Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

SamClegg In March, Dr. Sam Clegg, a 1992 alumnus who is a co-principal investigator for the ChemCam instrument aboard the Mars Curiosity Rover, gave an update on status of the scientific experiments he designed at Los Alamos National Labs. He continues to be actively involved in the selection of sites and types of experiments performed by Curiosity. Read more.

Five students and two faculty members had the opportunity to present the results of their research at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in New Orleans.

 CSRI 2013 Recipients:

csri The Chemistry Summer Research Institute (CSRI) started in 2007 as a venue for faculty and students to collaborate on novel research projects in chemistry and biochemistry. Over the years, participants have included faculty and students from other departments on campus such as engineering, biology, and physics; industry partners; and even students from our local high schools. Research groups work full time over 10 weeks with research presentations each Friday morning. Funding is provided by various internal and external granting agencies, alumni donors, and industry partners. Since its inception, over 60 students, 12 faculty, and many grant and donor dollars have made CSRI the gem of the department. The list of student researchers, faculty advisors (in parenthesis) and project titles from CSRI 2013 is given below. 
  • Leo Savage-Low (Jinsong Zhang) "Regioselective 1,4-Benzodioxin Preparation"
  • Carter Holt (Jinsong Zhang and Randy Miller) "Regioselective 1,4-Benzodioxin Preparation: Experimental and Computational Studies"
  • Nick Sajben (Jinsong Zhang) "Organic Linker Molecules to Couple Nanomaterials"
  • Tate Campbell (Chris Nichols) "Synthesis of A Novel Phytotoxic Secondary Metabolite: Phenguignardic Acid"
  • Mary West (Dave Ball) "Synthesis of Gallicynoic Acids"
  • Megan Keener (Dave Ball) "Synthesis of the metabolites of the herbicide Imazosulfuron"
  • Monica Gonzalez (Dave Ball) "Synthesis of the metabolites of the herbicide Imazosulfuron"
  • Jeremy Wells (Erik Wasinger) "Synthesis and Reactivity of a Novel Salen Catalyst"
  • Rae Murphy (Erik Wasinger) "Polymer Supported Salen-type Catalysts"
  • Emily Bladorn (Wade Killingsworth) "Development of RXN X Systems"
  • Nicole Smith (Wade Killingsworth) "Dynamic Chemistry for Displays and Exhibits"
  • Asem Berkaliev, high sSchool Scholars (Dave Ball) "The Photolytic Processing of Organic Aerosols through Carbonyl Photochemistry"
  • Nick Herringer: he is one of our High School Scholars (Erik Wasinger) "Development of an expanded Spectrochemical Series Lab for Chem 112"

At the Annual Awards Banquet on May 9, these outstanding students were announced and awards were provided by various publishing houses and generous alumni donors. Graduating seniors in chemistry and biochemistry were honored for all their hard work and success.   

American Chemical Society presenters were:

Students                  Instructors
Leo Savage-Low        Thomas (Wade) Killingsworth                      
Tate Campbell            Jinsong Zhang
Katie Blacksmith
Cisco Jimenez
Shane Rainey

Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society (SAACS)
“Outstanding Student Chapter” award AGAIN this year!


Faculty in the news:

ew The Erik Wasinger Group. New contract work with BP Petrochemical and Analytical Services $90k/yr -> multi-year

  jz The Jinsong Zhang Group. Awarded Sabbatical for Spring 2014, current research funded by CSUPERB, Faculty Development Fund and Paper in Tetrahedron Letters just accepted.