A letter from the WSU Chemistry Chair, Matt Allen

Dear friends and alumni,

A lot has happened over the past year, including my appointment to a second term as department chair, for which I am deeply honored. This newsletter provides a few highlights. I encourage you to follow us on social media for more information on the current happenings of the department.

The following is a small sampling of what happened
in the department over the past year: The department accomplished 80 years of continuous certification by the American Chemical Society. Carl Johnson established an endowed professorship to support junior faculty members, and Long Luo became its first recipient. Tom Linz received the Junior Faculty Award from the WSU Academy of Scholars. Jin Cha completed his time as a program officer at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and returned to campus at the same time that Christy Chow began a two- year appointment as a program officer at the NSF; Chow also received the Board of Governors Distinguished Faculty Fellowship Award from WSU. John SantaLucia retired and was named Professor Emeritus. We began preparing to host the inaugural Bettye Washington Greene (Ph.D. '65) Symposium. Kim Miller retired, Mishad Ahmed moved on to another job after completing his M.B.A., and Young- Hoon Ahn moved to be closer to his family; they will all be missed around the department, and we wish them well.

Our students and postdocs also continue to thrive. Nuwandi Ariyasingha received an F32 Fellowship from
the National Institutes of Health, and Naresh Venneti was recognized as a leader in mentoring by the American Chemical Society. Bailey McCarthy Riley placed into a legislative fellowship at NOAA, and Ramiro Barraza was selected for an internship at Gilead. Gibson Kirui won the best poster presentation award at the 2021 virtual ACS Fall Scientific Meeting Symposium, Tharanga Batugedara received an award for best student oral presentation at the 42nd Annual Michigan Catalysis Society Fall Symposium, and Tepora Su'a and Thranga Batugedara received NOBCChE symposium awards. Mohammad Shah Hafez Kabir and Asanka Dissanayake received travel awards from international conferences, and Marcos Imer was selected to participate in the 24th National School on Neutron and X-ray Scattering. We expect to see many similar successes from the department in the future as we welcome a large incoming graduate class this year.

My sincere gratitude goes to chemistry alumni Brooke Raven, Sibrina Collins, Charles Dezelah, Karl Gust, Jeff Kohrt, Jaya Lakshmi, Vahid Majidi, Jane Philip, Tomasz Respondek, Larry Roy, Rose Ryntz, Nilshad Salim, Harshani Sewvandi, Raj Gopal Sharma, and Edward Thomas for taking their time to network with our current students and share their post-WSU experiences.
The remainder of this newsletter contains stories about happenings in the department from the past year, including updates from our student organizations and alumni. Alumni, please stay in touch. Send updates with your outstanding achievements and new jobs so that we can include them in future newsletters. We've made it easy to share your stories with us - we love to hear from you. Finally, next time you are in the Detroit area, please let us know and stop by to meet with friends, colleagues, and mentors.

Matthew J. Allen
Professor and Chair

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