What=s Happening in Chemistry Circles

Issue #75

May 3, 1999

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

written by Dr. John L. Hogg

ACS Student Affiliate Awards Banquet

The outstanding undergraduate chemistry majors were honored at the ACS Student Affiliate banquet held on Friday, April 30 at the Texas A&M Faculty Club in Rudder Tower. Acting ACS Student Affiliate President Melissa Supak was the mistress of ceremonies at the banquet which attracted about 80 undergraduates, parents, faculty and friends. As part of the festivities, attendees enjoyed a slide show of Student Affiliate Activities during the past year.

Several student affiliate members were recognized with certificates by the ACS Student Affiliate Executive Board for their outstanding contributions to the organization during the past year. Those selected by a vote of the organization members were:

Outstanding Freshman - Brad Rowland

Outstanding Sophomore - Darrell Poppe

Outstanding Junior - Melissa Supak

Outstanding Senior - Julie Orf

Also recognized were:

Most Community Service: Rachel McConnell

Outstanding Service on the Synthesis Committee: Keli Chiasson

Outstanding Service on the Academic Committee - Leah Arrigo and Shelly Roper

Dr. Hogg, with assistance from Drs. Schweikert and Tiner, presented the awards for outstanding accomplishment by undergraduate chemistry majors. The money for these awards came from the Department of Chemistry and the Texas A&M Section of the American Chemical Society. Recipients were selected by the members of the Department=s Undergraduate Awards Committee.

Congratulations to these outstanding students!

Chemistry Department Outstanding Undergraduate Award ($200 and a certificate) - Given to the outstanding senior.

David R. AChip@ Kent IV (B.S.)

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


Charles A. Cropper (B.A.), Jason C. Link (B.S.), Zaneta D. Romain (B.A.), Angela R. Wacker (B.A.) and Allan E. Wilson (B.S.). Cropper will receive a second degree in computer science and Wilson will receive a second degree in French.


William S. Horne, Van A. Johnson, Jr., Christopher H. Loo, Rachel McConnell, Thomas F. Miller III, Zsila Sadighi, Courtney L. Sherman, Elise L. Waltman,


Outstanding Chemistry Majors in Sophomore Organic ($50 and a certificate): Six outstanding students were chosen for this award. They are:

Reagan R. Hughes, Timmy A. Kovoor, Sean N. Liddick, Joshua W. Osbun, Brandon H. Posvar, and Ellaine A. Lloren

Merck Index Award (a copy of the Merck Index presented by Merck) - Given to a graduating senior planning to attend medical school, vet school or dental school.

Zaneta D. Romain

Zaneta will enter Baylor College of Medicine this fall.

CRC Outstanding Chemistry Majors in the Chemistry 103/104 Course (a copy of the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics presented by CRC, a $25 check and a departmental certificate) Five students were chosen to receive this award. They are:

Honors Section

Erin C. Docking and Thomas H. Smith III

Non-Honors Section

Erin N. Guidry and Stephen E. Hansen


Hugh McLean Jr. Award ($200) - Given to a graduating senior who has demonstrated unusual dedication and perseverance in pursuit of the degree.

Michelle Williamson

Michelle graduated in December and received degrees in chemistry and Russian and has accepted a position with Dow Chemical in Freeport.

ACS Leadership Award ($50 checks presented by the local ACS section) - Three people were recognized this year for their contributions to the local ACS section and student affiliate chapter.

Julie R. Orf

Melissa L. Supak

Erin N. Witt

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

Angela D. Clinkenbeard

ACS Student Affiliate Officers Announced

Newly elected ACS Student Affiliate Chapter officers for the 1999-00 academic year were announced at the recent Awards Banquet. They are: President Melissa Supak, Vice-President Julie Orf, Secretary, Rachel McConnell, Treasurer Erin Witt, and Historian Celeste Davis.

Committee Chairs for the 1999-2000 academic year were also announced. They were:

Academic Chair - Eric Bowers

Community Projects Chair - Danny Salinas

Social Chair - Jay Horn

Synthesis Chair - Johanna Mullen

Web Page Chair - Brad Rowland



David R. AChip@ Kent IV and Jason C. Link were honored as recipients of the seventh annual Celanese Excellence Awards on April 14, 1999. Each received a $500 check and will have his name inscribed on a nameplate on a departmental plaque which hangs in the Chemistry Building. The awards recognize outstanding academic and extracurricular activities by junior/senior undergraduate chemistry majors at the discretion of the selection committee. Identical awards were presented to three chemistry graduate students and five chemical engineering students at the dinner held in the Clayton Williams Alumni Center. A contingent of scientists and other officials from Celanese joined Texas A&M Foundation representatives and representatives from the Departments of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the dinner.

Chip Kent will be receiving his B.A. degree in chemistry with a mathematics minor in May after only three years at TAMU. It helps to receive AP credit for 66 hours when you enter as a freshman. Chip has been very active in research at TAMU. He has worked with professors in the chemistry, math and physics departments. He has spent the past two summers doing research at The California Institute of Technology where he will enter the graduate program in chemistry this fall and join the group of Professor Harry B. Gray. He has received numerous honors in addition to the Celanese Award. His most recent honors include a Hertz fellowship, a Hughes fellowship, and an NSF predoctoral graduate fellowship. He has accepted the Hertz fellowship which provides all tuition and fees plus a $25,000 per year stipend for five years. Chip also competes in Olympic-style weightlifting and finished fourth in his weight class at the 1998 College Nationals Weightlifting Championships.

Jason Link will receive the B.S. degree in chemistry in May. He has been actively involved in research in Dr. Gyula Vigh=s group since the fall of 1997. He has also served as a student help desk technician at Computer Information Services. He was one of only twenty students selected nationwide for a Pfizer Undergraduate Research Fellowship this past year and was selected an honorable mention candidate for an NSF predoctoral graduate fellowship. He has also received numerous departmental awards and scholarships. Jason will enter graduate school in chemistry at The University of North Carolina this fall.



Dr. Elizabeth S. Roberts-Kirchoff (B.S. 1986) visited with Dr. Don Darensbourg on a recent visit he made to Michigan. She received her Ph.D. from the department of Biological Chemistry at The University of Michigan Ann Arbor in 1991 and then did postdoctoral work at Wayne State University and The University of Michigan before joining the faculty at the University of Detroit Mercy in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry as an Assistant Professor. She may be contacted via e-mail at ROBKIRES@udmercy.edu

Dr. Brooke Small (B.S. 1994) has joined Chevron Chemical in Kingwood after receiving his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He is working in the alpha olefins group. He and his fiancee, who is finishing her master=s degree in Russian history at North Carolina, are planning a June 19th wedding in Durham. Brooke=s e-mail address is: blbs@chevron.com


Tuan Nguyen (B.A.. 1998) will enter medical school at the TAMU Health Science Center this fall.

Becky Lew (B.S. 1997) has been working in Freeport, TX with Nalco/Exxon Energy Chemicals, L.P. for about a year and a half now and says she loves it. She works in the lab doing quality testing for specialty chemicals that they mostly produce for oilfield companies. Nalco/Exxon is a specialty chemicals company and they specialize in emulsion breakers, surfactants, intermediates, etc. You may contact her at BJLew@nalcoexxon.com

Valerie Drews (B.S. 1998) has decided to enter the University of Michigan graduate program in Biomedical Sciences this fall.

Patty Lathan (B.A. 1998) was here for a visit over spring break and reports that she is really enjoying vet school at the University of Pennsylvania. Friends may e-mail her at lathan@dolphin.upenn.edu

Kyle Emmitte (B.S. 1996) sent an e-mail note to say that he is working with Professor Mike Crimmins at the University of North Carolina doing natural product synthesis. He also states that AI guess I've got a little over two years to go until I graduate. My wife is a second grade teacher at a nearby elementary school and is enjoying herself as well. I talked to Miguel Gutierrez (B.A. 1996) over Christmas break and he is still in med school at UT Southwestern in Dallas. He seems to really like medicine, although he didn't know what he was going to specialize in just yet.@ Friends may contact Kyle at kemmitte@email.unc.edu

Scott Griggs (B.A. 1998) is currently attending The University of Texas School of Law.

Eric Walker (B.A.1998) is attending medical school at the TAMU Health Science Center.



The application forms for the George C. Bauer Scholarships are now available, for chemistry majors only, in Room 104 Chemistry from Ms. Marylin Warren. These scholarships (typically about three $300-$400 awards) are for the 1999-00 academic year. The simple application is due by May 14 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 1999-00 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 1999 grades are submitted to make the decisions this year.



Tommy Miller was recently named the outstanding junior at Texas A&M University by Phi Kappa Phi.

Christopher Loo, junior, will spend the summer of 1999 as a participant in the University of Texas Medical School at Houston Summer Undergraduate Research Program.

Kyle Plunkett and Melissa Supak, juniors, will spend the summer of 1999 working at Dow Chemical in Freeport.



Nalco/Exxon has a position available for a B.S. chemistry major. Interested parties should e-mail Diana Klebenow at DKKlebenow@nalcoexxon.com or fax your resume to her at (409) 233-0113. Please mention that you were made aware of this position by Becky Lew. Here is the job description:

* Perform analytical procedures using wet and instrumental methods of analysis.

* Routine operation, maintenance and calibration of GC, UV, GPC, NMR and FTIR instrumentation, plus ASTM testing.

* Assist operations personnel by determining amounts of material to be used in the manufacturing process, based on laboratory analytical results.

Education and Training/Experience:

* B.S. degree in Chemistry

* Strong background in scientific skills, instrumental analysis, computer and organic analysis is desired.

The company home page is www.nalcoexxon.com

Wyeth-Ayerst Research has a number of new openings (about 30 overall) at all their research centers (Cambridge, Mass; Pearl River, NY; Princeton, NJ; Radnor, PA), and are going to be actively recruiting over the next several months to fill these. The openings are at all different levels (new B.S., M.S. up to experienced Ph.D.'s). E-mail resumes (HURYND@war.wyeth.com) may be sent to Donna Hurynd and they will be circulated to all of their sites. Geographical preferences should be noted. They are looking not only for people with Organic Synthesis / Medicinal Chemistry backgrounds, but also analytical chemistry backgrounds, and scale-up/process interests.

Dr. Donna Hurynd

Wyeth-Ayerst Research


Princeton, NJ 08543


Hello everyone!

Thank you for your help with the map project. We finished the project (mostly) and the map looks great. The kids worked hard on it and learned a lot. I learned a lot. I have left the finishing touches up to two teachers; we still need to add some names of countries and oceans. I had to leave my village because I am moving to a new post for my second year. I am sending pictures to those of you who sent in money. You all sent much more than I needed. With your permission, I will use the money for other projects. I plan to use the extra money on a traveling science show. The science show is still in the works. I might not need any money for it since the new office I will be working for has lots of chemicals and equipment for teaching science. I will keep you posted. Also, two of my fellow volunteers would like help with makingWorld Maps at their schools. Though I could not save much of the supplies from my project (the paint brushes fell apart, the paints were mostly used, the pencils I bought were useless to begin with so I was not anxious to keep the ones we had left over), you all sent me extra money that could be spent on paint and better supplies for additional maps.

I am afraid that some checks you sent me might have been misplaced into another account. In order to resolve this problem, I am listing here the names that were recorded of those who sent me money. Please email me back if your name IS on the list and tell me how much money you have sent me. Certainly, email me back if you gave money and your name ISN'T on the list. Also, indicate how much you sent. I would hate to have any money misplaced. Here is the list: Texas A&M University, Dr. John Hogg, Kim Crutchfield, Don Crutchfield, Brandon Sucher, Thomas Reilly, Darren Miller, Margaret Melnyk and Collen Selden. (I DO NOT know who Collen Selden is. Collen, please write back with your address and a story explaining how you became interested in helping with the map.)

Thank you all once again. If you did not send money, please don't. I have more than I know what to do with and will be tempted to take vacation in Thailand if you do send money. I will try to write personal emails soon.

Your friend Jodi Crutchfield (B.A. 1997)

Peace Corps Volunteer


Note: For those who gave money directly to me, I simply added my donation and sent one check so that is why all of the names are not listed. They were listed in an e-mail I sent Jodi earlier.


Good Luck on Your Final Exams and Enjoy the Summer