What's Happening in Chemistry Circles

Issue #83

September 1, 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


Eight of the twenty-six chemistry majors who received degrees at the May 13, 2000 commencement ceremony graduated with honors. This is about 31% of the chemistry graduates compared to a University average of about 14% graduating with honors.Four students graduated summa cum laude (GPR > 3.9). They were: William Seth Horne,Christopher H. Loo, Thomas F. Miller III, andCourtney L. Sherman. All received the B.S. degree. Horne and Loo were recognized with University Honors which certifies that they completed at least 36 hours of honors courses with a cumulative GPR of at least 3.4. Shermanwas recognized as a Foundation Honors graduate which meant he took at least one honors course in each core curriculum area. Miller was recognized as a participant in the University Undergraduate Research Fellows program. He also completed requirements for a B.S. in mathematics.

Allan E. Wilson (B.S.) graduated magna cum laude (GPR 3.70-3.899) and received a second degree in French. Andrew C. Bolin (B.A.),Traci D. Clark (B.A.) and Julie R. Orf (B.S.) all graduated cum laude (GPR 3.50-3.699).

The complete list of May graduates follows:B.A. - Andrew C. Bolin, Traci D. Clark, Valerie E. Meyers, Sandy J. Rahberg, Shelly D. Roper, Ryan R. Shaw, and Derek Speakmon.

B.S. - Eric K. Bowers, Peter H. L. Duong, Lauren M. Eppler, Randal J. Hartwell, William S. Horne, Van A. Johnson, Jr., Vicky M. Longaker, Christopher H.-Y. Loo, Thomas F. Miller III, Trieu X. Nguyen, Brandi D. Nunez, Julie R. Orf, Kyle N. Plunkett, Courtney L. Sherman, Melissa L. Supak, Edward J. Venegas, Allan E. Wilson and Erin N. Witt.

SMALL GROUP OF AUGUST GRADSOnly three students completed the requirement for the undergraduate degree in chemistry in August. Chad F. Christian, Kristi J. Dentonand Andrew Mercer received B.A. degrees at the August 12 commencement ceremony.


Brian Munson (B.S. 1997) phoned in June to say that he has decided to leave industry and enter medical school. He has been working at Celanese in Pampa, Texas. Brian was married in November of 1998. He and his wife Christie are expecting their first child in August. He is now in San Antonio taking the necessary biology pre-requisites to enter medical school.

Brian Munson (BS 1997) and wife Christie,Larry Medina (BS 1998) and Valerie Drews(BS 1998) all happened to drop by the office for a visit on the afternoon of June 23. It seems that a couple of them were traveling through here on the way to weddings. We had a lengthy chat and I learned that all are doing well. Valerie is now in the Ph.D. program in neurosciences at The University of Michigan. She said she enjoys it all but sacrificing the animals she studies. Brian has just completed the MCAT and did very well so he is tying up the loose ends of his medical school application. Larry is still working at Eisai in Pasadena. Friends may contact them at:




Erin Witt (BS 2000) wrote in June to say she has started her job at Millipore in Dallas and is really enjoying it. She has a new apartment and a new parakeet named Amos. Her work phone number is 972-359-4815 and you may e-mail Erin at: Erin_Witt@millipore.com

Tran Chu (BS 1997) entered UT-Dallas after working in industry for a year and has just completed her MBA. She is currently working as an accounting procurement supervisor at Comp USA but plans to move to Houston soon and take the CPA exam this fall. Her e-mail is: dqtulip@yahoo.com

Roxanne Clardy (BS 1997) wrote to say she went to Andy Powell's wedding and that she saw Steve Ferro there. She is still working at Pepsi and has learned more than she ever wanted to know about soft drinks and the flavor industry but really enjoys her job. Her e-mail is: vikings@coollink.net

Dr. Jeff Bahr (B.S. 1995) stopped by to visit on July 17. He recently received his Ph.D. in chemistry under the direction of Professor Devens Gust at Arizona State University. His dissertation title was "Synthesis and Photophysical Properties of Artificial Photosynthesis and Molecular Switching Devices." Jeff received his degree on May 11, got married on the 14th and moved to Houston with his new wife Shannon on the 15th. He is currently doing postdoctoral research in the labs of James Tour and Richard Smalley at Rice University.

Dr. Eddie Moler (B.S. 1989) has accepted a position with Chiron in the cancer genomics group in the R&D division. He is working with cancer biologists and bioinformaticists to identify cancer treatment targets using, among other things, DNA micro arrays. He said that the technology is evolving very quickly and quantitative and statistical skills are in high demand. He had previously been working at Lawrence Livermore Labs. He and his wife, Jane, purchased a house in the San Francisco Bay area last summer.

Oliver Robinson (BA, 1997), whose wife is Holly (Houghtaling) Robinson (BA biology with a chemistry minor, 1998) recently sent an e-mail with the following message: We're in Charleston, SC. I'm a Lieutenant (Junior Grade) and recently was put in charge of the Enlisted Physics Division of Naval Nuclear Power School (Sounds more impressive than it is). Holly's teaching Anatomy and Physiology at the local community college. She finishes her Masters in Education of Biology in December. Feel free to make up lies about us to make Orbitals read more like the National Inquirer. Hey, it's all about readership, right? We'll send you a wedding picture soon. Oliver and Holly's e-mail address is:oliandholly@prodigy.net By the way, both Holly and Oliver were recently abducted by aliens and taken aboard their spaceship which was shaped like a large benzene ring.


Tammie Tuggle, senior chemistry major, was married to Mike Warren, a senior electronic engineering technology major, on May 20 at the First United Methodist Church in Meridian. The couple went to Disney World in Florida for their honeymoon. Both will graduate from A&M in December when Mike will become a commissioned officer in the Air Force. Congratulations Tammie and Mike!ROBERTSON - KENT NUPTIALSDavid R. "Chip" Kent IV (B.S. 1999) and Brook Leigh Robertson were married on Saturday, August 19 at Rice University Memorial Chapel in Houston. Chip is currently in graduate school at Cal Tech. Congratulations Brooke and Chip! Friends may be interested in visiting the website set up by Brooke and Chip at:

http:// www.geocities.com/thekents_2000/UNDERGRADS SERVE AS TA'S

The following undergraduate chemistry majors were selected to serve as teaching assistants in the freshman chemistry program this fall.

Aurelie Buckelew, Amy Fowler, Stephen Hansen, Jacob Higgins, Jared Hudson, Reagan Hughes, Timmy Kovoor, Rachel McConnell, Michelle Odajima, Josh Osbun, Brad Rowland, Zsila Sadighi and Danny Salinas.

BAYLOR UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM SCHEDULED(We received the following invitation from Baylor University ACS student affiliates)The Baylor University chapter of the American Chemical Society Student Affiliates is pleased to announce that its Thirteenth Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium will be held on Friday, October 13, 2000 at Baylor University.

We cordially invite undergraduate students involved in research in any area of chemistry (analytical, inorganic, organic, physical, biochemistry) or related chemical field to participate in the 2000 symposium. Participants do not have to be chemistry majors and their research does not have to be completed. Abstracts (note: abstracts should be in a form that lends itself to photocopying and need not be more than 3/4 page) are required from all who wish to participate. Feel free to make extra copies of the form for additional students. A formal paper is not necessary, but participants should prepare a fifteen minute presentation using an overhead projector or slides. A five minute question and answer session will follow each presentation.

The talks will be judged by professors from Baylor and other institutions and cash prizes will be awarded. A banquet will follow the day of presentations, during which the award will be given. There will also be an interesting, entertaining keynote speaker who will address the audience on a chemistry-related topic. The banquet will run from 6:00 to 8:00 pm and will be free for those directly participating in the symposium. A small fee may be required from others who wish to attend.We would be very grateful if you would bring this event to the attention of undergraduate students in your department who may wish to participate. This year registration will be online at www.baylor.edu/~bayloracs. Please follow the Symposium 2000 link. The entries must be submitted by Friday, September 29, 2000. If you have difficulties with the online registration, please contact Symposium Co-Chairperson at

Christopher_Jelinek@baylor.edu or 254-753-7714 or at ACS Student Affiliates, P.O. Box 97348, Department of Chemistry, Baylor University, Waco, TX 76798. More detailed information can be found at the website provided. Information for participants will be mailed once abstracts are received. Please feel free to advertise with the flyer provided.

We look forward to seeing your university represented in October!


Baylor University ACS Student Affiliates


All undergraduate chemistry majors are encouraged to attend the first meeting of the student affiliate chapter of the American Chemical Society on Thursday, September 7 at 6:30 p.m. in Room 2102.


List of Seniors: A list of students who will graduate between now and August 2001 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 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.

Degree Application Deadline: September 8 is the deadline for filing an application for a degree for students graduating in the fall of 2000. You must stop by Room 105 Heaton Hall to file for a degree. 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. Check out their website at: http://careercenter.tamu.edu to find information on full-time jobs and internships. 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. 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 2001 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 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 is November 7, 2000. The website is: http://www.orau.org/nsf/nsffel.htm


Students may now change the grading type for KINE 199 courses directly on Bonfire Screen 815. You do not need to fill out any forms or secure approval from your academic dean or advisor to make these changes before the close of business on the 50th class day (November 3, 2000). In other words, you may change KINE 199 courses only from a graded basis to a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. If you have problems, contact 845-1003.


Although I don't yet know all the details, I believe that undergraduate chemistry majors will be able to Q-drop classes directly in the chemistry undergraduate advising office (Room 104 Chemistry) beginning this fall. You will no longer be required to go to the Office of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs in the College of Science. The limit of three Q-drops still remains in effect.


We have received a couple of copies of "Jobs in the Drug Industry: A Career Guide for Chemists" by Richard Friary. You may inspect these in Room 104 Chemistry.


We have enrolled 56 freshman chemistry majors for the fall semester. This is a slight increase over the 47 from fall 1999. The average SAT score of the group is 1255 with eleven students scoring above 1400. About 37 of the 56 students ranked in the top 10% of their high school graduating class and six were valedictorians. Seventeen of the students had AP credit for general chemistry and entered directly into organic chemistry class with five more entering directly into Chemistry 102. We wish you all the best of luck and are glad to have you in the program. The new students are:

Last Name First Name High School Hometown

Allen Timothy               A&M Consolidated High School         College Station, TX 77845

Amaro Justin                Stinnett High School                             Borger, TX 79007

Anderson Robyn         Donna High School                              Donna, TX 78537

Andries Laura              Westbury Sr. High                                Houston, TX 77071

Aulbaugh James           Sulphur Springs High School                 Sulphur Springs, TX 75482

Baker Alton                 Carroll High School                              Amarillo, TX 79108

Barton Joel Gregory    Portland High School                           Portland, TX 78374

Bassett Scott                Cypress Creek High School                 Stratford, TX 79084

Brock Emily                  Pearland High School                          Pearland, TX 77881

Buxie Caraleigh             Winston Churchill High School            San Antonio, TX 78232

Choi Yeo Ju                  Park Tudor School                              Indianapolis, IN 46260

Collins Jennifer              Lake Highlands High School                Dallas, TX 75243

Cook Adam                  Edward Marcus High School               Flower Mound, TX 75022

Cox John                       Haskell High School                            Haskell, TX 79521

Crabtree Scott               Pulaski Academy                                 Little Rock, AR 72211

Davis Iva                       Kirbyville High School                          Spurger, TX 77660

Day Brian                      Jesuit College Prep. School                  Houston, TX 77055

Doskocil Joseph            Maypearl High School                          Maypearl, TX 76064

Efune Guy                     J J Pearce High School                         Dallas, TX 752452

Fitch Shawn                 Weatherford High School                      Weatherford, TX 76085

Hartt Christopher         James E Taylor High School                  Katy, TX 77450

Heard Laura                 Buffalo High School                              Buffalo, TX 75831

Hinojosa Juan               Garland High School                             Garland, TX 75042

Holtz Bryan                  Carroll High School                               Southlake, TX 76092

Hurley Amanda            William P Clements High School           Sugar Land, TX 77479

Jackson Russell             Robert E Lee High School                    Tyler, TX 75703

Jensen Amber               Smithson Valley High School                 Spring Branch, TX 78070

King Adam                    Tomball High School                            Tomball, TX 77275

Landrum Sarah              San Marcos High School                      San Marcos, TX 78666

Leaveck Katherine       Dublin High School                               Dublin, TX 76446

Levitt Nicholas              Douglas Macarthur High School           San Antonio, TX 78232

Maixner Michael           Flour Bluff High School                          Corpus Christi, TX 78418

Merrill Kevin                 New Braunfels Sr. High School             New Braunfels, TX 78132

Mickey Jon (Chris)       The Woodlands High School                 The Woodlands, TX 77381

Mikus John                    Strake Jesuit College Prep.                    Houston, TX 77036

Mohr Rachel                  Saint Agnes Academy                           Houston, TX 77064

Naiser Shelley                Bay City High School                            Bay City, TX 77414

Nguyen Minhha              Lamar High School                               Arlington, TX 76012

Parikh Palak                   Sam Houston High School                    Arlington, TX 76014

Perry Houston                Lawrence D. Bell High School              Hurst, TX 76053

Phillips Lee                     Edward Marcus High School                Highland Village, TX 75077

Pool Timothy                  Trinity Fellowship Christian                   Amarillo, TX 79110

Rodriguez Melissa           Southwest High School                        San Antonio, TX 78245

Rowan Matthew              A&M Consolidated High School         College Station, TX 77845

Rowland Adam                Brazoswood High School                    Lake Jackson, TX 77566

Short Marah                     Bridge City High School                      Bridge City, TX 77611

Sigler Joslin                       Grandbury Sr. High School                 Grandbury, TX 76049

Slagel Ashley                     Ellison High School                             Killeen, TX 76512

Smith Allyson                     Westbury Sr. High                              Houston, TX 77096

Stacy Brandon                   Carroll High School                             Southlake, TX 76092

Stanley Austin                    Texas Senior High School                    Texarkana, TX 75503

Truong Anton                     Cypress Falls High School                   Houston, TX 77095

Williams Trisha                   Abilene High School                            Abilene, TX 79602

Wilson Jenelle                     Joshua High School                             Joshua, TX 76058

Yasoni Tiffany                     Madisonville High School                    Madisonville, TX 77864

Zewalk Creshaun                Townview Magnet Center                   Dallas, TX 75232


Eleven students transferred to Texas A&M University as chemistry majors this fall. Please make these people feel welcome into our program. They are:


Name                     Previous School

Baker Zachariah            Univ. Texas - Austin

Barnhill Will                   Victoria College

Delbar Vincent               Univ. Texas - Austin

Fry Suzanne                   Baylor University

Gomez Alejandro           Valdosta State College

Huertas Javier                University of Houston

Loesch William              Blinn College

Marek Daniel                Blinn College

Schatte Laura                U. S. Air Force Academy

Roberts Steven              Angelo State University

Thompson Christina      Austin Comm. College