2008-09 News

New Tenure-line Faculty are Familiar Faces:
Dan Burgard and Jeff Grinstead

August 25, 2008

Last year (2007-2008) the chemistry department conducted nationwide searches for two new tenure-line faculty members, one in analytical chemistry and one in biochemistry. After reviewing numerous files, and bringing out several candidates for interviews, the department was pleased to have Dan Burgard and Jeff Grinstead accept offers to fill these positions. Both Dan and Jeff are familiar faces around the department; Dan was a visiting professor in the department for the past two years and Jeff was a visiting professor last year and is also a 1997 Puget Sound graduate.

Dan received a B.A. in chemistry from The Colorado College and then spent 5 years as a high school chemistry teacher at Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, Colorado. He subsequently completed a Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of Denver where he studied remote sensing of ammonia, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide emissions from cars and trucks. This year Dan will be teaching Chem 330 (Instrumental Analysis) and Chem 230 (Chemical Analysis and Equilibrium). His current research involves remote sensing of emissions from buses and boats.

After completing his B.S. in Chemistry at UPS, Jeff did graduate work at the University of Washington where he received a Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry. His graduate thesis described work on the structural immunology of humoral and cellular recognition of a MUC1 breast cancer antigen. After a brief postdoctoral stint at the University of Washington, Jeff moved to the Netherlands for several years where he conducted postdoctoral research at Utrecht University on structural and functional studies on AppA, a transcriptional regulator integrating light and redox singaling pathways in Rhodobacter Sphaeroides. Jeff will be teaching Chem 460 (Physical Biochemistry) and Chem 461 (Metabolic Chemistry) this year. His current research interests center around the use of NMR to elucidate the structure and function of proteins.

A New Face in the Department:
Junshu "June" Liu

August 25, 2008

The Chemistry department welcomes June Liu as a visiting assistant professor this year. June was raised in China and has a B.S in Material Science and Engineering from the Dalian Institute of Light Industry and an M.S. in Polymer Science from the Beijing Institute of Clothing Technology. June moved to the U.S. for graduate studies at the University of California, Davis, where she completed a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Environmental Chemistry. Her graduate work involved the synthesis and testing of antimicrobial colorants. June then did a short postdoctoral stint at the University of Washington working on nonfouling paints for use as marine coatings. June will be teaching Chem 110 and 111 (Fundamentals of Chemistry I and II) this year.

Students Win Poster Awards

Summer 2008

Three Puget Sound chemistry students, Steven Melhorn ('09), Erin Nugent ('08), and Kelsey Pobanz ('08), received cash awards this summer for their posters describing undergraduate research they performed at UPS. Kelsey and Steven won first and second prizes respectively for their posters at the 2008 AOAC Pacific Northwest section meeting held at UPS on June 18-19. Erin won second prize for her poster at the ICCP (International Conference on Clouds and Precipitation) in Cancun, Mexico on July 7-11.

Poster Titles with Links to Online Abstracts

Congratulations 2008 Chemistry Grads

May 18, 2008

The department watched 27 chemistry majors walk across the stage at Commencement 2008: 8 Chemistry B.S. degrees, 2 Chemistry B.A. degrees, 7 Biochemistry degrees, and 10 Natural Science Chemistry degrees. We wish them well as they commence on their new paths.

Megan Barter Ori Ben-Meir Scott Blanchet
Andrew Brik Yuri Choi Stewart Decker
Shane Drew Brady Evans Emily Hoke
Mason Johnston Annika Lider Jane Lindborg
Marshall McCabe Erin Nugent Steven Palmer
Kristen Parden Kimberly Parsons Kelsey Pobanz
Melissa Provinsal Johanna Root Fayez Rumi
Heather Storey Sarah Strandjord Jamie Virginia
Martin Whittle Lael Wilcox Kathleen Wilson

2008 Chemistry Department Picnic

May 7, 2008

Titlow Park was the scene of another rollicking Chemistry Department Picnic this year. Partly sunny skies provided perfect conditions for the second annual department kickball game. After working up an appetite, the competitors made their way to the potluck smorgasbord and the hotdogs and hamburgers grilled up Michael Hottott and Tim Hoyt. Dessert included liquid nitrogen ice cream, and was followed by the presentation of chemistry department awards. The seniors then distributed gifts to the faculty and staff, after which Michael Hottott presented each senior with a chemistry department beaker-mug and, to gasps of excitement, their very own periodic table pen.

2008 Chemistry Department Awards

May 7, 2008

Chemistry Award Presentations

As has been the tradition for many years, the chemistry department awards were presented at the end of the chemistry department picnic.

Michael Hottott Honored for 30 Years of Service to Puget Sound

January 18, 2008
Michael Hottott, Science Stores Coordinator for the Department of Chemistry, was honored at the Staff Recognition Luncheon for 30 years of service to the university. Michael has been a critical part of the chemistry department since he joined it as storeroom manager in 1977. In addition to ordering and maintaining chemicals and supplies for the department, Michael has been central in educating the department, both faculty and students, in the safe handling of chemicals. Michael also oversees the safe disposal of waste chemicals in the department and has been an advocate for the development of environmentally conscious laboratory experiments.

8th Grade Students Visit Puget Sound

January 16, 2008

Approximately 240 eighth grade students from Mason Middle School visited UPS and were treated to a variety of science activities. Chemistry professors Dan Burgard, Steven Neshyba, and John Hanson helped students investigate the rates of chemical reactions using the Blue Bottle and Clock Reactions. Tim Hoyt (aka "The Wizard") performed a mini Magic Show, complete with "Whoosh Bottles" and exploding balloons. Biology professor and Director of the Natural History Museum Peter Wimberger discussed the variation within species and illustrated his remarks with a number of specimens from the museum. Associate Dean Alyce Demarais introduced students to campus life and the students then were given tours of campus by students. Many thanks to all the individuals who helped make this event a big success.

Holiday Party and Potluck a Big Success

Students, faculty, and staff celebrated the last day of classes by enjoying some delicious food at the Chemistry Department Holiday Party and Potluck. The colonnade on the 3rd floor of Harned Hall was transformed into a festive dining area for the event. Over 80 students attended the party, along with an appearance from the man in red.

Another Spectacular Chemistry Magic Show

October 25, 2007
Over 800 people attended the two showings of the Annual Chemistry Magic Show, held for the second straight year in the Schneebeck Concert Hall. This year's show featured, as always, The Wizard (aka Tim Hoyt), ably assisted by Jo Crane, Scientist. Musical guests included The Blues Brothers (Bill Dasher & Wayne Rickoll) and Elvis (Eric Scharrer) backed by the new Chemistry Bond Band (Dan Burgard, Safa Lohrasbi, and Jake Berenbeim). The show was again sponsored by the Dead Chemist's Society as part of their fall membership drive.

Lots of Fun at the Cider Squeeze!

Approximately 40 students converted 100 pounds of apples into 40 quarts of juice at the 2007 Chemistry department cider squeeze. SAACS provided most of the apples and the Wizard (aka Tim Hoyt) supplied the press and hosted the event. Students enjoyed washing, chopping, grinding, and pressing the apples, then filtering, packaging, and most of all consuming the golden juice. They also enjoyed consuming the chili, cornbread, watermelon and chips provided by the Wizard. There were also fun toys to play with such as rocket balloons and nerf guns. Everyone went home with at least one quart of fresh juice.

Fall 2007 Student Research Symposium

Nearly 50 science students presented the results of their summer research at the Fall Student Research Symposium held in Harned Hall on September 13, 2007. Fourteen of the posters were by chemistry students.

Tom Rowland Retires, Receives Award for Sustained Faculty Service

Tom Rowland, Puget Sound Professor of Chemistry, retired at the end of the the 2006-2007 academic year. Thus he was surprised when he received a personal invitation from Doug Cannon, Chair of the Faculty Senate, to attend the Fall Faculty Dinner kicking off the 2007-2008 academic year. But Tom must have deduced what was up when, near the end of the dinner, Ken Rousslang, Puget Sound Professor of Chemistry, was invited to the podium and began a moving tribute describing Tom's 31 years of service to the University. Following Ken's tribute he announced that Tom was receiving the 2007 Walter E. Lowrie Award for Sustained Faculty Service. Tom received a standing ovation from the faculty as he came forward to receive the award.

Chemistry Department Moves Into Renovated Thompson Hall

The chemistry department just finished moving into completely renovated space on the 3rd floor of the North wing of Thompson Hall. This includes new faculty offices (located in the space formerly occupied by the Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry labs), new research laboratories, a new chemical storeroom, new advanced teaching labs, and a new chemistry student resource room (aka Chemistry Library). This newly rennovated space, combined with the general and organic teaching laboratories on the 3rd floor of Harned that were innaugurated last year, provide the department with state-of-the-art facilities for teaching and research.

The new Science Center features many examples of "Science on Display". For example, the photo at the right shows the pattern in the floor tiles outside of the chemistry resource room (Th 370). What does this pattern represent? Click on the picture to find the answer.

More information on the Science Center project


Doug Young (2003 Chemistry Graduate) Wins Awards

After graduating from Puget Sound in 2003 (Chemistry and Biology double major) Doug Young began graduate study at North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC) under the supervision of Professor Alexander Dieters. Doug has been working on the application of solid-supported multicomponent reactions towards the preparation of libraries of biologically active compounds, and the development of photochemical regulation systems for the study of genes. Doug has been already been the author on several papers (See links below), and this research productivity has resulted in two recent awards:

Doug was selected as a winner of a 2007-2008 American Chemical Society Division of Medicinal Chemistry Predoctoral Fellowship Award. Competition for these awards is extremely keen; each year the ACS Division of Medicinal Chemistry awards eight $24,000 Predoctoral Fellowships to graduate students in their 3rd or 4th year of study.

Doug's work on microwave-mediated [2+2+2] cyclotrimerizations resulted in his winning the MJ Collins Award for Outstanding Young Innovator in Microwave Chemistry. This $10,000 cash prize was presented at an award ceremony at the fall 2007 meeting of the American Chemical Society in Boston.

Doug's Recent Papers