Student & Alumni News

Author: Rebecca Hicks

Our students and alumni continue to make us proud, from our recent graduates at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, to student and alumni award recipients. This year we had a record number of graduates, and we are happy to celebrate this milestone with them.

Student and Alumni Awards

William Hergenrother (Ph.D. ’63) is the recipient of the Melvin Mooney Distinguished Technology Award from the Rubber Division of ACS. This award honors scientists “who have exhibited exceptional technical competency by making significant and repeated contributions to rubber science and technology.” Dr. Hergenrother is a research fellow at Bridgestone Americas Center for Research & Technology.

Rick Connell (Ph.D. ‘89) was selected to receive the 2013 Graduate School Distinguished Alumnus Award. Dr. Connell obtained his Ph.D. under Paul Helquist, and subsequently became Global Executive Vice President at Pfizer. He recently held a one-year assignment as the top executive at Pfizer’s new research facility in Shanghai, China, while continuing in his capacity as Vice President of External Research Solutions.

Rachel Masyuko (graduate student of Paul Bohn) received the Coblentz Student Award, which recognizes young scientists studying spectroscopy.

Renee Bouley (graduate student of Shahriar Mobashery and Mayland Chang) received a prestigious ACS Division of Medicinal Chemistry Predoctoral Fellowship. She was one of only four recipients for the 2013-2014 cycle. This Fellowship supports her work on the discovery of a new class of antibiotics selective against staphylococcal species of bacteria, including MRSA. She was also selected to receive an American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship (declined).

Christopher Suarez (postdoc for Laurie Littlepage), received a Walther Engineering Novel Solutions to Cancer’s Challenges at the Inter-Disciplinary Interface (ENSCCII) Training Project 2013 Fellowship for work on “Novel Pre-Clinical Animal Models of Chemotherapy Resistance Using Patient-Derived Breast Tumor Xenografts.”

Hao Wang (graduate student of Zac Schultz) and Aamir Ahmed Khan (graduate student of Scott Howard in Electrical Engineering) are the first two recipients of the Berry Family Foundation Graduate Fellowships in Advanced Diagnostics & Therapeutics.

Jennifer Arceo (graduate student of Norm Dovichi) received a 2013 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

Major Gooyit (graduate student of Shahriar Mobashery and Mayland Chang) received the 2013 Eli J. and Helen Shaheen Graduate School Award in the Sciences at Notre Dame.

Graduations – Bachelor degrees


Bachelor of science degrees were award to 27 chemists and 17 biochemists in May. The newest alumni are:


  • Ryan Ackmann,summa cum laude, Pewaukee, WI

  • Anthony Albert, Long Grove, IL

  • Andrew Anderson, West Bloomfield, MI

  • James Baker, magna cum laude, Darien, CT

  • Patrick Bishop, Verona, NJ

  • Briana Cameron*, Jacksonville, FL

  • Matthew Catenacci, East Amwell, NJ

  • Mara Catlaw, Interlaken, NJ

  • Malcolm Chan, cum laude, Bellevue, WA

  • Heather Chiarello, magna cum laude, Holmdel, NJ

  • Timothy Czech, Merrill, WI

  • John Foryt, Gulf Breeze, FL

  • Paul Foryt, summa cum laude, Gulf Breeze, FL

  • Revathi Kollipara, Fort Wayne, IN

  • Patrick Kramer, Akron, OH

  • Michelle Lundholm*, summa cum laude, Hoffman Estates, IL

  • Timothy MacKenzie, magna cum laude, Melrose, MA

  • Patrick McIntyre, summa cum laude, Munster, IN

  • Alexandra Moulton, magna cum laude, Royal Oak, MI

  • Tam Nguyen, Houston, TX

  • Andrea Palazzolo, magna cum laude, Champaign, IL

  • Matthew Peters, Rochester Hills, MI

  • Javier Pineda, magna cum laude, San Diego, CA

  • David Reeves, Knoxville, TN

  • Eric Ross, Paulding, OH

  • William Taylor, Houston, TX
  • William Trendell, Geneva, IL

*Honors Program


  • Spencer Bruce*, Findlay, OH

  • Angie Chang, Camarillo, CA

  • Rachel Chisausky*, Peotone, IL

  • Mark Dean, Austin ,TX

  • Tiffany Fan, Miami, FL

  • Consuelo Garcia, Basking Ridge, NJ

  • Madelyn Huang, Superior, CO

  • Clara Jee, Seoul, Republic of South Korea

  • Curtis Kovaleski, Loveland, OH

  • Kathryn Kraft, Modesto, CA

  • Sean Liebscher*, cum laude, Colorado Springs, CO

  • Stephanie Maciuba, Skokie, IL

  • Erica Miller, Orchard Park, NJ

  • Rachael Palumbo, Palatine, IL

  • James Ropa, Avon, IN

  • Carol Rowley*, Oak Park, IL

  • Veronica Ryan, Concord, MA

* Honors Program

Congratulations!  About a third of our baccalaureates will be pursuing a Ph.D. in graduate school, another third have been accepted to medical or other professional schools, and the remainder are entering the work force. May your degrees serve you well as you aspire to and achieve great things!  Please keep us apprised of your accomplishments.

Graduations – Doctoral and Master's degrees

We are happy to report that since the last newsletter, the department has awarded 24 doctoral degrees and 13 master’s degrees.

Those receiving a Ph.D., along with their thesis titles, advisors (in parentheses), and graduation date, are:

Richard Besingi (Patricia Clark) “The N-Terminus of the Yersinia Pestis YaPV Autotransporter Protein Destabilizes the Entire Passenger Domain in vitro: Implications for in vivo Secretion”; 1/2013

Pauline Bourbon (Paul Helquist) “Development of Potential Nieman-Pick Type C Therapeutics and Synthesis of Caged Nicotinamide and Cholesterol to Gain a Better Understanding of Cholesterol Biosynthesis and Trafficking”; 1/2013

Ryan Haws (Steve Corcelli) “Computation of Nitrile Vibrations as a Probe of the Structure and Dynamics of Condensed Matter Systems” 1/2013

Cheng Ji (Marv Miller) “Exploiting Bacterial Iron Acquisition: From New Antibiotics to Pathogen Detection Devices”; 1/2013

Shenyu Kuang (Dan Gezelter) “Atomistic Simulations of Nanoscale Transport Phenomena”; 1/2013

Jeffery Mayfield (Jennifer DuBois) “The Flavin-Dependent N-Hydroxylating Ornithine Mono-oxygenase from Aspergillus Fumigatus and the Heme-Dependent O2 Generating Chlorite Dismutase from Dechloromonas Aromatica: Studies of Oxygen Consumption and Production by Two Microbial Enzymes”; 1/2013

Ian Sander (Patricia Clark) “Protein Folding in the Cell is Modulated by the Translating Ribosome”; 1/2013

Jeanette Young (Rich Taylor) “Towards Characterization of the Polyketide Synthase Gene Cluster Responsible for the Production of Gephyronic Acid”; 1/2013

Erin Cole (Bradley Smith) “Water Soluble, Deep-Red Fluorescent Squaraine Rotaxanes”; 5/2013

Brighid Corcoran (Marya Lieberman) “Self-Assembly of Air-Stable Cationic Lipid Bilayers on Mica and Silicon”; 5/2013

Lauren Fleury (Brandon Ashfeld) “Redox Titanocene Catalysis in C-C Bond Formations and New Discoveries  of Phosphorus-Mediated Bond-Forming Reactions”; 5/2013

Major Gooyit (Shahriar Mobashery and Mayland Chang) “Gelatinase Inhibition as a Therapeutic Approach for Treatment of Diseases of Matrix”; 5/2013

Moushumi Hossain (Brian Baker) “Molecular Description of How Mart-1 Specific T-Cell Receptors Recognize Structurally Diverse Melanoma Antigens”; 5/2013

Kotchaphan Kanjana (Ian Carmichael and Dave Bartels) “Chemical Kinetics in Reactor Cooling Loops: Metal Ion Hexahydrate Reactions and Suppression of Radiolysis by Hydrogen”; 5/2013

Andrew Kosal (Brandon Ashfeld) “New Discoveries in Titanium and Phosphorus Mediated Carbonyl Additions”; 5/2013

Sean Murphy (Prashant Kamat and Libai Huang) “Metal Nanoparticle, Graphene Oxide, and Their Composites: Optical Properties and Sensing Applications”; 5/2013

Rebecca Quardokus (Alex Kandel) “Scanning Tunneling Microscopy Observations of Neutral and Mixed-Valence Organometallic Complexes”; 5/2013

Eric Stefan (Rich Taylor) “Novel Access to Methyl Substituted Polyketide Structural Units Through 1,5-Hydride Shift and Ether Transfer: Application to the Synthesis of Diospongins A and B Towards Lyngbyaloside C”; 5/2013

Kimberly Wilson (Jeff Peng) “Conserved Functional Dynamics in the Cell Signaling Protein PIN1: Investigations by Bioinformatics and NMR”; 5/2013

John Zintsmaster (Jeff Peng) “Experimental and Molecular Dynamics Study of the Dynamics of PIN1 and Their Influence on Enzymatic Function”; 5/2013

Emmanuel Adu-Gyamfi (Robert Stahelin) “Molecular Architecture of EBOLA Virus Assembly”; 8/2013

Richard Kurker (Jennifer DuBois and Paul Huber) “Beyond O2: Biochemistry of Chlorite Dismutases from Klebsiella and Staphylococcus” ; 8/2013

Matthew Polinski (Thomas Albrecht-Schmidt) “Syntheses, Characterization, and Fundamental Studies of Novel Trivalent Lanthanide and Actinide Borates”; 8/2013

Julia Philip (Holly Goodson) “Development of a Yeast-Based Sensor for Environmental Monitoring”; 8/2013


Those receiving an M.S., along with their thesis titles, advisors (in parentheses), and graduation date, are:

Ashley Ferraro (Olaf Wiest) “The Use of Computation Methods to Develop Selective Antagonists Targeting the Mammalian Notch1-Notch4 Homologs”; 1/2013

Jill Hudacek (Paul Huber) non-thesis; 1/2013

Grace Park (Rich Taylor) non-thesis; 1/2013

Lori Armstrong (Holly Goodson) non-thesis; 5/2013

Zachary Funk (Paul Helquist and Olaf Wiest) non-thesis; 5/2013

Katrina Gellerman (Karen Cowden Dahl) non-thesis; 5/2013

Michelle Morton (Bill Schneider) “Effects of Nitrogen Based Anions on CO Binding and Proton Affinity”; 5/2013

Thomas Soderquist (Patricia Clark) non-thesis; 5/2013

Elizabeth Springer (Marv Miller) “The Development and Synthesis of Nitroreductase Triggered Releasable Linkers for Use in Siderophore Drug Conjugates”; 5/2013

Peter Vednor (Brandon Ashfeld) non-thesis; 5/2013

Leigh Weston (Amanda Hummon) non-thesis; 5/2013

Ian Harrier (Rich Taylor) non-thesis; 8/2013

Joshua Reavis (Amanda Hummon) non-thesis; 8/2013

Congratulations and best wishes as you pursue the next stage in your careers. We look forward to hearing of your accomplishments.