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Elizabeth Essinger-Hileman receives DOE Graduate Fellowship

Elizabeth Essinger-Hileman receives DOE Graduate Fellowship

The United States Department of Energy's Office of Science Graduate Fellowship Program has selected Beth Essinger-Hileman to receive a graduate fellowship. Essinger-Hileman, a third-year graduate student in Ray Schaak's group, is working to improve nanomaterial purity and to assemble complex nanoscale heterostructures with interesting and useful properties. Her previous accomplishments at Penn State have earned her a Roberts Fellowship and an Incoming Graduate Student Award. Following graduation she would like to pursue a career in academia.

The Department of Energy selected 150 students throughout the U.S. to receive graduate fellowship awards in an effort to strengthen the nation’s scientific work force. The graduate fellows were deemed part of the nation’s “next generation of scientific and technical leaders” by Secretary of Energy Steven Chu.



Barbara Garrison named ACS Fellow

Barbara Garrison named ACS Fellow

Barbara Garrison, Head and Shapiro Professor of Chemistry, has been selected by The American Chemical Society (ACS) as a member of the 2010 class of ACS Fellows. ACS Fellows are distinguished scientists who have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments in chemistry and made important contributions to the ACS. The 2010 Fellows will be recognized on August 23 during the Society's national meeting in Boston.

Ray Schaak receives Solar Energy Conversion Grant

Ray Schaak receives Solar Energy Conversion Grant

Ray Schaak, Associate Professor of Chemistry, has been selected to receive a Scialog grant for studying solar energy conversion. The initial Scialog grant, awarded by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, focused on “identifying and funding innovative research that has transformative potential for rapid translational application.” Schaak’s project, New Chemical Routes for Discovering and Improving Visible-Light Photocatalysts, was one of eleven individual awards funded in this initial cycle.

Schaak joined the Penn State faculty in 2007. He earned his Ph.D. in 2001 from Penn State University.

Ayusman Sen selected for CRSI Medal

Ayusman Sen selected for CRSI Medal

The Chemical Research Society of India (CRSI) has selected Ayusman Sen to receive the CRSI Medal. This medal is conferred on Chemists of Indian origin working outside India who have contributed extensively in the promotion of Chemical Research.  This is the second year of the medal.

Sen, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, has been at Penn State since 1979. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. His research group is focusing on polymers, materials and nanomotors. To learn more about Sen's research visit the group web site.

Mary Jo Bojan receives Priestley Prize

Mary Jo Bojan receives Priestley Prize

Mary Jo Bojan has been selected as the recipient of the 2009 Priestley Prize for Outstanding Teaching in Chemistry.  The prize will be formally given at the commencement luncheon being held on May 15, 2010.

Thomas Mallouk named Evan Pugh Professor

Thomas Mallouk named Evan Pugh Professor

Penn State president Graham Spanier has announced that chemistry faculty member Tom Mallouk has been designated an Evan Pugh Professor, the highest honor that the University can bestow on a faculty member.

Mallouk, DuPont Professor of Materials Chemistry and Physics, has been at Penn State since 1993. He received his Ph.D. degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Mallouk's research is aimed at studying the chemistry of nanoscale inorganic materials. To learn more about his work visit the Mallouk web site.

Barbara Garrison Honored by ACS Journal of Physical Chemistry

Barbara Garrison Honored by ACS Journal of Physical Chemistry

Barbara J. Garrison, Head and Shapiro Professor of Chemistry, has been honored by the American Chemical Society's Journal of Physical Chemistry. The April 1, 2010 issue of the Journal is a Festschrift, a special edition dedicated to the scientific career of Garrison. This special edition can be viewed online at

Barbara Garrison Festschrift

Garrison has been at Penn State since 1979. The focus of the Garrison research group is to understand the fundamental events involved in the fast energy deposition processes as well as the ramifications of the underlying physics on the applications. Modeling the sputtering process has been an on-going effort of her group for over three decades.

Ben Lear Joins Penn State Chemistry Department

Ben Lear Joins Penn State Chemistry Department

The Department of Chemistry at Penn State is pleased to announce that Benjamin J. Lear will join the department as an assistant professor of chemistry. Lear’s research will focus on both fundamental and applied problems involving electron transfer in inorganic systems with an emphasis on biosensors, molecular electronics, and photovoltaics.  The applications are geared towards the fields of materials and energy science.

Lear is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Ohio State University. He earned his Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry at the University of California, San Diego.

Penn State Welcomes Alexander Radosevich to Faculty

Penn State Welcomes Alexander Radosevich to Faculty

The Penn State Department of Chemistry is pleased to announce that Alex Radosevich will join the faculty as an assistant professor of chemistry. Radosevich’s research will be directed toward developing new synthetic strategies and catalysts for useful redox processes. He plans to explore this broad goal in two distinct contexts: 1) the development of catalytic methods relevant to stereoselective organic synthesis, and 2) the investigation of reductive transformations on substrates related to energy conversion.

Radosevich received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the MIT Department of Chemistry.

Miriam A. Freedman to Join Chemistry Faculty

Miriam A. Freedman to Join Chemistry Faculty

The Department of Chemistry at Penn State is pleased to announce that Miriam A. Freedman will join the department as an assistant professor of chemistry.  Freedman’s research is focused on the chemical and physical processes of atmospheric aerosol particles.  The interactions between aerosol particles, clouds, and radiation are the largest uncertainties in modeling climate.  To constrain these uncertainties, Freedman will investigate the role of particle structure in determining aerosol properties.  Her research will use atmospheric and surface science techniques to correlate phenomena observed on a molecular-scale with single-particle and ensemble measurements.

Freedman, currently a postdoctoral fellow at CIRES, University of Colorado, obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

Will Noid receives HP Outstanding Junior Faculty Award

Will Noid, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, has been chosen as the recipient of the HP Outstanding Junior Faculty award given by the ACS Division of Computers in Chemistry.  Will is to receive the award and $1000 at a ceremony at the ACS meeting this spring in San Francisco.

Scott Phillips selected to receive a 3M Grant

Scott Phillips, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, has been selected to receive a 3M Foundation Non-tenured Faculty Grant.

Chemistry to Host REU: The Chemistry of Energy

The Penn State Department of Chemistry is pleased to announce that beginning in summer 2010 it will host a new NSF-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates: The Chemistry of Energy.

For further information visit the Research Experience for Undergraduates site or contact:

Chemistry REU Program
Department of Chemistry
The Pennsylvania State University
104 Chemistry Building
University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-4543
Email: reu@chem.psu.edu

Phil Bevilacqua selected for Faculty Scholar Medal

Phil Bevilacqua selected for Faculty Scholar Medal

Phil Bevilacqua, Professor of Chemistry, has been selected to receive the 2010 Penn State Faculty Scholar Medal in Physical Science. Established in 1980, the award recognizes scholarly or creative excellence represented by a single contribution or a series of contributions around a coherent theme. A committee of faculty peers reviews nominations and recommends candidates to Penn State's president, Graham Spanier.

Research in the Bevilacqua Lab is centered on understanding the function of systems involving ribonucleic acids (RNA) at the molecular level. RNA is a fascinating molecule because, unlike DNA or proteins, it has both genetic and functional capabilities. This has led to the notion that RNA was particularly important in the emergence of life on Earth. RNA is also of interest because it is involved in a wide range of important biological pathways, and can be used as both a biological target and a chemical tool. We work on model systems (oligonucleotide studies), larger catalytic RNA (ribozyme folding and chemistry), as well as the interaction of RNA with proteins (RNA-protein interactions). The Bevilacqua group uses experimental approaches that range from physical chemistry to biochemistry and molecular biology.

Megan Matthews receives Alumni Association Dissertation Award

Megan Matthews receives Alumni Association Dissertation Award

Megan Matthews, a graduate student in Drs. Bollinger and Krebs lab, has been selected as one of the recipients of the 2010 Alumni Association Dissertation Award. This award provides funding and recognition to outstanding full-time doctoral students who have passed their comprehensive exams and have received approval of the dissertation topic. The Alumni Association Dissertation Award is considered to be among the most prestigious available to Penn State graduate students and recognizes outstanding achievement in scholarship and professional accomplishment.

Megan's research is in the field of mechanistic metalloenzymology and her thesis involves studying the Fe(II) and alpha-ketoglutarate dependent aliphatic halogenases that install chlorine during natural product biosynthesis.

Ayusman Sen has been named Distinguished Professor

Ayusman Sen has been named Distinguished Professor

Ayusman Sen has been named Distinguished Professor of Chemistry.  To find out more about Ayusman and his research please visit his faculty page at: http://www.chem.psu.edu/directory/axs20.

Barbara Garrison Elected Fellow of AAAS

Faculty member Barbara Garrison has been elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. "Election as a fellow of AAAS is an honor bestowed upon members by their peers. Fellows are recognized for meritorious efforts to advance science or its applications." Garrison, a computational chemist, is Head and Shapiro Professor of Chemistry.  For additional information click here.

Climate & Diversity Award to J. Bortiatynski, D. Coval-Dinant and T. Ermin

Several members of the Department of Chemistry have been honored with the 2009 College of Science Dean's Climate and Diversity Award. The award recipients are Jackie Bortiatynski, Dana Coval-Dinant and Tasha Ermin as well as the Chemistry Graduate Admission and Recruitment Team.

This is the first annual presentation of the Dean's Climate & Diversity Award. This newly created award was established to recognize individuals and programs that have evidenced extraordinary commitment to enhancing our environment of mutual respect for differing backgrounds and points of view. These awards highlight undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty members, staff members , and programs within the college that are supportive and welcoming of everyone in the Eberly College of Science community.

The Dean’s Climate and Diversity Awards are presented to college community members who have championed the causes of diversity and climate in the Eberly College of Science.

Barbara Garrison and Phil Bevilacqua Elected Fellows of AAAS

Faculty Members Barbara Garrison and Phil Bevilacqua have been elected Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. "Election as a fellow of AAAS is an honor bestowed upon members by their peers. Fellows are recognized for meritorious efforts to advance science or its applications."

Garrison, a computational chemist, is Head and Shapiro Professor of Chemistry. Bevilacqua is a Professor of Chemistry whose work focuses on RNA. For additional information click here.

Lasse Jensen receives NSF Career Award

Lasse Jensen receives NSF Career Award

Lasse Jensen, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, has been seletec to receive a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award. CAREER is a Foundation-wide activity that "offers the National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations."

Jensen's research focuses on developing new theoretical and computational tools for addressing fundamental questions relevant to optical spectroscopy of bio- and nano-systems. Jensen joined the Chemistry Department in 2007.

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