Alumni Update

Two Chemistry Alums Develop Funds Honoring Their Professors

Two chemistry alums, Dr. Cliff Harris (Chemistry, 1991) and Dr. Craig Lindsley (Chemistry, 1992), have developed new funds in honor of their former chemistry professors. These funds will be used to provide support to students participating in the Chemistry Summer Research Institute (CSRI). CSRI typically comprises 10 to 15 students and 6 to 8 faculty members engaged in 10 weeks of collaborative research using the labs and facilities at Chico State. More than 50 undergraduates have completed research in all areas of chemistry and have had a number of other partners in that research including alumni, faculty members, companies such as Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and Advanced Light Technologies, and granting agencies such as CSU Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology (CSUPERB) and CSU, Chico. Read more (will link to website content)

cliff harrisDr. Cliff Harris, 1991 Chemistry

According to Cliff, “Donald Alger and the Chico State Chemistry Department opened my eyes to a whole new world.  They sat with us and talked about our questions.  They made us think carefully and deeply.  They connected us to jobs and graduate schools.” Cliff chose to honor Dr. Alger by creating the Donald B. Alger Summer Research Award.   As a 17 year professor of organic chemistry at Albion College, Cliff felt it was time to make sure other students get to do research in the same nurturing environment that was so crucial to his own education. While at Chico State, Cliff pursued his research interests with Dr. Alger as his mentor. He went on to obtain his Ph.D. at UC Santa Cruz with Dr. Bakthan Singaram.

Craig LindsleyDr. Craig Lindsley, 1992 Chemistry

Dr. Lindsley was recently named the Editor-in-Chief of a new American Chemical Society journal ACS Chemical Neuroscience. While a student at Chico State, Craig conducted undergraduate research with Dr. David Ball. Craig went on to obtain his Ph.D. at UC Santa Barbara and to conduct postdoctoral research at Harvard University. He currently holds the William K. Warren, Jr. Chair in Medicine and is an Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Chemistry at Vanderbilt University.  He is also the Director of the Vanderbilt Specialized Chemistry Center. Dr. Lindsley’s current research is focused on development of novel treatment strategies for schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, and other brain disorders.

Craig has created a new fund, David Ball Chemistry Summer Research Award, which also supports students participating in the CSRI program. In establishing this fund, Craig shared these words, “Dave not only educated, trained and mentored aspiring organic chemists, but he is also a role model and friend to us all.” The fund was named to honor Dr. David Ball’s contributions to CSU, Chico’s Chemistry and Biochemistry Department undergraduate research.

These two alumni are examples of how simple it is to honor a professor or department that made a difference in their lives. Now is the time to support other students so they may enjoy the same high quality educational experiences at Chico State as you may have in your college careers. Thank you on behalf of the College of Natural Sciences. Please contact Margaret Schmidt at or 530.898.3478 to learn more about our support programs.

2013 Distinguished Alumni Nominee, Darwin Murrell

Each year the College of Natural Sciences and the University recognize one of its outstanding alumni. These individuals serve as role models for students of today by highlighting how the California State University, Chico experience has made a difference in their lives. 

darwin murrellBiological Sciences 1962

This year K. Darwin Murrell, Biological Science 1962 was selected for the prestigious nomination.  Honorary Professor, Danish Centre for Experimental Parasitology, University of Copenhagen, K. Darwin Murrell served as the deputy administrator of the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the US Department of Agriculture’s chief scientific research arm, where his research focused on the protection of humans and animals from food-borne diseases. 

Murrell received the 1984 ARS Outstanding Scientist of the Year award, the 1988 American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists (AAVP) Distinguished Parasitologist Award, a 1996 Fulbright Award, and a 1997 Presidential Distinguished Federal Executive Rank Award. Murrell joined the University of Copenhagen in 2000, where his work focused on parasites transmitted from fish. He was named honorary professor upon his retirement in 2004. He has served as president of the American Society of Parasitologists, AAVP, and the International Trichinellosis Commission.