What's Happening in Chemistry Circles

Issue #76 September 1, 1999

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

written by Dr. John L. Hogg


Fourteen chemistry majors received baccalaureate degrees at the ceremony on May 15. Six of the fourteen graduated with special honors. Charles Austin Cropper, David Randall Kent IV and Zaneta Danette Romain graduated with University Honors indicating 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 to be eligible for this recognition. Angela Renee Wacker joined Kent and Romain in graduating summa cum laude (GPR > 3.9). Jason Cooper Link joined Cropper to graduate with magna cum laude honors (GPR 3.70 - 3.899) and John Alan Maschek graduated cum laude (GPR 3.50 - 3.699). That means that about 36% of the chemistry majors graduated with honors while the University average is about 11%!

Bachelor of Science Degrees: Angela Dawn Clinkenbeard, Jennifer Lynn Drost, Sarah Catherine Hanna, Dale Jerome Kolar, Jason Cooper Link, John Alan Maschek, and Jennifer Michelle Solis.

Bachelor of Arts Degrees: Gewan Brandon Brown, Charles Austin Cropper, David Randall Kent IV, Lesley Virginia Kriewald, Zaneta Danette Romain, Angele Renee Wacker, and Sloane Colleen Wimberly.

Austin Cropper also received a B.S. in Computer Science at the May ceremony and was a participant in the University Undergraduate Research Fellows Program. "Chip" Kent completed the requirements for a second major in physics as well.


Only three chemistry majors received diplomas at the August 14 commencement ceremony. Jason Carpenter, Anthony Finely and Jason Ott received B.A. degrees.


The Texas A&M Section of the American Chemical Society was recognized with a Phoenix Award (Special Award of Recognition) on August 24 at the 218th National ACS Meeting in New Orleans. This award recognized that the local section demonstrated exemplary performance in the development and implementation of outstanding activities in support of National Chemistry Week during the 1998 year. This makes the fourth Phoenix award and one honorable mention award the local section has received since the awards were implemented in 1989. The local section was also nominated for a Phoenix award in the category of Best Media Coverage but did not fare as well in that category. This award is shared by all the undergraduates, graduates students, post docs, faculty and staff who helped at the Chemistry Open House last fall. The award is on display in the case in the foyer outside Room 100 Chemistry.



Alan Maschek (B.S. 1999) accepted a position with OI Analytical in College Station immediately following graduation in the spring.

Dale Kolar (B.S. 1999) has entered the Ph.D. program in chemistry at Georgia Tech University for the fall 1999 semester.

Jennifer Solis (B.S. 1999) accepted a position with Aer-Aqua Laboratories in The Woodlands and began work there on May 24. Friends may contact her at jennifer_solis@yahoo.com

Lesley Kriewald (B.A. 1999) has entered the M.S. program in science and technology journalism at Texas A&M University. Lesley had an English minor to go with her chemistry degree.

Audra Robertson (B.A. 1995) has been accepted into medical school at the University of Texas in San Antonio for the fall 1999 term. Audra has spent the past few years working at Haltermann, Monsanto and, most recently, Nalco/Exxon Energy Chemicals in Sugarland. Her goal has always been to attend medical school, however. Congratulations Audra.

Dr. Isaac Liu (B.S. 1990) stopped by for a short visit in May. Isaac is now senior director of sales and marketing for Ciba Specialty Chemicals (China) Ltd. in China and Hong Kong. Isaac completed his Ph.D. in chemistry at Stanford four years ago. He and his wife live in Shanghai, PRC although he travels to the United States and Europe frequently. I have complete details of his address in my office but his e-mail address is: isaac.liu@cibasc.com

Stephen Ferro (B.S. 1997) sent an e-mail in June to say he is doing well at the University of Colorado. He has joined the physical chemistry group run by Steven George. They are working on thin film deposition using atomic layer controlled growth. He has finished classes and the second year oral exam and says all that is left now is that little thing called a dissertation. His e-mail address is: Stephen.ferro@Colorado.edu

Trent Weiss (B.S. 1992) has been employed by the CIA since 1997. He is, as he puts it, a chemical warfare analyst and international man of mystery. He and his wife Tammy have a four year old daughter named Elaine. Trent frequently sends along information about positions with the CIA but you may contact him directly at trentjw@ucia.gov or at home at theweiss@earthlink.net

Sara Mooney (B.S. 1997) is now employed at Pennzoil/Quaker State working in the technical support department. Her new e-mail address is:   saramooney@pzlqs.com

Dora Rios (B.S. 1994) and Carlos Zapata (B.S. 1994) will be married in October in Eagle Pass. Dora is employed at Sachem in Austin and Carlos is employed at Radian International, also in Austin.

Kris Voss (B.S. 1998) has decided to leave graduate school at Scripps and take a position with a research firm in San Diego that he collaborated with while he worked at IntelliQuest in College Station. He will be in charge of coordinating the data collection in marketing research studies with the specifications of clients from across the nation. Eventually he will be involved in designing questionnaires and analyzing and presenting data to clients. He will also be working on a master's degree in statistics at the same time.

Dr. Krista Witte (B.S. 1992) has recently returned to The Scripps Research Institute in San Diego at a postdoctoral in the Peter Schultz research group. Her e-mail address is: kwitte@scripps.edu

Dr. Jose Watson (B.A. 1989, M.S. 1992) is now in the 4th year of a 5-year diagnostic radiology residency after attending Baylor College of Medicine. His e-mail address is: jvw@onramp.net

Shelley Lenamond (B.A. 1998) has been attending physician's assistant classes and working in various clinics around Ft. Worth during the summer before beginning medical school this fall. She and her husband, Mitchell (B.S. in OCEN, 1999) have purchased a house. Mitchell is employed as a structural engineer with TranSystem. Shelley's e-mail address is: shelleyl@prodigy.net

Dr. Lawrence (Dagang) Tang (B.S. 1994) is now doing a residency at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis after receiving the M.D. from Washington University in St. Louis. He plans to spend six more years doing training in diagnostic radiology and a fellowship in vascular and interventional radiology. He was married in May and his wife is working on her M.D./Ph.D. His e-mail address is: tanglawrence@yahoo.com

John (Rad) Kothmann (B.A 1997) has a brother Will who is an entering freshman chemistry major at A&M this fall. Rad is in his third year of medical school

at UT-Houston. He has now finished with the classroom work and was doing an OB/GYN rotation when he wrote in July. He said the day starts at 4:30 a.m. and ends about 6:30 p.m. with all night call every fifth night. He has just delivered his first baby a couple of days before he wrote.

He plans to try and attend a couple of Aggie football games this fall. Rad's e-mail address is: jkothman@thesis2.med.uth.tmc.edu

Steven Walker (B.A. 1998) wrote in July to say he has been admitted to medical school at UT-Houston for the fall 1999 semester. He is eager to join the 56 Aggies (and only 22 Longhorns), according to Rad Kothmann, in the fall class at UT-Houston.

Angela Clinkenbeard (B.S. 1999) is employed at Ameripol Synpol Corporation in Port Neches. They produce emulsion styrene-butadiene for the tire industry. She is planning to begin working on a Master's degree at Lamar University this fall while continuing to work. Her e-mail address is: aclink@ameripol.com

Brant Shields (B.A., December 1996) has just received a Masters Degree in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M University.

Kim DeFriend (B.A. 1998) presented a poster titled "Application of Carboxylate-Alumoxanes As Chemical Infiltration and Surface-Repair Agents," at the 218th National ACS Meeting in New Orleans on August 24. Kim is a graduate chemistry student in the lab of Dr. A.R. Barron at Rice University.


Julie Orf, senior chemistry major, spent the summer of 1999 in an NSF-Research Experience for Undergraduates program working with Dr. Hal Van Ryswyk at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, CA.

Erin Witt, senior chemistry major, spent the summer working at Millipore Corporation in Allen.

Alan Wilson, senior chemistry major, spent the summer working at Shell in Houston.


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 2000 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 13 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 10 is the deadline for filing an application for a degree for students graduating in the fall of 1999. 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 2000 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 6 test is Sept 17. The next test after that is December 11 (during finals) with an October 22 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.


Degree audits are available in our office for the people who expect to graduate in December 1999. Please stop by ASAP to check your audit. Audits are available for: K. Denton, K. Dryden, L. Ho Chong, M. Kinne, R. Martinez, M. Mauze, M. McPhee, C. Penaloza, C. Price, J. Quintana. P. Singh, and J. Smith.


Dr. Simon North is seeking a couple of good undergraduate students for research projects in his lab. Interested students may contact Dr. North at 845-4947 or go by Room 2109B Chemistry to discuss this.

The Soil, Water and Forage Testing Laboratory at TAMU has an opening for a student technician. Student applicants must be sophomore or juniors and must have completed Chemistry 101/102 (or equivalent) and course work in Chem 315, 318, 316, 317, and/or 320 is desired. The pay is $6-7 per hour depending on experience. Contact John Pitt or Jess Waskom at 845-4816 or apply in person at 345 Heep Center. Additional information is available on the bulletin board outside Room 104 Chemistry.

The TAMU Veterinary Teaching Hospital's Clinical Pharmacology Laboratory is seeking two undergraduate chemistry majors with an interest in analytical chemistry to work on 485 or 491 projects. A former chemistry student, Mr. Scott Wilkie, who is now working on a master's degree in this area will be the supervisor. Additional information is available on the bulletin board outside Room 104 Chemistry. You may also contact Dr. Dawn Boothe or Scott Wilkie at 845-9184 or 845-8926.

Dr. Marian Hyman, senior lecturer in chemistry, is seeking a web-savvy undergraduate to work on analytical chemistry animations. Interested students should e-mail Dr. Hyman at hyman@mail.chem.tamu.edu.


The first meeting of the ACS Student Affiliate Chapter will be held at 6:30 p.m. in Room 2102 Chemistry on Thursday, September 9. All undergraduate chemistry majors and other students interested in being a part of this organization are invited to this information meeting. There will be free pizza and soft drinks.


We welcome forty-seven freshman chemistry majors and eight transfer students to the department this fall. The new students and their high school and hometown are listed below.



Abresch, Mariana                 Worland High School         Worland, WY 82401

Agba, Nnenna                       Del Valle High School         Houston, TX 78725

Allred, Anna                          Trinity Christian Acad           Plano, TX 75025

Annear, Ana                          Waxahachie High School     Waxahachie, TX 75165

Brown, Travis                        Cedar Hill High School         Cedar Hills, TX 75104

Chaluparambil,                      Phil La Marque High Sch     Texas City, TX 77591

Collins, Bryron                       Mesquite High School           Mesquite, TX 75149

Covert, Wendy                      Corsicana High School         Corsicana, TX 75110

Crockett, Jennifer                 Ovilla Chrsitian School          Cedar Hills, TX 75104

Crook, Parker                       Grapevine Sr. High School    Grapevine, TX 76051

Crump , Amanda                  Bishop Lynch High School     Rowlett, TX 75088

Dannenberg, Walt                 Denison Sr. High School       Denison, TX 75021

Davis, Nina                            Klein Oak High School           Spring, TX 77389

Eneks, Kimberly                     Westfield High School           Houston, TX 77068

Erikson, Melissa                    Barbers Hill High School       Baytown, TX 77520

Gilbert, Timothy                      Barbers Hill High School       Mont Belvieu, TX 77580

Gilbreath, Travis                     Tivy High School                      Kerrville, TX 78028

Goodman, Steven                  Grandbury Sr. High School   Grandbury, TX 76048

Griggs, Nolan                          Coronado High School         Lubbock, TX 79414

Gustavson, Michael                C.E. Byrd Mag H/S Math/Sci Shreveport, LA 71105

Hansen, Laurel                        Winston Churchill High         San Antonio, TX 78232

Harstad, Brooke                      Westlake High School         Austin, TX 78746

Hessheimer, Amelia                Saint Pius X High School   Albuquerque, NM 87120

Hodges, Amber                       Glen Rose High School       Glen Rose, TX 76043

Holt, Sarah                                Colleyville Heritage              Grapevine, TX 76051

Huddleston, David                   The J. Cooper High Sch     The Woodlands, TX 77381

Johnston, Kasey                       Lumberton High School      Lumberton, TX 77657

Jones, Marinette                      John H. Reagen High Sch   Austin, TX 78753

Kish, Lauren                             Killeen High School               Harker Heights, TX 76548

Kothmann, William                  Alamo Heights High Sch      San Antonio, TX 78209

Kukol, Jonathan                       Duncanville High School       Duncanville, TX 75137

Luttmer, Elizabeth                   Lindsay High School              Lindsay, TX 76250

McMahon, Amy                      Crowley High School              Crowley, TX 76036

Merito, Marrietta                    Edison High School                 Huntington Beach, CA 92646

Morrow, Amanda                  Midland High School                The Woodlands, TX 77381

Munson, Robert                     Columbia High School            Brazoria, TX 77422

Nelson, Rachel                      Katy High School                      Katy, TX 77449

O'Malley, Lee                         SFA High School                     Austin, TX 78749

Peterson, Scott                      A&M Consol High School     College Station, TX 77845

Pinion, Kimberly                    Edward Marcus High Sch      Flower Mound, TX 75022

Poynor, David                        Reagan County High Sch      Big Lake, TX 76932

Raushel, Jessica                  A&M Consol High School      College Station, TX 77845

Schubert, Jamie                    Woodsboro High School       Woodsboro, TX 78393

Sebesta, Marti                       Westfield High School            Houston, TX 77090

Singaperumal, Sriram          Mount Vernon High School      Mount Vernon, TX 75457

Thomas, Kimberly                Jersey Village High School     Houston, TX 77064

Villalobos, Christina             Ellison High School                  Killeen, TX 76542

Transfer Students

Besancon, John                    Vanderbilt University

Garcia, Brianne                     North Harris County College

Justice, Aaron                        Stephen F. Austin State University

McGilvray, Leigh                    Southwestern University

Menn, Jennifer                        Coastal Bend College

Miday, Jason                           Stephen F. Austin State University

Strealy, Johnnie                       Del Mar College

Tusi, Christopher                     North Harris County College