed out due to landslides. Can't fly this time of year cause the weather is not permitting at the mountain airport. I'm excited about teaching my science classes but the English classes are very difficult. The students are supposedly at 3rd and 4th levels but they don't have the ability to sound words out. I feel like I must teach my 9th graders the same thing that I teach my 4th graders. Maybe I will.

I'm leaving in 3 days, so maybe I will hear from you by then. I have a very good friend who lives in Austin and is working on a film there. If your son would like to meet my friend I could get his phone number. Maybe your son could hang out on the set and meet some others too. I know meeting people in that business is very important. They start actually shooting in about a week. Well, I'm off to haggle with the sales people and try to convince them that

I'm not a tourist so they won't charge me 3 times the actual price. Talk to you later.

---Jodi Crutchfield



Eighteen chemistry majors received baccalaureate degrees at the ceremony on May 16. Six of the eighteen graduated with special honors. Kristofor Voss graduated summa cum laude and with University and Foundation Honors indicated completion of 36 hours of honors course work with at least 12 hours at the 300- or 400-level. Students must maintain a cumulative GPR of 3.4 and at least a 3.0 in all honors courses. The Foundation honors designation requires completion of at least one honors course in each core curriculum area with the same GPR requirements listed earlier. Thai Ho graduated magna cum laude and Valerie Drews Patricia Lathan, Tuan Nguyen, and Vy Phan graduated cum laude.

Bachelor of Arts Degrees: Scott Taylor Griggs, Thai Huu Ho, Patricia Ann Lathan, Summer Lee Lax, Shelley Guzman Lenamond, Tuan Van Nguyen, Vy Truong Phan, David Russell Reed, Roberto Lorenzo Rodriguez, and Amanda Brooke Turner.

Bachelor of Science Degrees: Matthew William Behnken, Geral Benjamin Cieslinski, Valerie Lynn Drews, Michael Edward Law, Amy Michelle Leonard, Ha Minh (Annie) Thai, Omar Javier Torres, and Kristofor Anson Voss.



Eight chemistry majors received their diplomas at the August 15 ceremony. One of the eight, Ali Kazerouni, received two degrees, a B.S. in chemistry and a B.S. in molecular and cell biology.

Bachelor of Arts Degrees: Kimberly Ann Defriend and Eric Prime Walker.

Bachelor of Science Degrees: Kelly Suzanne Fox, Ali Kazerouni, Clinton Edward Leysath, Larry Anthony Medina, Daryl Clark Robinson and Laura Annette Zrubek.



Newly elected ACS Student Affiliate Chapter officers for the 1998-99 academic year were announced at the recent Chemistry Awards Banquet. hey are: President Darrell Poppe, Vice-President Melissa Supak, Secretary Angie Clinkenbeard, Treasurer Julie Orf, and Historian Brandi Nunez. The first meeting of the fall is Thursday night, September 3 at 6:30 p.m. in Room 2102. There will be free pizza and drinks and a new t-shirt design will be unveiled. The schedule for the fall semester looks very exciting. At least two former students, Dr. James Snow (B.S. 1982; Ph.D. from MIT) from Millipore Corporation and Stuart Gregory (B.S. 1994) Eli Lilly Corporation, will make presentations to the students. I believe that there is a very good chance that a third former student, Susan Palmer (B.A. 1996), will speak when Andersen Consulting makes their presentation on October 8. There is a field trip to Texas Eastman on October 23 as well as several other social events. The first social is a Welcome Social at Dr. Hogg=s house on September 13 at 5 p.m.


Madison Mauze, senior chemistry major, spent the summer of 1998 in the Andersen Consulting Internship Program in Houston. He worked side by side with Andersen managers and their clients. Susan Palmer, B.A. 1996, works at Andersen and she and/or other Andersen representatives will probably make a presentation to the Student Affiliate ACS section this fall. Andersen will be interviewing at A&M early in the fall semester.


We have received 5 copies of the Careers for Chemists: A World Outside the Lab by F. Owens, R. Uhler, and C. Marasco. They may be borrowed for overnight/weekend reading by undergraduate chemistry majors. In order to ensure their return in a timely fashion, Dr. Hogg will place a block on your registration until the book is returned. This means you will not be able to change your class schedule, change your major, or register for or drop courses until the book is returned. In lieu of the block, you may leave a $15 cash deposit to cover the cost of the book.

There is a terrific web site with information about careers in a variety of disciplines from accounting to theatre (chemistry is included). It is called What Can I Do With A Major In....? and it may be found at the following URL http://www.uncwil.edu/stuaff/career/majors.htm   It has lots of links to related sites within each discipline addressed.



    I am pleased to report that the Texas A&M Section of the American Chemical Society received an Honorable Mention Phoenix Award plaque at the recently concluded National ACS Convention in Boston for our activities during National Chemistry Week last fall. The award recognized the local section in the category of Best Open House. Thanks to all the faculty, staff, graduate students, post docs, and undergraduates who helped with this event. This makes the fourth time since 1989 that the A&M section has been recognized for National Chemistry Week activities. The plaque and other Phoenix Awards are on display in the case in the Room 100 foyer.


    I would like to feature stories about our undergraduate chemistry majors who had summer work experiences (including research in university labs) over the summer. Please drop by a description of what you did this past summer before September 25 so that I may include this in the next issue of Orbitals.


    All undergraduate chemistry majors must stop by our office during the first two weeks of school to give us their current address, e-mail address, and phone number. Failure to do this will prevent us from contacting you as necessary and can result in less than satisfactory information flow between our office and your head. Do not fail to do this EVERY SEMESTER!



List of Seniors: A list of students who will graduate between now and August 1999 is being compiled. This list is frequently requested by companies that hire chemists and graduate and professional schools and we want to include your name on this list as a service to you. However, we must have your current address, degree (with minor if applicable), home address, phone number, graduation date and a brief description of you future plans for inclusion on the list. Only students who complete the form available in my office (Room 104) and return it by Monday, September 14 at noon will be included on the list. We will not have time to try and track you down and solicit this information in any other way. As always, I will be very reluctant to write letters of recommendation for any senior chemistry major who fails to take advantage of this opportunity for any reason. "I know I'm going to medical school, etc." is not an acceptable reason for failing to do this.

Degree Application Deadline: September 11 is the deadline for filing an application for a degree for students graduating in the fall of 1998. You must stop by Room 105 Heaton Hall to file for a degree. If you have not had the diploma fee (option code 66) assessed to your tuition fees it will be assessed at that time.

Interviews: Sign up at the Career Center (formerly the Placement Center) in Room 209 Koldus Building as soon as possible for interviews with the companies as they interview this fall. You must attend a Placement Orientation during the first two weeks of school. Do not wait another minute to do this. The bid deadline for some of the companies interviewing chemists is very early in September. The interview schedules we receive will be posted on the bulletin board across from Room 2121 and outside our office. Check it daily. Do not be reluctant to interview. Be aggressive and take advantage of every opportunity. I do not want to get a call from the placement center saying that "company X" is interviewing chemists but that no one has signed up to interview with them. This happens almost every semester and there is no excuse for it. To repeat, I will not write letters of recommendation for any senior chemistry major who fails to take advantage of this opportunity for any reason. "I know I'm going to medical school, graduate school, etc." is not an acceptable reason for failing to do this. You might change your mind or your circumstances might change. You should be honest with the employers but the experience of interviewing will be very good for you.

File Degree Plans: If you have not come into our office and had your degree plan typed up, signed and personally delivered it to the Dean's office in the College of Science you should do so immediately. This is the only way the registrar's office ultimately has of keeping track of the substitutions and changes in your degree plan. If you are planning to graduate in December, you should have already done this but many of you have not. If you plan to graduate in May or August of 1999 this should definitely be done by mid-semester this fall.

Going to Graduate School: If you have not already signed up to take the GRE you should do so immediately. We have the information booklets in our office. The registration deadline for the November 7 test is Sept 15. The next test after that is December 12 (during finals) with an October 30 registration deadline and that is for the subject tests only. You should register for an early test date to ensure your consideration for all financial support and fellowships available from the graduate schools and or national programs. The dates listed are the paper-based test dates although most people opt for computer-based testing these days.


We welcome fifty freshman chemistry majors and ten new transfer students to the undergraduate chemistry program this fall. A complete listing of these students with their high school or transfer school follows:

    NAME                                                     SCHOOL                                             HOME CITY

Lillian Alvarez Aldine Contemporary Ed. Ctr. Houston, TX 
Carolyn Berg Lawrence D. Bell High School Bedford, TX
Ronaldo Cavazos Edinburg High School Edinburg, TX
Dair Chevalier Oak Ridge High School Spring, TX
Keli Chiasson Mayde Creek High School Houston, TX
Carla Christensen James Madison High School San Antonio, TX
Trevor Clayton Denison High School Denison, TX
Kelsey Cox Del Rio High School Del Rio, TX
Kenneth Davidson Mc Neil High School Round Rock, TX
Erin Docking Brazoswood High School Lake Jackson, TX
Melissa Duncan Gregory-Portland High School Richardson, TX
Sarah Emerson Plano E. Sr. High School Plano, TX
Heather Fogle Gonzales High School Gonzales, TX
Renee Freeman Kingwood High School Kingwood, TX
Esther Garner Industrial High School Inez, TX
Kimberly Green Spring High School Spring, TX
Erin Guidry Deer Park Hi-North Deer Park, TX
Stephen Hansen Jesuit College Prep. School Plano, TX
Amanda Hawthorne Azle High School Azle, TX
Stephanie Hines Cy-Fair High School Cypress, TX
Gina Huettel Westbury Senior High Houston, TX
Christopher Hughes Spring High School Spring, TX
Michael Irwin Wylie High School Abeline, TX
Joseph Jessup North Mesquite High School Mesquite, TX
Jason Johnson Crowley High School Fort Worth, TX
Sarah Kucera American Embassy Admis. Corpus Christi, TX
Lauren LaChance Nolan High School N. Richland Hills, TX
Justin Langran Bishop Lynch High School Dallas, TX
Melissa Laningham A&M Consolidated High School Wellborn, TX
Kevin Lovelady Nederland High School Nederland, TX
Justin Mueller Stamford High School Stamford, TX
Joshua Osbun Southside High School Fort Smith, AR
Alexis Paschedag Lubbock High School Osage Beach, MO
Crystal Petrosky Angleton High School Angleton, TX
Brandon Posvar Temple High School Temple, TX
Lauren Ramey Sulfur Springs High Sulfur Springs, TX
Jessica Richardson Plano Senior High School Plano, TX 
Jacob Robinson Panhandle High School Panhandle, TX
Jessica Rodriguez Donna High School Donna, TX
Bradley Rowland Callisburg High School Whiteboro, TX
Gottfried Schroeder Franklin High School Franklin, MA
Hiral Shah John Foster Dulles High School Sugar Land, TX
Jason Shipley Billy Ryan High School Denton, TX
Thomas Smith James W. Martin High School Arlington, TX
Bonnie Stephens Silsbee High School Silsbee, TX
Shanda Thompson Northwest High School Justin, TX
Joseph Vedda Richland Senior High School N. Richland Hills, TX
Elise Waltman Texas Acad. of Math and Science New Braunfels, TX
George Weaver Hamlin High School Hamlin, TX
Paul Wilson James W. Martin High School Arlington, TX
Joseph Amos Trinity Valley Comm. College Neches, TX
Michael Barry Dallas County Comm. College Dallas, TX
Kelly Bowen Austin Comm, College Austin, TX
Jacqueline Fuller Texas Weslayen University Duncanville, TX
Robert Herring University of North Texas Grapevine, TX
Kevin Jordan University of Texas- Dallas Port Neches, TX
Tammy Machu Austin Comm, College Taylor, TX
Seth Madison New Mexico Military Institute Roswell, NM
Sandy Rahberg Concordia University Plano, TX
Amanda Reynolds Lyon College Spring, TX
Tammie Tuggle Blinn College Meridian, TX