What=s Happening in Chemistry Circles

Issue #79

January 17, 2000

web address: http://www.chem.tamu.edu/ugrad/ugradinf.html

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

written by Dr. John L. Hogg



The British Embassy announced December 10 the 40 American students who will receive Marshall Scholarships. Britain established the scholarships in 1953 as a gesture of thanks to the American people for the assistance received after World War II under the Marshall Plan. The scholarships allow American students to continue their studies for two or three years at a British university. Among those honored was Texas A&M University student Thomas Miller III. Tommy is a senior undergraduate chemistry major. Tommy=s selection as a Marshall Scholar is a "first" for Texas A&M.. He is the only representative from a Texas university on this year's list of winners and one of only two from Big 12 universities (Jay Sexton from the University of Kansas is the other). Tommy is also seeking a degree in mathematics. He plans to enter University College in London and work in the area of theoretical chemical dynamics with Professor Ronald Clary.


Eleven undergraduate chemistry majors received their degrees at the December 12,1999 commencement ceremonies. Paul S. Singh graduated magna cum laude and also received a second degree in biology. Congratulations go out to all of the graduates.

Bachelor of Arts Graduate (minor in parentheses) were: Kristi J. Denton (technical education), Kelly L. Dryden (business administration), Heather A. Hautala (technical education), Megan A. Kinne (Russian), Rudy Martinez (music), Madison A. Mauze (business administration), Cecylee S. Price (molecular and cell biology), Paul S. Singh (mathematics), Jerry W. Smith, Jr (biology).

Bachelor of Science Graduates were: David L. Molina and Jose Quintana.


Dr. Lynda Yang (B.S. 1988) sent a Christmas card. Lynda is now about half way through her neurosurgery residency in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She says the operating room is still the mainstay of her hospital life and that she really enjoys operating. She says that she attends the University of Michigan football games and has been taking some pottery classes in her spare time. She plans to try her hand at jewelry making in the near future. Lynda completed her M.D. degree at Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Eddie Moler (B.S. 1989) and his wife sent a holiday card. Eddie has shifted fields to cancer biology research where he is developing statistical and computational methods. He still works for Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory but in a different division. His wife, Jane, works at Tetra Tech in San Francisco where she conducts endangered species surveys and helps delineate wetlands. They=ve purchased a home and invite friends to visit if they are in the area. Their home phone number is 925-685-7807 and Eddie=s e-mail address is: ejmoler@lbl.gov

Jodi Crutchfield (B.A. 1997) sent a card saying she=d be spending her Christmas in her village in Nepal where she is with the Peace Corps. Jodi will return to the United States this summer.

Dr. Cheryl (Cook) Johnson (B.S. 1985) sent two pictures of her family with her Christmas letter. She and her beautiful daughters (Aspen and Autumn) and husband (Randy) still live in Alpine, Utah where Cheryl is a physician. They all enjoy skiing and Cheryl has performed in two shows this year with her jazz class.

Christmas greetings were also received from Rene Aguiluz (B.S. 1997) and Angie Wacker (B.A. 1999).

Chad Herring (B.A. 1994) is doing patent prosecution work, on contract, for several companies and law firms in the Austin area. He said much of his work is devoted to call center technology and medical equipment and helping write disclosures for patentable chemical compositions. Chad=s e-mail address is: cmherring@attglobal.net

John Steinbach (B.S. 1989) works at Celanese in Bay City and is a production engineer in the butanol, propanol and acetate esters unit. John=s e-mail address is: jlsteinbach.baycity@celanese.com

William Setley IV (B.A. 1993 in chemistry and M.S. in 1997 in kinesiology) is now an aerospace physiologist in the U.S. Navy stationed in Pensacola, Florida. He is married and has a two and a half year old daughter. Bill=s e-mail address is: bsetley@netzero.net

Audra Roberston (B.A. 1995) wrote to say she is enjoying her first year in medical school at UT-San Antonio. She said she has found her place after working in industry for several years before beginning medical school. She has completed courses in medical biochemistry and medical microanatomy with outstanding grades and is continuing in gross anatomy, clinical integration, and microbiology which are two semester courses. She has also picked up neuroscience and physiology in the spring. To those of you who know Audra it will come as no surprise that she has been elected President of the class of 2003. Audra=s e-mail address is: arobert13@hotmail.com

Christine (Mullen) Barondeau (B.S. 1994) sent a wonderful Christmas photo of her husband (Dr. David Barondeau, Ph.D. 1996), son (Matthew - 2 yrs) and daughter (Katie - 6 months). Christine in slated to complete her Ph.D. in chemistry in June at the University of California - San Diego. Since Christine completed both a B.S. degree in chemistry and a B.S. in biochemistry at A&M, it comes as no surprise that she is able to finish a Ph.D. and have two children in a 6-year span.

Lindy (Sparks) Stoll (B.S. 1994) is still working as plant chemist/environmental coordinator at Alliance Compressors in Natchitoches, Louisiana. She is planning to enter the graduate program in chemistry at the University of Louisville this fall. Lindy was an outstanding student at A&M spent two summers participating in NSF-funded undergraduate research programs at Clemson University and the University of Hawaii. She was very active in intramural sports, tutored student athletes in math and chemistry and received the Lechner Hall most active bonfire participant award. Lindy has agreed to share the poem she wrote concerning the bonfire accident this past fall. The poem is included elsewhere in this issue of Orbitals.

Dr. Tara (Decuir) Todd (B.S. 1992; Ph.D. 1997) phoned recently. She teaches chemistry at King College in Bristol, Tennessee. She and her husband, Benjamin, are expecting their first child in March. Friends may contact Tara at: tdtodd@king.edu

Deron Wood (B.S. 1991) and his wife have moved back to Texas. He is working for Frito Lay in the Pepsico Business Solutions Group in Plano and is doing software quality assurance and some system administration. His e-mail address is: Deron.Wood@fritolay.com

Dr. Katherine Prater (B.S. 1994) is an assistant professor of chemistry at Texas Wesleyan University in Ft. Worth where she also advises pre-med students. She may be contacted at: praterk@txwes.eduB.S

Christopher Loo, senior chemistry major, has been admitted to the MD/PhD program at Baylor College of Medicine=s Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. He has received a full tuition scholarship and an annual stipend of $16,000 during the Ph.D. training period. Congratulations Chris!



It is with sadness that I inform you of the death of Dr. Jennifer Banzon Kelly, wife of Dr. Jeff Kelly. Many of you took classes under Jeff=s instruction and may have had Jennifer as a teaching assistant while she completed her Ph.D. at Texas A&M. She passed away on Thursday, January 6th after a very short battle with cancer. I know you join me in expressing our deepest condolences to Jeff and to Jennifer's family. Dr. Kelly has been at The Scripps Research Institute since leaving Texas A&M. Condolences may be sent to: Dr. Jeffrey W. Kelly, Department of Chemistry, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road MB12, LaJolla, CA 92037.



For a student to be eligible for a rebate of a portion of the undergraduate tuition the student has paid:

* They must have enrolled for the first time in an institution of higher education in the fall 1997 semester or later,

* They must be requesting a rebate for work related to a first baccalaureate degree received from a Texas public university,

* They must have been a resident of Texas, must have attempted all course work at a Texas public institution of higher education, and have been entitled to pay resident tuition at all times while pursuing the degree, and

* They must have attempted no more than three hours in excess of the minimum number of semester credit hours required to complete the degree under the catalog under which they were graduated.

* Hours attempted include:

* transfer credits,

* course credit earned exclusively by examination,

* courses that are dropped after the official census date,

* for-credit developmental courses,

* optional internship and cooperative education courses,

* courses repeated exclusively by examination,

* courses that are dropped after the official census date,

* optional internship and cooperative education courses,

* repeated courses.

* Courses dropped for reasons that are determined by the institution to be totally beyond the control of the student shall not be counted.

* Students must apply for rebates prior to receiving their baccalaureate degrees on forms provided by the institution and must keep the institution apprized of their addresses for at least 60 days after their graduation date.

TO APPLY: Students that meet the above requirements must apply to the Texas A&M University Registrar during the semester in which they expect to graduate. If all requirements are met, the Registrar will notify the Director of Student Financial Services and a Tuition Rebate will be issued for the amount of tuition paid, not to exceed $1,000, less any outstanding loans or other amounts owed the University.

TAMU Student Research Week

The third annual TAMU Student Research Week Conference will be held March 20-24, 2000. The goal of the conference is to enhance awareness of student involvement in research at Texas A&M University. Poster and oral presentations will highlight undergraduate and graduate research activities at TAMU. Undergraduates involved in research are encouraged to participate in this conference. The deadline for submission of entries is February 4 at 5:00 p.m. All presentations will be poster presentations. We have some information about the program but additional details, including the online application may be found at: http://www.tamu.edu/researchandgradstudies/GraduateStudies/RESWEEK/resweek.html


Friday, January 28, 2000 is the last day to make formal application for undergraduate degrees to be awarded in May 2000. You must visit Room 105 Heaton Hall to do this. If you have not had the diploma fee (option code 66) assessed to your fees during preregistration, it will be assessed at this time.


A complete listing of the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates summer programs in all disciplines may be found at the following web site:


The list includes over 50 chemistry sites as well as sites in atmospheric sciences, biological sciences, computer and information sciences and engineering, earth sciences, mathematics, physics, materials, astronomy, social, behavioral, and economic sciences. Complete contact information for all programs may be found at this site and most have on-line applications. If you are interested in a summer research program you should definitely check these out. Most offer stipends in the $3000-4000 range for a 10 week program. Many offer additional funds for travel and housing. The research credit earned at these institutions may, in most cases, be transferred to TAMU and applied to your degree plan in chemistry. Hard copies of the chemistry list may be obtained from Dr. Hogg in Room 104 Chemistry.





They@ll Never Know

(In Memoriam)

I don't know if there will be an Aggie Bonfire next year,

Or if there will be one the year after that.

Bonfire '98 may go down in the books as the last one at Aggieland,

And I would understand.

Should it be decided that Bonfire is a tradition that shall be no more,

If the experts determine that the risks are too great for another to be built,

Then I would resign myself to that decision.

I would understand, but not without sadness.

We grieve for the Ags who lost their lives

And for the families and friends who lost their Aggies.

We grieve for all of the promise their lives still held

And the paths down which the Bonfire 12 will never walk.

But what about the Aggies of tomorrow?

What about the Class of 2004 - next year's freshman?

Should there never be another Bonfire,

It is for them that I would feel sadness added to my grief.

Their class would be the first not to build a Bonfire.

They'll never know what it all means.

They won't know what it's like to wake up to the sound of ax handles on trash can lids.

They won't know how early the upperclassmen start in with all that banging in the halls.

They won't have any reason to cram into the back of a pickup with ten other freshmen

And ride for thirty minutes out into the woods in the pre-dawn chill of a fall morning.

They won't know that a hard hat is a pot,

Or what it means if a pot is red, brown, or yellow.

They won't know the pride a dorm feels to earn pots in its first year in existence.

(Way to go Lechnerds! WHOOP!!)

They won't have any reason to get a pot of their own

And personalize it for the months ahead.

They won't know what virgin stripes are, what grodes are,

Or the smell that all well-worn grodes get.

They won't know that the Corps builds the hell out of Bonfire,

That non-regs build the hell out of Bonfire,

That Northside builds the hell out of Bonfire,

That Walton loads the hell out of Bonfire.

They won't know what it's like to spend an entire Saturday at cut,

Hearing Whoops travel through the woods along with the Aggie football game updates.

They won't know the work it takes to cut all of that wood by swinging axes,

Or how many people it takes to get a dorm log out of the woods and onto the truck.

They won't know what it's like to fall asleep in the shower after a day at cut,

Or how badly shampoo stings the blisters on raw, aching hands.

They won't know how hard it is to get out of bed on Sunday

And cut all day again.

They won't know about Bonfire yell practices in the Grove.

They'll never hear the Yell Leaders cry, "Fightin' Texas Aggie Bon-Fie-YER!"

They won't know the excitement of watching Center Pole arrive,

Of watching it go up.

They won't know what it's like to walk up to stack for the late night shift

And see Bonfire flooded in light with its flag waving in the night sky.

They won't walk to Duncan Field or the Polo Fields in between classes

Just to see how stack is coming along.

They won't know what it's like to sit though a biology lecture

Trying to stay awake (or at least trying not to snore too loudly) after a night at stack.

And they won't know how stack and classes seem to need the most attention

During the same part of the semester.

They won't know the anticipation of Bonfire night

Or the experience of seeing their freshman Bonfire burn.

They won't visit the smoldering pile the next day just to see it one more time.

And four years later, they will not have a Bonfire for Elephant Walk.

I don't know if there will be an Aggie Bonfire next year,

Or if there will be one the year after that.

I do know that I am richer for the experiences Bonfire gave me.

I hope that tomorrow's Aggies have some way to build Bonfire memories of their own.

Lindy K. (Sparks) Stoll '93