A WORD FROM THE CHAIR
The University’s commencement exercise is just weeks away. While the weather is typical of spring time in Denver (70 degrees one day, 12 inches of snow the next) the fast approaching commencement, like springtime, marks a new beginning. Spring always brings a sense of renewal and has me thinking about the past and looking forward to the future. In just a little over 4 weeks from today, we will celebrate with our graduating students. On Friday May 15, the Chemistry department will host our annual graduation/student recognition reception. This annual event is one of the highlights of the year as the department faculty have the opportunity to publicly acknowledge the achievements of our students. Then on Saturday, May 16 the University of Colorado Denver will have its commencement exercise. While the commencement exercise marks the end of a student’s University education, it is the beginning of the next phase of each participant’s life. Each semester, commencement is a highlight as it gives all of the University community cause to reflect on the past and look forward to an exciting future.
The future for the Chemistry department is indeed exciting. Everyday I look out my window to follow the construction of the new Science building. A relatively mild winter allowed significant progress on the construction to occur, and the construction appears to be on schedule. The building is beautiful, positioned on the corner of Lawrence Street and Speer Avenue over looking downtown Denver. The outer façade along Speer Avenue is glass and should give the community a good view of the exciting teaching and research work that will be taking place inside. The Chemistry department is scheduled to move our teaching laboratories into the new facility in time for the spring 2010 semester, and some of our research activities will move into their new laboratories in January 2010. Renovation of the existing Science building will begin during the spring 2010 semester, and once that is complete the remainder of the department will move into the renovated/new facility. The department is planning a “grand opening” of the new Science building for Friday and Saturday, April 23-24, 2010. Tours of the new building, presentations by faculty and students, a keynote address complete with a chemistry magic show, and other activities are planned. The event will be centered on students past and present and we hope that all alumni of the department will be able to attend and participate. Please mark your calendars now and plan on attending if you are able.
In this edition of our Chemistry Alumni newsletter, you will read about what the faculty and students in our department have been doing this term. You will also be introduced to a new faculty member, Prof. Scott Reed, who joined the Chemistry department in January of 2009. Following the first edition of the Alumni newsletter, we received many comments from Alumni. We welcome these comments, and hope that you will continue to update the department about news in your life.
I am proud to be the chair and a member of the faculty of your department.
This January, Scott Reed joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of Colorado Denver, moving from Portland State University in Oregon.
Scott became interested in chemistry as an undergraduate at Bard College in New York where he worked on the synthesis of porphyrins. He later attended graduate school at the University of Oregon with a research emphasis in electron transfer through peptide-containing self-assembled monolayers; this allowed him to concentrate in Materials Science and green chemistry while fostering interests in biochemistry. During graduate school and with support from the Department of Education fellowship, he collaborated in the development of a new curriculum for teaching organic chemistry labs using green chemistry as a basis. The program was successful with students and received national recognition. Additionally, Scott co-organized a workshop on Green Chemistry in Education that expedited the adoption of a green curriculum at many universities around the world. Ultimately, Scott completed his postdoctoral research in the Bioscience Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, where he applied his expertise in synthesis and surface chemistry to the design of sensors that detect biothreat agents.
Before joining UC Denver, Scott was a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry at Portland State University where he initiated a research program that interfaced chemistry, nanoscience, and biology. Through collaboration with the Safer Nanomaterials and Nanomanufacturing Institute, Scott was able to combine his interests in green chemistry and synthesis of nanomaterials. Additionally, he continued to pursue his interest in chemical education with support from the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation.
At the University of Colorado, Scott plans to further develop his varied research interests. Since arriving, he has established collaborations at the medical campus, National Jewish Hospital, and Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque. He has already begun recruiting undergraduates into his research lab and is looking forward to a productive summer.
Professor Larry Anderson has organized a travel study course, “Current Research in Renewable and Sustainable Energy and the Environment – Asia”, to Thailand in May of 2009. The first week of the course will consist of students attending the World Renewable Energy Congress 2009 – Asia (http://www.thai-exhibition.com/wrec2009asia/). They will attend a wide range of presentations on various renewable and sustainable energy and environmental issues. Professor Anderson will present a paper entitled “Ethanol Fuel Use in Brazil: Air Quality Impacts” during the conference. The second week of the course will allow the group to participate in discussions of these issues with students and faculty at the Joint Graduate School of Energy and Environment (JGSEE) in Bangkok. Furthermore, the group will also take part in planned technical and cultural tours while in Thailand.
During March 2008, Professor Anderson was a Fulbright Senior Specialist and worked with Taraz State University in Taraz, Kazakhstan to develop an internationally recognizable doctoral program in Environmental Science. The University has invited Professor Anderson to return to Taraz State University in June 2009 for continued work with the Department of Postgraduate Studies advising students and to further develop the program.
While on sabbatical during the 2004-05 academic year, Professor Anderson served as a Visiting Professor at the JGSEE in Thailand and will once again serve in the same capacity through fall 2009. He will provide scientific leadership on air quality monitoring, air quality analysis, and will collaborate with other faculty on the development of additional air quality and renewable fuels projects.
Dr. Douglas Dyckes-travel to Mongolia
In early July my wife Martha and I went to Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia at the invitation of the chemistry faculty of the National University of Mongolia, to participate in the doctoral examination of Myadag Dashzeveg. Myadgaa was a chemistry Master’s student at UCD who had completed her thesis research with me in 2003. She had returned to Denver in late 2005, after a period of study and teaching at NUM, to complete her doctoral research in my laboratory. NUM is the oldest, most prestigious university of Mongolia, located in the heart of the capital. Many of their recent doctoral students have carried out research in countries such as Japan, Germany and the U.S. The national government has promised a large amount of support for the upgrading their facilities and developing new research programs. These young Ph.D.’s, including Myadgaa, will play a central role in reshaping the Department.
The examination was a highly structured affair. There was a committee of 10 examiners, and a sizeable audience. The thesis was first critiqued to assure that it met the required standard. I was also asked to present a summary of Myadgaa’s research qualifications. (This was the only part of the examination conducted in English.) Myadgaa was then asked to present a summary lecture on her work, and answered extensive questions from her committee members. After discussing her performance the committee took a secret ballot, evaluating her accomplishments in about seven different areas. The result was a very high pass.
After the examination the committee, family, and friends all attended a celebratory party at a local hotel. A multi-course meal was followed by speeches, presentations, and then the singing of many traditional and popular songs by various groups of participants. Myadgaa and I serenaded the assembly with a duet of the Grignard song.
The next day, the freshly-minted Dr, Dashzeveg, Martha, and I left on a week-long tour of the countryside. We visited a number of fascinating sites, and spent each night in a ger (yurt) camp. Our last few days were spent back in Ulaan Baatar, attending the national festival, Naadam. It was like a blend of the Olympics and the People’s Fair, with lots of booths with food or souveniers for sale, and contests in wrestling, archery, horse racing, and a unique sport involving sheep anklebones that defies brief description. Our experiences, academic and recreational, were highly enjoyable. We can hardly wait to return.
UC Denver chemistry club-2009 ACS conference
The University of Colorado at Denver Chemistry Club students have attended five American Chemical Society (ACS) national meetings from 2005-2009, with the most recent conference held in Salt Lake City, Utah from March 20-25.
The 2009 ACS conference was attended by four UC Denver student affiliates: Co-presidents Veronia Guirguis and Neha Sharma, and Active Members Fu Wang and Madeline Torres. The Chemistry Club attendees participated in demonstrations at the Demo Exchange, presented a poster at the Sci-Mix and attended several informational workshops. This year UC Denver students exhibited a demo which showed their fast paced advancements toward “green chemistry” through their original concept of acid-base reactions and exothermic-endothermic reactions; while the ACS workshop showed the same concepts with environmentally unfriendly chemicals.
The Chemistry Club has built a name for UC Denver among the ACS attendees; they have been recognized by ACS for their activities and involvement in the community. The club members have earned Commendable Mentions in 2005 and 2006, Honorable Mentions in 2007 and 2008 and the Green Chemistry Excellence Award in 2006 and 2007. The UC Denver Chemistry Club student affiliates will share their learned experiences and their recognition at the ACS conference with their peers and look forward to the opportunity of attending future ACS conferences.
Bullis, Brett Alexander
Atcherley, Christoph Wade
DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY
UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO
STUDENT RECOGNITION CELEBRATION
2008/2009 Academic Year
May 15, 2009
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Tivoli Multi-Cultural Lounge