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Alumni Newsletter

Spring 2010

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                                    Mark Anderson
                     A WORD FROM THE CHAIR

The spring semester is complete and the chemistry department is preparing for summer activities.  As we look back on the 2009-2010 academic year, we should reflect on all that has happened.  The 2009-2010 academic year was one of change for the chemistry department, with the biggest change being the move into the new Science building on the Auraria campus.  The building opened in January of 2010, and the faculty, staff and students in the department spent much of the winter break moving the teaching and research laboratories from the old Science building and the North Classroom building into our new facility in the new Science building.  The magnitude of the move with all the equipment, glassware, and chemicals that had to be packed, moved, and then unpacked was staggering – especially when you consider that essentially none of the packing could begin until the fall semester had completed.  Our laboratory manager, Cathy Rathbun, had been planning the move for over 1-year, and her planning helped the move go smoothly.  Prof. Lisa Lanning also deserves special recognition for all the work she put in to move the upper division Instrumental Analysis and Physical Chemistry laboratory.  Although there were times that I was in doubt, the department was able to accomplish the move during the break, and the teaching labs were ready (more or less) for classes beginning the first day of the spring semester.

I wish I could say that the move is complete, but it is not.  The departmental office is currently housed in temporary quarters waiting to move into our new office complex in the renovated old Science building.  That move will again occur during the winter break in 2010-2011.

The department hosted an alumni event in spring 2010; the department honored our colleague Professor Robert Damrauer by announcing that the department had established the Robert Damrauer Undergraduate Scholarship in Chemistry.  Thanks to the many friends and alumni of the department who made this scholarship possible through their generous contributions.

Finally, the spring concluded with the department recognizing the achievements of our students.  The academic achievements of our students are noteworthy; and, through the efforts of the Chemistry Club student organization, chemistry student contributions to the University and Metropolitan Denver community are equally impressive.  The students in the Chemistry Club have created an impressive organization, and they were once again recognized by the American Chemical Society this past year as being an outstanding student affiliate chapter of the American Chemical Society.  The Chemistry Club also received recognition at the San Francisco ACS meeting for their efforts to be environmentally friendly and aware, receiving a Green Chapter award from the ACS.  It is inspiring to me to learn about the academic accomplishments of our students and the contributions that they are making to the University and community.  We truly are blessed with outstanding students.

With such outstanding students, staff and faculty my job as the department chair is a pleasure.  I would encourage you to stay in touch with the department by visiting, or with a periodic letter or email to the department, to keep us informed about what is happening in your life.


Mark R. Anderson

Chair, Department of Chemistry

University of Colorado Denver


The 2010 Alumni Event-featured guest Dr. Shakhashiri

Dr. Shakhashirir

The opening of the new Science building prompted a celebration; the department hosted its first alumni weekend that featured tours of the building and a chemistry demonstration by Professor Bassam Shakhashiri (above) from the University of Wisconsin.  Dr. Shakhashiri’s presentation included demonstrations that showcased how science can be communicated to all segments of our society.  His “Magic Show” presentation included combustion, exploding balloons, liquids that glow in the dark, polymers, and other spectacular scientific phenomena.

It was wonderful that so many alumni were able to attend, we enjoyed seeing and meeting those that were able to take part in the celebration.  We encourage you to visit the department to see the new Science building if you were unable to join us for the alumni event.

The Robert Damrauer Undergraduate Scholarship in Chemistry

 R. Damrauer

As part of the alumni weekend celebrating, the chemistry department announcedthat a new scholarship honoring Robert Damrauer had been established.  This scholarship, to be awarded annually to an undergraduate student majoring in chemistry, is established to recognize the many contributions that our colleague Bob Damrauer has made, and continues to make, to the chemistry department and the broader University of Colorado Denver community.  Bob Damrauer has been a guiding light to the chemistry department at the University of Colorado Denver for over 40 years; and, given his dedication to educating students, this scholarship is a fitting way to recognize Bob.

UC Denver Chemistry Club


The University of Colorado at Denver Chemistry Club has sponsored & attended many events throughout the year and received unique recognition from ACS.  Its membership consists of students from the chemistry, biology, psychology, engineering and business disciplines.  This past year membership has increased by fifty percent making the events that much more significant and successful. 

Among the Chemistry Club’s list of activities, they sponsored the third annual PB & J day at which members made over one hundred sack lunches, containing a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a snack and bottled water.  Members of the Chemistry Club distributed them to the needy in the surrounding Denver Metro area.  The club also participated for the second time in the Science and Math fair at Prairie Middle School as well as STEMapalooza during the fall semester. 
The 2010 National ACS conference held in San Francisco was attended by four of the clubs members, their travel was sponsored by the Department of Chemistry.  The Chemistry Club received the honor and distinction of receiving both the outstanding chapter and the green chemistry awards, making them the only chapter in Colorado to receive such recognition.

The activities the club hosts and participates in during a typical year are many, but their dedication is to foster a love and passion for chemistry.  With Dr. Mark Anderson as their faculty advisor, the club has and will continue to make strides forward to meet new challenges and future endeavors.  Implementing a “Chemistry Honor Society” in the near future is among the items on their agenda including coordinating additional fundraising events which will make it possible to continue sponsoring future activities.

Spring 2010 student recognition

Dr. Anderson and M. Skinas Dr. Anderson and J. Woller Dr. Anderson and H. Neilson
Dr. Anderson and L. San Dr. Anderson and K. Chantranuvatan Dr. Anderson and M. Torres

General Chemistry:                         Melissa Skinas
Organic Chemistry:                         Laura Barrett
Organic Chemistry:                         James Woller
Analytical Chemistry:                      Hunter Neilson
Graduating Senior:                          Long San
Graduating Senior:                          Kan Chantranuvatana
TA/Milash Award:                           Madeline Torres
TA/Milash Award:                           Nicole Shafer
Marti Barrett Scholarship               Jennifer Cheng
Marti Barrett Scholarship
               Parisa Sobhi Abadi

Recent Faculty Publications & Presentations:

Adamczyk, L. A.; Anderson, M. R., Impedance differences found with n-alkanethiol monolayers prepared by contact printing and solution adsorption. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 2009, 336 (2), 761-765.

Anderson, L. G., Ethanol fuel use in Brazil: air quality impacts. Energy & Environmental Science 2009, 2 (10), 1015-1037.

Ayres, B. R.; Reed, S. M.; Garrick, W.; Murthy, S.; Sanghvi, N.; Kulkarni, A., Chem Map: A Geographic Information System Web Page for Chemical Education. Journal of Chemical Education 2009, 86 (2), 255-255.

Damrauer, R.; Pusede, S. E., Activation of P-4 by Singlet Silylene (SiH2): A Computational Study. Organometallics 2009, 28 (5), 1289-1294.

Knaus, K. J.; Murphy, K. L.; Holme, T. A., Designing Chemistry Practice Exams for Enhanced Benefits An Instrument for Comparing Performance and Mental Effort Measures. Journal of Chemical Education 2009, 86 (7), 827-832.

Sanders, W.; Anderson, M. R., Electrostatic deposition of polycations and polyanions onto cysteine monolayers. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 2009, 331 (2), 318-321.

Zhang, Y.; Lin, H., Quantum Tunneling in Testosterone 6 beta-Hydroxylation by Cytochrome P450: Reaction Dynamics Calculations Employing Multiconfiguration Molecular-Mechanical Potential Energy Surfaces. Journal of Physical Chemistry A 2009, 113 (43), 11501-11508.

Liu, Y., A. V. Ivanov, and M. J. Molina, Temperature dependence of OH diffusion in air and He,  Geophys. Res. Lett.2009, 36, L03816.

Liu, Y.; Laskin, A.; Hygroscopic Properties of CH3SO3Na, CH3SO3NH4, (CH3SO3)2Mg and (CH3SO3)2Ca Particles Studied by micro-FTIR Spectroscopy. J. Phys. Chem. A, 2009, 113 (8), pp 1531–1538

Abid, A. D.; Tolmachoff, E. D.; Phares, D. J.; Wang, H.; Liu, Y.; Laskin, A.; Size Distribution and Morphology of Nascent Soot in Premixed Ethylene Flames with and without Benzene Doping. Proc. Combust. Inst., 2009, 32, 681


Current UCD Chemistry Faculty                       Current UCD Instructors
Larry Anderson          John Lanning                       Margaret Bruehl
Mark Anderson          Hai Lin                                  Priscilla Crocker-Burrow
Robert Damrauer      Yong Lui                                Marc Donsky
Douglas Dyckes        Scott Reed                            Lisa Lanning
Doris Kimbrough       Xiaotai Wang
Karen Knaus

Spring 2010

A word from The Chair
2010 Alumni Event
UC Denver Chemistry Club
2009/2010 Chemistry Student Award Recipients

Laura Cuellar