What’s Happening in Chemistry Circles

Issue #99 November 5, 2002


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

written by Dr. John L. Hogg




            Saturday, November 2 was a day of almost frenetic activity in the chemistry department as we belatedly celebrated National Chemistry Week with the 15th annual Open House. Thanks to the organizational efforts of Dr. Wendy L. Keeney-Kennicutt, the department was able to offer a variety of tours, demos and hands-on activities for students and their parents and teachers. The day’s activities were sandwiched between two Chemistry Road Shows in Room 100.


            Several interesting hands on activities run by student volunteers from the Chemistry 116 laboratory class were offered. They joined numerous undergraduate and graduate chemistry majors, chemistry staff and faculty in presenting an almost-overwhelming assortment of activities for visitors to participate in. Also participating were representatives from the Biochemistry Department, Chemical Oceanography, the TAMU Geography Society, the student affiliate chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the student chapters of the Health Physics Society and the American Nuclear Society as well as the student affiliate chapter of the American Chemical Society. The very successful program would not have been possible without the combined efforts of scores of volunteers who gave up their Saturday (and many hours in preparation for Saturday) in order to bring the wonders of chemistry to the public. An estimated 600 people were treated to an entertaining day and should have a better appreciation of chemistry as a result of the event. Thanks to all who participated. You may view an on-line account of the event at the following site: http://www.theeagle.com/aandmnews/110302chemshow.htm



            Preregistration for the spring 2003 term is set to begin November 14. Students may either register using the Internet or by the telephone method. Each student is now given a registration start time and has 48 hours from that start time to complete registration. The start times are totally random within a certain classification. Classifications are based on the current semester and not on what your classification will be at the end of the semester. Students should have received a Neo e-mail notifying them of their start date and time. Alternatively, students may find their registration date and time by checking the upper left corner of screens 801 or 803 on BONFIRE for semester 02c. Each student should check for registration blocks on BONFIRE screen 805 prior to their registration time. Complete instructions for registration may be obtained by clicking on the HELP section at the following web site: http://register.tamu.edu. There is audio associated with Netscape 4.7 or Internet Explorer 5.5. Telephone registration instructions are on page 18-21 of the class schedule booklets now available at Heaton Hall.


            Here are some specific instructions for chemistry majors.


            Chemistry majors who plan to take Chem 234 and who do not automatically qualify for honors registration must see Dr. Hogg for registration in this course. He will compile a list of these students and the section in which they wish to be registered and enter them into the computer at the end of registration. Please see him or e-mail him on the day of your official registration.


            All B.S. and B.A. chemistry majors must take Chemistry 234 (offered in both the fall and spring semesters now) after taking Chemistry 231 (or Chemistry 237 in some cases) but only B.S. students are required to take Chemistry 334 after taking Chemistry 325. B.A. majors take the sequence Chemistry 325/326 instead. Chemistry majors must take the special section of Chemistry 228 taught by Dr. Hogg or the honor’s section taught by Dr. Harding unless they have permission from Dr. Tiner or Dr. Hogg to do otherwise.


            Carefully check the degree plan requirements and core curriculum requirements in your particular catalog when planning your schedule.


            Students who plan to graduate in the spring 2003 semester should pay particular attention to the boxed-in information at the bottom of page 4 in the class schedule book.


            As always, continue to call Ms. Warren at 845-0520 to schedule an advising appointment with Dr. Tiner or Dr. Hogg. Please do not send e-mails to schedule advising appointments.



        Vicki (Vaughn) North (BS, 1995) recently wrote to say that her husband Matt (BS 1994) has completed an MS degree in organic chemistry from Ohio University. He is working at CB Research and Development and she is still working for Dupont. Friends may contact the Norths at: Victoria.J.North@usa.dupont.com


            Marco Ramirez (B.A. 1994) is now teaching Physics and Environmental Systems classes at Plano Senior High School. He said he is excited to be back in teaching. You may contact Marco at: Mramire2@pisd.edu


            Renee (Navarette) Nowalk (B.A. 1983) and her husband stopped by for a short visit recently. Renee worked in my research group many years ago and is currently at Shell Chemical in Houston. She has promised to send more details about her career in the near future.


            John Casserly (B.S. 1985) sent an e-mail, after many years of being incommunicado, to say that he is still at Shell in Houston after 17 years is the Department Manager for Solvents and henol. He has a group of about twelve scientists and technicians who do process research and plant support for their manufacturing locations globally. I suspect the reason that he has not communicated for so long is that I used to routinely “kick his butt” in basketball games at my house in my younger days. At least that is the way I remember it. You may contact John at: JOHN.CASSERLY@SHELL.COM 


            The Writing Programs Office will be reserving seat in technical writing (ENGL 301) for seniors graduating in May 2003 who are unable to register for the course during normal registration. Force dates will be from 9-11 a.m. on December 11 and 12 and from 10-noon on January 10. You may call 845-9936 or go to Room 224 Blocker for additional information. English 210 is a sophomore-level writing course while 301 is reserved for juniors and seniors.




            About 16 undergraduate chemistry majors assisted Dr. Hogg in presenting information to prospective students and their parents at Aggieland Saturday on October 16 in Reed Arena. Although it rained heavily all day long, the attendance was quite good and the students (local and visitors) were enthusiastic. Thanks to all those who helped.




            The ACS student affiliate chapter held their annual Halloween party at the Hogg home on October 25. The rainy weather didn’t keep the group from grilling hamburgers and hot dogs and dunking for apples. The attendees (about 25 students and their dates) also enjoyed playing the newest version of Trivial Pursuit designed with questions supposedly targeted to the “younger generation.” The group presented the the Hoggs with a very generous gift certificate to Christopher’s Restaurant to show their appreciation for them agreeing to host the party at the last minute due to the death of Dr. Tiner’s father.  




            We have received information about jobs for B.S./B.A. chemists with Merck Research Laboratories in Rahway, NJ. This is posted outside Room 104. Check their web site at: www.merck.com/mrl/research/areas/anres.html


            Information about internships in the Elanco Animal Health Summer Internship Program for students entering the junior or senior years or post-graduate study is also posted outside Room 104 Chemistry. This is a division of Eli Lilly and Company. The deadline for application is February 1. You may also call Ms. Sonja Grinstead at 317-277-8337 for additional information or applications.




            The College of Science has $500,000 from the NSF and the Noyce Foundation to award scholarships to junior and seniors pursuing teacher certification at the secondary level. Applicants must have a GPR of at least 2.75. Additional requirements are listed on the application, copies of which are available in Room 104 Chemistry. You may contact Ms. Jennifer Parrott in Room 320 Heldenfels for additional information. The deadline for application is November 15!