What’s Happening in Chemistry Circles
|Issue #97||September 1, 2002|
[a publication of the Department of Chemistry at Texas A&M University]
written by Dr. John L. Hogg
Thirteen of the twenty-seven chemistry majors who received degrees at the May 10, 2002 commencement ceremony graduated with honors. This is 48% of the chemistry graduates compared to a University average of about 15% graduating with honors. Actually, the number would have been higher except that one student who compiled a 4.00 GPR at A&M didn’t have the 75 hours of credit at A&M necessary to be considered for honors. Inclusion of this student would have brought the number to fourteen or 52%!
Two students graduated summa cum laude (GPR > 3.9). They were: Brandon Posvar (B.A.), and Margaret Haring (B.S.).
Trevor Clayton (B.A.), Gera Geeslin (B.A.), Erin Guidry (B.S.), Stephen Hansen (B.S.), Josh Osbun (B.A.), Bradley Rowland (B.S.), Gottfried Schroeder (B.S.), and Alex Zemkoski (B.A.) graduated magna cum laude (GPR 3.70-3.899).
Melinda Ledwig (B.A.), Hiral Shah (B.A.), Thomas Smith III (B.S.), Leah Whiteker (B.S.) and Melissa Wierzbicki (B.S.) all graduated cum laude (GPR 3.50-3.699).
Two students received more than one degree. Josh Osbun also received a B.A. in English and Alex Zemkoski also received a B.S. in economics. Melissa Wierzbicki had earlier (August 2001) received a B.S. in chemical engineering.
The complete list of May 2002 graduates follows:
B.A. -Trevor L. Clayton, Gera B. Geeslin, Brandi H. Kelley, Aaron J. Kirschbaum, Melanie L. Ledwig, Melinda L. Ledwig, William R. Loesch, Joshua W. Osbun, Brandon H. Posvar, Hiral K. Shah, and Alex G. Zemkoski.
B.S. - Erin C. Docking, Erin N. Guidry, Stephen E. Hansen, Margaret T. Haring, Jared L. Hudson, Melissa E. Laningham, Sarah R. McBee, Bradley A. Rowland, Rachel E. Salazar, Gottfried K. Schroeder, Thomas H. Smith III, Bonnie M. Stephens, Jason J. Stephenson, Samuel J. Stratton, Leah B. Whiteker, and Melissa A. Wierzbicki.
Five students completed their undergraduate degree programs in chemistry and received their diplomas at the August 17, 2002 commencement ceremony. They were:
B.S. - Esther M. Garner
B.A. - Amanda S. Hawthorne, Martin T. Paukert, Jared N. Teslow, and Shanda M. Thompson.
Martin Paukert graduated summa cum laude and with University Honors which means he completed 36 hours of Honors course work. Esther Garner also received a B.S. in food science and technology.
Kristi (Denton) Nance (B.A. 2000) has accepted a position with at Andrews High School (near Odessa) to teach chemistry, physics and integrated physical science. She stopped by for a visit over the summer before leaving for west Texas. Friends may contact her by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuan Nguyen (B.A. 1998) stopped by for a short visit in early August. He is well along in medical school and is currently in Temple.
Ruben Garnica (B.S. 1997) and his girlfriend stopped in to visit in July. Ruben is nearing the completion, possibly in September of this year, of his Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of California at Irvine. His research has focused on the role of nitrogen-containing compounds such as nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide, and nitrous oxide in regulating the composition and reactivity of our atmosphere. Ruben may be contacted at: email@example.com
Dr. Andrew Green (B.A. 1995) will be beginning his practice of chiropractic medicine in Bryan shortly.
Dr. Carol (Cross) Wise (B.S. 1985) is the Director of Molecular Genetics at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. She reports that, in addition to taking care of her two children and husband, her group recently cloned a gene for a form of arthritis in children known as PAPA syndrome. They are now pursuing the pathogenesis of that disease and are also chasing various other genes. They have a summer program for undergraduates and I’ve requested that she send some information about it. You may contact her at: Carol.Wise@UTSouthwestern.edu
Dr. Kim DeFriend (B.S. 1998) received her Ph.D. in chemistry from Rice University and is now working at Los Alamos National Labs as a postdoctoral associate. She is living in Sante Fe. Some of her Ph.D. research is featured on the cover of the July 15,2002 issue of the Journal of Materials Science.
Thai Ho (B.A. 1998) wrote in mid-May to say that he still reads Orbitals and to send condolences about my accident last spring. He recently submitted a paper that was accepted by the Journal of Cell Biology. Thai is in the MD/Ph.D. program at Baylor College of Medicine. He said that he recently switched research projects to working on the mechanism behind myotonic dystrophy, a form of muscular dystrophy He said he still has many, many more years until he graduates, but that he enjoy living in poverty while his medical school classmates go on to graduate and make real salaries. He said his goal is to graduate from school before he is 30. Thai may be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter Duong (B.S. 2000) has accepted a position to teach chemistry and biology at Sommerville High School this fall.
Omar Torres (B.S. 1998) visited us in July. He was back in Houston for a short while before returning to Los Angeles. He continues to teach high school at Immaculate Heart High School after receiving his M.S. in inorganic chemistry from UCLA in 2000. He brought along some very impressive materials he had prepared for his students. It is obvious that he is teaching his chemistry courses at a very high level. Omar still plans to enter law school after teaching for a couple more years. You can check out some of Omar’s materials (including notes and tests) at his web site where you can also find his e-mail address: http://www.immaculateheart.org/otorres/
Janet and I had the pleasure of visiting with two former students in London while we vacationed there this summer. One day we were treated to a trip to Warwick Castle and Stratford-on-Avon by Dr. Lynda Yang (B.S. 1988). She was kind enough to pick us up at our hotel and drive us to see lots of wonderful places and treat us to a traditional fish and chips dinner in a local neighborhood pub near where she lived in London. Lynda is spending a year working at the Royal National Orthopedic Hospital in London, which we also toured, before she will return to the University of Michigan where she join the faculty with both research and clinical duties. She is broadening her training as a neurosurgeon with the orthopedic work in London and we had some very interesting conversations since she had been doing some surgeries just like the one I had after breaking my arm in March. Friends may contact Lynda at: email@example.com
We were also fortunate enough to be able to meet Tommy Miller (B.S. in chemistry and math, 2000) and his girlfriend (Nicola) at the British Museum one day. Tommy is still studying for a Ph.D. in theoretical chemistry at the University of London where he is a British Marshall Scholar. He has been working in the financial district in London, however, over the summer applying some of his considerable mathematics skills to financial problems. He and his girlfriend are still doing competitive ballroom dancing. You may reach Tommy by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Jeffrey Riblet (B.A. 1983) is assistant professor of surgery at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia where he has a busy general surgery and trauma practice. He contacted me recently via e-mail to reminisce about old times. Jeff actually did undergraduate research in my group back when I was still active in that arena. We also played some golf together. Jess and his wife, Val, have two kids ages 5 and 2. Donald is the old guy and Cameron the new kid. Jeff has also had a passion for flying airplanes for the last twelve years and has his own Piper Cherokee 235, a four place single engine plane that flies at 135 mph. He also holds a commercial instrument multi-engine rating and is working on qualifying for an airline transport pilot rating. He has flown DC-10, F-14 and E2C simulators with United Airlines. He’s even done some commercial work and, in fact was the co-pilot for the governor of Virginia on a recent trip. It sounds as if Jeff is a busy guy. Contact him by e-mail at (email@example.com) or check: http://www.evms.edu/services/doctors/Jeffrey_Riblet.html Also, check the material he has on the web for August-1999, December-2000 and February-2001 at: http://www.evms.edu/about/evms_rr/index.html
David Trueba (B.S. 2001) and his wife Michelle announced the birth of a daughter, Emma Elizabeth, on March 17, 2002. Belated congratulations to David and Michelle.
Charles Penaloza (B.S. 2000) is employed with Omega Point Laboratories, Inc. as a field chemist. Friends may contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Esther Garner (B.S 2002) recently became Ester Garner Smith as a result of getting married. I don’t know any more details. She has accepted a position with Lynntech in College Station. Congratulations on the marriage may be sent to Esther at: email@example.com
Becky Lew became Becky (Lew) Nguyen in March. She is still working at NalcoExxon. You may contact her to congratulate her on her marriage at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Edward Southern (B.A. 1982) stopped by for a very brief visit on August 30. Although I had not seen Ed for twenty years, he was easily recognizable even though his hair had a little gray in it. It was great to see him since I had totally lost track of him. Ed is now an orthopedic surgeon. He received his M..D. in 1988 from Baylor. He has quite an impressive resume, which may be viewed at www.memorialorthopaedics.com This is the web site for the practice he just left in Long Beach, California to take a position in Minnesota to make his wife, a native Minnesotan, happy. Friends may contact Ed at: EdwardSouthern@OSLMN.com
Alan Maschek (B.S. 1999) touched base recently to say that he has accepted a position at UT southwestern as a research assistant in Dr. David Corey's lab where he will primarily be doing PNA and protease research. He said that I should include the details of his journey since graduation so that the students may see what all the possible options are after graduation. Here goes: OI Analytical 1.5 years; traveler Fiji, New Zealand; student ACC; Radio Shack employee; Las Cruces, NM musician bum and Sonic burger flipper; traveler Mexico, Belize; research assistant UT-Southwestern. For information about this career path you may contact Alan at: email@example.com
Roxanne Clardy (B.S. 1997) and Scott Davis were married in Jamaica recently. Congratulations! Friends may contact the newlyweds at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Michael Green (B.S. 1992 in chemistry and in physics) has just accepted a position as an assistant professor of chemistry at Penn State University. Mike received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1998 under the direction of Dr. Jeremy Burdett and had been doing research with Dr. Harry Gray at Cal Tech for the last few years as an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow. Mike has done extraordinarily well after a less than stellar start at A&M as he will tell you. In fact, he and I joke that his is one of the stories I most often use to motivate students who start out poorly at A&M. Mike never gave up and look where he is now, a rising star in academia.. You may contact Mike at: email@example.com
CHEMISTRY WEB SITE UPDATES
Quite a few additions or improvements have been made to the Texas A&M Chemistry Department web site over the summer by Ms. Warren and me. I encourage you to check them out by going to: www.chem.tamu.edu and then clicking on undergraduate program. Once at the site you will find the following additions:
1. Employers of Chemistry Majors - this is a list of the companies, organizations, professional schools, and graduate schools attended by out chemistry graduates.
2. Career Choices of Chemistry Majors - this is an edited list of material gleaned from Orbitals: What’s Happening in Chemistry Circles. It illustrates the diversity of careers chosen by our graduates.
3. Association of Former Students Teaching, Research and Student Relationships Awards Received by Chemistry Faculty - this is a list of all chemistry faculty who have been recognized by the AFS for outstanding accomplishment in teaching (college-level and university-level), research and student relationships
4. Undergraduate Publications - this is a chronological l ist of about 115 chemistry publications which include A&M undergrads as co-authors. Copies of most of these publications are posted on the bulletin boards outside Room 108 and 109 and in the glass display case in the lobby of the 1986 wing (outside Room 2104). If you become a co-author on a publication please make sure that our office is made aware of this to add to this list.
NEWS ABOUT CURRENT STUDENTS
Adam Rowland, junior chemistry major, spent the summer as a participant in the Arkansas-Oklahoma Center for Space and Planetary Sciences NSF-REU program. He worked with S.W.S. McKeever at Oklahoma State University on a project titled “Effects of Gamma Irradiation and Low Temperature Operation of InGaN Single Quantum Well Light Emitting Diodes.”
Two senior chemistry majors, Amelia Hessheimer and Brooke Harstad, spent the past semester/summer studying abroad. Brook spent her time at the University of Lancaster in the United Kingdom while Amelia studied at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain.
IMPORTANT ADVICE FOR SENIORS GRADUATING BY AUGUST 2003
Check the university web site at the following location for graduation details:
Degree Application Deadline: September 13 is the deadline for filing an application for a degree for students graduating in the fall of 2002. This must now be done online at: http://degreeapp.tamu.edu Questions about degree audits may be addressed t the Degree Audit Office at 845-1089.
List of Seniors: A list of students who will graduate between now and August 2003 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 Wednesday, September 11 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.
Interviews: Many of the companies will be interviewing in the Chemistry Department without going through the Career Center so it is especially important that Ms. Warren has all of your information available in order to contact you about those companies. You should also sign up at the Career Center (formerly the Placement Center) in Room 209 Koldus Building as soon as possible for fall interviews. Check out their website at: http://careercenter.tamu.edu to find information on full-time jobs and internships. Do not wait another minute to do this. The bid deadline for some of the companies interviewing chemists is very early in September. 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 2003 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.
NSF Graduate Fellowships: We now have information booklets about the prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships in our office. If you are planning to enter graduate school you should consider applying for one of these. The deadline early November. The website is: http://www.orau.org/nsf/nsffel.htm
Texas Scottish Right Hospital for Children is a non-profit pediatric hospital specializing in treatment of children's orthopedic, neuromuscular, and associated disorders. The hospital also sponsors a strong research program in both basic science and clinical applications relevant to disorders of interest. The TSRHC Summer Internship program was established to provide training in bioengineering, molecular biology, or genetics to students pursuing the fields of science or medicine. The program consists of 5 undergraduate positions available from June through August each summer.
For more information please contact Dr. Richard Browne, Administrative Director of Research, at 214-559-7870, or email him at: Richard.Browne@tsrh.org.
FRESHMAN CHEMISTRY MAJORS ENROLLMENT UP
We have enrolled 58 freshman chemistry majors for the fall semester compared with 53 last year. We also welcome five new transfer students. The average SAT score of the freshmen is 1172 with twelve students scoring above 1350. About 40 of the 58 students ranked in the top 10% of their high school graduating class. We wish you all the best of luck and are glad to have you in the program. The new students are:
LAST FIRST HIGH SCHOOL CITY ST
Anzueto, Gabriel Tom Clark High School San Antonio TX
Ball, Kendall Highland Park High School Dallas TX
Baradhi, Shakeih Brazoswood High School Lake Jackson TX
Biles, Jessica A&M Consolidated High School College Station TX
Bollinger, Melinda Mary Carroll High School Corpus Christi TX
Carter, Tiffany Cy-Fair Senior High School Houston TX
Castillo,Erin Coronado High School El Paso TX
Cowart, Katherine Harker Heights High School Harker Heights TX
Dalrymple, Christopher Flower Mound High School Flower Mound TX
Daniels, Shara Los Fresnos Sr. High School Los Fresnos TX
DeCock, Kelly Northside Hlth Careers High San Antonio TX
Delgado, Jose Sci & Eng School at Townview Dallas TX
Ellis, Grant Klein Oak High School Spring TX
Ellis, Sheena Ellison High School Killeen TX
Farber, Rebecca Harvest Christian Academy Keller TX
Garey, Joshua Hirschi High School Wichita Falls TX
Gee, Chance Lumberton High School Lumberton TX
Gerren, Tiffany Thorndale High School Thorndale TX
Haley, Stacey North Shore High School Houston TX
Hampton, Emily First Baptist Academy Dallas TX
Harwell, Robert Edmond North High School Edmond OK
Hawkins, Robert Monahans Senior High School Monahans TX
Henderson, Ann C.E. Bird Magnet High School Shreveport LA
Hoover, Angela Humble High School Humble TX
Horvat, Darijana A&M Consolidated High School College Station TX
Hovorak, Brian Brady High School Lohn TX
Jackson, Ashley Kilgore High School Kilgore TX
Jaggears, Christi Irving HighSchool Irving TX
Knippell, Katherine Klein Oak High School Spring TX
Leggett, Tristan TX Acad. Math & Science Dallas TX
Malcolm, Hannah Lafayette High School Lafayette LA
McClelland, Christofe Edinburg North High School Edinburg TX
McInnis, Chance All Saints Episcopal School Tyler TX
Minjares, Aaron Naaman Forest High School Garland TX
Minnick, Andrew New Braunfels Senior High New Braunfels TX
Murphy, Mary St. Petersburg Sr High School St. Petersburg FL
Nash, Kimberly Jersey Village High School Cypress TX
Nordt, Eric Needveille High School Needville TX
Olshavsky, Rebecca Sharyland High School Mission TX
Osbun, Nathan Southside High School Fort Smith AR
Parketon, Sarah Fossil Ridge High School Fort Worth TX
Perez, Brian Del Rio High School Del Rio TX
Perkins, Joshua Antonian College Prep School San Antonio TX
Quirindongo, Lucki Killeen High School Killeen TX
Rameriz, Debra Sharyland High School Mission TX
Richers, Casseday Bryan High School Bryan TX
Robinson, Jillian New Caney High School New Caney TX
Rodriguez, Mitcheal Providence High School San Antonio TX
Schell, Anna Bishop Lynch High School Dallas TX
Smith, Dustin Robert L. Osborne High School Austin TX
Snedecor, Kevin Angelton High School Angleton TX
Steffens, Karly Brady High School Brady TX
Stubbs, Shahira Mayde Creek High School Katy TX
Stum, Dustin Azle High School Azle TX
Van Hal, Michael Faith Christian School Roanoke TX
Wadera, Sheetal L.V. Hightower High School Sugar Land TX
Walton, Katherine Cleburne High School Cleburne TX
Westerman, Alex Maize High School Wichita KS
Coffey, Charlotte University of Texas -Austin San Antonio TX
Gallagher, Kate Creighton University Omaha NE
Lynch, Shannon North Harris County College Woodlands TX
Siraj, Ahmed Houston Community College Houston TX
Stephens, Michael Millsaps College Alvarado TX
Drs. Miller, Watanabe and Yennello are looking for a few undergraduates interested in doing research in their labs. Interested students should contact them and may find out about their research at the chemistry web site where their phone numbers and e-mail addresses are also listed.
CURRENT E-MAIL ADDRESSES
Undergraduate chemistry majors who have not received general e-mails from me in the last couple of days should provide me with their current e-mail address ASAP so you may be added to the ChemMjrs e-mail list. You may do this simply by sending an e-mail to me and saying “add to the chemistry majors e-mail list.” We try to keep this updated but it is next to impossible. About 25 of the current e-mail addresses are no longer correct. If you know of a previous e-mail address that is no longer correct please let me know.