What=s Happening in Chemistry Circles

Issue #74

April 1, 1999

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

written by Dr. John L. Hogg


Seth Horne, third-year chemistry major, has just been notified that he has been chosen to received a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. The 304 recipients nationwide were selected from 1,181 mathematics, science and engineering students nominated by the faculty at their respective colleges and universities. Seth joins two other A&M students who also received the award. They are John M. Proctor, a junior biochemistry major, and Kenneth J. Spencer, a junior mathematics major. Both Seth and John have been enrolled in many chemistry courses, including Chemistry 227A, 228A and 446, together. The scholarships cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and room and board up to a maximum of $7500 per year for two years. Congratulations to all of these outstanding students. It is worthwhile noting that Tommy Miller, another third-year chemistry major, was named a Goldwater scholar last year.


A group of ACS student affiliate members from Texas A&M attended the 217th American Chemical Society National Meeting in Anaheim, California from March 21-23. The student attendees and Dr. Hogg attended a special recognition ceremony on Sunday night where Omar Torres, president of the student affiliate chapter last year and currently a graduate student in chemistry at UCLA, joined Melissa Supak, Darrell Poppe, and Julie Orf in accepting a plaque in Arecognition of Outstanding Achievements@ by the Texas A&M University Student Affiliates Chapter for 1997-98 activities. Poppe is currently the student affiliate president for the 1998-99 academic year, Supak is vice-president, and Orf is treasurer.

Only 25 chapters out of 900 nationwide received recognition as Aoutstanding chapter.@ The local student affiliate chapter had received recognition as an honorable mention chapter for their activities in 1996-97.

Student affiliate members attending the Anaheim meeting were Kelli Chiasson, Angie Clinkenbeard, Celeste Davis, Jennifer Drost, Jay Horn, Kelly McGonigle, Valerie Meyers, Julie Orf, Darrell Poppe, Shelly Roper, Derek Speakmon, Melissa Supak, Lisa Torres, Joseph Vedda, Erin Witt. They were accompanied by Dr. Hogg.

Those in attendance presented an outstanding poster Monday evening at the Sci-Mix Successful Student Affiliate Chapter Activities session. The poster, Aggie Chemists Having A Blast, was prepared Erin Witt, Jay Horn, Valerie, Meyers, Julie Orf, Darrell Poppe, and Melissa Supak. The very colorful and educational poster was filled with photographs and accounts of chapter activities throughout the past year.

Angie Clinkenbeard presented a research poster at the meeting. The poster was titled AKinetic and Mechanism Studies of the Isoprene + OH Reaction,@ and was co-authored by R. Zhang, I Suh, and mentor Dr. Simon North.



I am pleased to announce that the TAMU ACS section entrant in the 1998 National Chemistry Week "World of Color Poster Contest" in the grade 3-5 category received Honorable Mention. Enoch Kuo, a 3rd grader at Pebble Creek Elementary in Ms. Mogonye's room, will receive a $500 savings bond as his award. Enoch's very creative poster of a colorful fish and an Erlenmeyer flask, narrowly missed the top prize of a $1000 savings bond and a computer for the entrant's teacher. All of the posters had to be done using the color changing markers distributed by local ACS sections at National Chemistry Week activities last October. A copy of his winning entrant is posted on the bulletin board outside the xerox room in the Chemistry Building. This award was announced at the 217th ACS National Meeting in Anaheim, California on Monday evening. Two entrants in each grade-level category were recognized. All of the entrants' posters were on exhibit in the Anaheim Convention Center ACS Exposition. National Chemistry Week officials will contact Enoch in the near future to arrange for his award and further publicity/use of the winning entrants.



Applications are invited for the Celanese Excellence Awards established in 1993 for chemistry majors at Texas A&M University. These were formerly known as the Hoechst Celanese Excellence Awards before reorganization of the company. Two undergraduate chemistry majors at either the junior or senior level will each receive a $500 award, a plaque and recognition at an awards dinner to be held on April 14. Three identical awards will be presented to graduate students in chemistry and a similar set of awards will be presented to students in chemical engineering.

The Department of Chemistry Undergraduate Awards Committee will select the undergraduate recipients. The awards will be based on academic performance, participation in research activities and interest in "chemical research" as a career, leadership, community and campus service and extracurricular activities. In other words, grades will be only one of several factors considered when selecting the recipient. Both B.S. and B.A. chemistry majors are eligible to apply for these awards.

Undergraduate students who wish to be considered for one of these awards must complete and return the application form by April 5, 1999. Forms are available in Room 104 Chemistry from Dr. Hogg or Ms. Warren. The application will consist of a typewritten resume' (maximum of 2 pages) plus answers to a very short list of specific questions. Applicants may provide a letter of recommendation from their research advisor and one other letter of recommendation from anyone they choose. No more than two letters will be accepted. All letters are optional, however.



Dr. Yennello asked that the following course announcement be made. Please give careful consideration to taking Chemistry 464/474 when you are planning your fall 1999 schedule. She asked me to mention that it is not necessary to have completed analytical and physical chemistry before taking 464/474 before taking these courses. A good understanding of freshman chemistry is all that is required to do well in the course, according to Dr. Yennello.

Nuclear chemistry affects many aspects of our life,. Examples of applications employing nuclear processes include nuclear power generation, sophisticated medical diagnostic and therapeutic methods such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Positron Emission Tomography (PET), and radiation treatment. Nuclear chemistry is also the basis of powerful analytical techniques such as neutron activation analysis (NAA) and the well known archeological radiocarbon dating method. If you would like to learn more about the nucleus, it's properties and reactions, and what makes the above mentioned applications work you might consider registering for Chemistry 464/474. For more information contact Dr. Yennello at the cyclotron.(cyclotron rm 316, Yennello@tbear.tamu.edu, 845-1411)



Leah Marie Arrigo, a junior chemistry major,, has been awarded a fellowship valued in excess of $10,000 to attend the 1999 Summer School in Nuclear and Radiochemistry held at Brookhaven National Laboratory from June 21 through July 30. One of just twelve fellowship recipients chosen nationally, Leah will participate in the intensive six-week school which consists of both lecture and laboratory work on the fundamentals of nuclear science and its applications to nuclear medicine and related fields. In addition to the formal instruction, there will be research site visits, a guest lecture series, and the opportunity for her to meet and interact with prominent research scientists working in nuclear and radiochemistry. Graduates of the 1999 school will be encouraged to join a research project during the following summer at a university or federal research institution. They will receive considerable personal assistance in securing summer research positions and admission to Ph.D. or M.D. programs in nuclear science at leading universities.

This summer school program was founded by the Division of Nuclear Chemistry and technology of the American Chemical Society (ACS) as an educational outreach activity to promote interest in nuclear science and to provide trained personnel to meet our national needs in nuclear research, the nuclear power industry, nuclear medicine and radiopharmaceuticals, and the federally funded national laboratories. The fellowship includes transportation to and form the school, room and board, book, laboratory supplies, and the costs of instruction and tuition for the six units of transferable college credit awarded through the ACS accredited chemistry program at the state University of New York at stony Brook. Funding is provided by the U.S. Department of Energy and administered through the ACS.


John Andrew Powell (B.A. degrees in English and Chemistry, 1997) is currently in law school at Baylor University.

Locke Keney (B.S in Biochemistry and B.A. in chemistry, 1996) is currently in medical school at Texas Tech.

Thai Ho (B.A. 1998) is currently enrolled in the M.D./Ph.D. program at Baylor College of Medicine.

Lorraine Lyman (B.A. 1997) was promoted in January, 1999 from Associate Scientist to Scientist at Radian in Austin and now works in the Chromatography Lab.

Theresa Sheih (B.A. 1997) sent along the following e-mail message after receiving an earlier issue of Orbitals. AI'm in my second year of vet school (at A&M) and this semester is supposed to be the hardest of them all. I do feel it. We just finished our midterms today. We're finally learning a lot of clinically relevant stuff with quite a bit more hands on experience than before. I've learned that I don't get along well with birds but surprisingly, I sort of like the cows, horses, sheep, and goats. I don't do pigs, though. I do draw the line at that! It's gone by so fast. This summer, I'm doing a preceptorship in Littleton, Colorado for 3 months in a small and exotics clinic. I'm very excited about that. This is my last summer of freedom so I chose to play in the mountains! I'm going up during spring break to find a place to stay and introduce myself at the clinic. Hopefully, I'll get to do more than just scoop poop!!@ Her e-mail address is:


Stephen Willis (B.S. 1997) has joined the research lab of Dr. Eric Toone, an associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, at Duke University. He is working in the general area of Adirected evolution using enzymes.@ His wife, Carrie LaRue (B.S. 1997) is still in the process of selecting a research advisor. Stephen indicated that Alan Smith (B.S. 1997) has joined the lab of Dr. Steven Baldwin at Duke and is working on amino acid syntheses.

Drs. Krista Witte (B.S. 1992) and Theresa Harper (B.S. 1993) were in attendance at the national ACS Meeting in Anaheim and I had a chance to talk with both of them. They=ve each promised to send me details of their current activities for inclusion in an upcoming issue of Orbitals. I do know that Krista completed her Ph.D. with Chi-Huey Wong at Scripps and is now doing a post-doc. Theresa completed her Ph.D. at UC-San Diego and is also doing a post-doc now. Both are now married.



Pre-registration begins April 18 by phone. 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 class schedule books are now available. Be sure to check your TAMU undergraduate catalog to make sure you are registering for the appropriate courses.



College of Science degree candidates for the spring semester will receive their diplomas at the ceremony on Saturday morning, May 15 at 9 a.m.



Chemistry majors graduating in May 1999 will be honored at a reception in the Chemistry foyer on Friday afternoon, May 14 at 3:00 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

Dr. Kenneth Poensich, Associate Dean of Science for Student Affairs, will present honored students with College of Science Faculty Achievement Awards at this reception. These awards recognize the outstanding record of scholarship and leadership of these students in the College of Science.



The outstanding undergraduate chemistry majors will be honored at the Undergraduate Chemistry Awards Banquet to be held on Friday, April 30 at the Texas A&M University Faculty Club in Rudder Tower. Watch for more details soon and plan to attend.



Symyx Corporation has a position for someone with a B.S. or M.S. degree in chemistry. The position is in the general area of heterogeneous catalysis in the materials research area. Please contact Dr. Abe Clearfield in our Chemistry Department if you have an interest in this position.

Ameripol Synpol Corporation is seeking May B.S./B.A. chemistry graduates for a position as a chemist at their Port Neches, Texas location. Additional information about the company may be obtained at their website: www.ameripol.com

There is a position available in the Protein Chemistry Lab at Texas A&M University for an undergraduate chemistry or biochemistry major interested in bioanalytical chemistry. The position will involve the development and validation of procedures for phosphoamino acid determination. Interested parties should contact Dr. Thomas Baldwin at 845-1782 as soon as possible.

Nalco/Exxon Energy Chemicals L.P. in Sugarland is currently seeking undergraduate candidates for a research co-op position that will be available in late August. The position is currently filled by Erik Bowers, an undergraduate chemistry major at Texas A&M. Interested students should contact Brad Collet in the Cooperative Education Office at 862-2509.

Zonagen, a bio-pharmaceutical company in the Woodlands, Texas, has an entry level position for a B.S. chemist. Experience with HPLC, GC, and simple organic synthesis is a plus. Please mail or fax your resume to:

Zonagen, Inc.

Attn: Kuang T. Hsu

2408 Timberloch Place, B-4

The Woodlands, TX 77380

Fax: 281-363-8796



Dr. Michael Rosynek is interested in developing a Chemistry 489 course in Industrial Chemistry to be offered for the first time in the spring of 2000 if there is sufficient interest among the students. The proposed syllabus is available for inspection from Dr. Hogg in Room 104 Chemistry or from Dr. Rosynek in Room 107 Chemistry. Please let either Dr. Hogg or Rosynek know as soon as possible if you would be likely to register for this course since the level of interest will dictate future preparation by Dr. Rosynek. It is very important that we get both positive and negative feedback about this course so I=m asking every undergraduate chemistry major who will be here in the fall of 1999 and beyond to respond to me or Dr. Rosynek by e-mail regarding their interest in this course. The e-mail addresses are rosynek@mail.chem.tamu.edu and hogg@mail.chem.tamu.edu.

Topics to be considered would be general fundamentals (stoichiometry, thermochemistry, equilibrium, and kinetics), process economics and plant operation, inorganic industrial processes such as those used in the production of sulfuric acid, ammonia, metallurgy, chlorine, etc., as well as fundamental principles of the petrochemical industry, the fine chemical industry and pollution control.


101st ISSUE

This 74th issue of Orbitals is the 101st issue of an undergraduate newsletter in chemistry published since the August 22, 1985. There were 27 issues of the AUndergraduate Chemistry Newsletter@ published before the name change on May 2, 1989.



We have received 95-hour degree audits for the following people. Please stop by Room 104 to pick up your copy as soon as possible. M. Barrier, A. Bolin, E. Bowers, C. Christian, C. Davis, K. Dryden, J. Horn, S. Jeffrey, V. Johnson, V. Longaker, T. Miller, B. Nunez, K. Plunkett, S. Rahberg, Z. Sadighi, J. Smith, D. Speakmon, K. Stateson, M. Supak, J. Teslow, E. Venegas, E. Waltman, and E. Witt.



Charles Austin Cropper, a senior computer science and chemistry major, was recently selected as an associate member of Sigma Xi, the scientific research honor society. Two other chemistry majors, David R. AChip@ Kent IV and Thomas P. ATommy@ Miller III, were singled out for full membership. Kent and Miller are also senior chemistry majors.

Jennifer Drost, senior chemistry major, has been admitted to the graduate chemistry program at Texas A&M University for the fall 1999 term.



2000 B.C. - Here, eat this root.

1000 A.D. - That root is heathen, Hear, say this prayer.

1850 A.D. - That prayer is superstition. Here, drink this potion.

1940 A.D. - That potion is snake oil. Here, swallow this pill.

1985 A.D. - That pill is ineffective. Here, take this antibiotic.

2000 A.D. - That antibiotic is artificial (and contains chemicals). Here, eat this root.

Thanks to Dr. Beverly Clement for this interesting history lesson.