Chemistry News

February 2012Professor Andrew Duncan Awarded Tenure
Professor Duncan's excellent work both in the lab and the classroom has culminated in his recent promotion to Associate Professor and tenure award.  Professor Duncan works primarily with synthetic organic and organometallic molecules with an eye towards developing new methods for making large-ring molecules.  His expertise and enthusiasm for his work make him a coveted mentor for many students and we are thrilled to finally say that he will be a permanent figure in our department.  Congratulations Professor Duncan!
November 2011Murdock awards General Scientific Research Grant
On the heels of their NSF Major Research Instrumentation grant,  Dr. Emma Coddington and five of her colleagues – David Altman, Jason Duncan, Alison Fisher, Barbara Stebbins-Boaz and Gary Tallman – have been awarded a General Scientific Research Grant in the amount of $171,000 from the M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust to add important functionality to Willamette’s new imaging facility.  With the new funds the team plans to purchase 5 critical items including a 34 channel photomultiplier tube, a BiG detector and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, additional microscope objectives, humidity and carbon dioxide controls, and an additional image analysis workstation.  The addition of this grant speaks to the very impressive efforts of our science faculty to provide our students with the opportunities and equipment to address questions at the forefront of scientific research.
September 2011Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science (TUES) Program Grant
Sarah Kirk and Todd Silverstein have been awarded a two-year, $199,846 grant from the Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (TUES) Program through the National Science Foundation.  With these funds the chemistry department plans to create and evaluate a new laboratory model for instrumental analysis and biochemistry for use at Willamette and other predominantly undergraduate institutions including Chemeketa Community College.  The course design will integrate Instrumental Analysis with the Biochemistry Laboratory, where students are exposed to three of the four major classes of biomolecules and introduced to many key methods in instrumental analysis from all major subdisciplines of chemistry. Furthermore, students will be taught in a progressive instructional style that allows them to develop as research scientists.
September 2011National Science Foundation's Major Research Instrumentation Project
Emma Coddington and 5 of her colleagues-David Altman, Barbara Stebbins-Boaz, Alison Fisher, Jason Duncan, and Gary Tallman have been awarded $526,788 from the National Science Foundation's Major Research Instrumentation Project.  Their project entitled "MRI: Acquisition of a laser scanning confocal system to advance research and training in biology, chemistry, and physics at Willamette University" will use the funds to purchase a Zeiss LSM-710 confocal microscope and develop a Core Imaging Facility on campus.  This collaboration between chemistry, biology and physics will allow an estimated 400 students from intro to advanced courses to utilize this fantastic resource.  Notably, the NSF award the proposal three excellent designations and one reviewer went so far as to say "This should be a model grant application for anyone applying to the MRI program. It is the best written and presented MRI application I have ever read". 
May 2011Chemistry Student Award Recipients

The Chemistry Department would like to congratulate all of the 2011 Chemistry award recipients.
Chemistry Awards 2011

March 2011Tyler Starr receives Goldwater Scholarship
Tyler Starr, a double major in biology and chemistry, was the recent recipient of the Goldwater Scholarship. Tyler researches the evolution of nuclear receptor transcription factor proteins, using a combination of evolutionary and biochemical techniques.  He began this work through the NSF-REU program at the University of Oregon in Dr. Joe Thornton's lab and plans to continue it under the guidance of Dr. Scott Meyers.  He is a true chemistry Starr!
March 2011Partners in Science Grant
Prof. Alison Fisher has been awarded a $15,000 grant through the Partners in Science Program from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. With this award, Alison will partner with Jonathan Williams, a science teacher at West Salem High School, to conduct summer research at Willamette University in 2011 and 2012.

Alison and Jon will use their Partners in Science award to examine the molecular mechanism by which ethylene, a ubiquitous plant hormone, regulates the expression and timing of flowering genes in the plant Arabidopsis.
March 2011Frances Chapple Award in Physical Chemistry

The Department of Chemistry is pleased to announce the Frances Chapple Award that has been established this year to recognize an outstanding student in the field of physical chemistry. The award is named in honor of Professor Emerita Frances Chapple who has been an inspiration to many young chemists throughout her distinguished career at Willamette.

The first recipient of the Frances Chapple Award is chemistry junior Estella Yee.

March 2011Hewlett Grant

The Chemistry Department was awarded a Hewlett grant for the curricular revision of Experimental Biochemistry I and II (CHEM 346/347) for the 2011-2012 fiscal year. Prof. Alison Fisher, Prof. Todd Silverstein, and Prof. Sarah Kirk will use the grant in their continuing enhancement of the biochemistry track curriculum at Willamette.

February 2011Promotion to Full Professor
The Department of Chemistry is pleased to announce that Prof. Karen Holman and Prof. Chuck Williamson have both been promoted to the rank of full professor. Congratulations to both of them on this milestone in their careers.
November 20102010 Oregon Professor of the Year

Professor of Chemistry, Karen Holman, was named the 2010 Oregon Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. The Foundation presents this prestigious award to one professor in each state in recognition of excellence in undergraduate education. This is an outstanding honor for Professor Holman that recognizes her passion as an educator and mentor, and her talent to engage students in the study of chemistry.

Professor of the Year

September 2010Merit Award for Excellence in Teaching

Prof. Andrew Duncan recently received a Merit Award for Excellence in Teaching. This award is given annually to faculty and staff at Willamette who display excellence in various aspects of their career development.

May 2010Chemistry Student Award Recipients

The Chemistry Department would like to congratulate all of the 2010 Chemistry award recipients: Chemistry Awards 2010

April 2010Math and Chemistry student Jeff Weber named Hertz Fellow

Chemistry senior Jeff Weber was awarded a prestigious $250,000 fellowship from the Hertz Foundation. The award is the nation's most generous doctoral fellowship and will fund Jeff during his graduate studies.

Awards won by Charlotte Osborne

In addition to other awards and scholarships, chemistry junior Charlotte Osborne has recently received the Dick Van Santen Award and a Goldwater Scholarship.  The Dick Van Santen Award is given by the Portland Section of the American Chemical Society to an outstanding undergraduate student in Oregon who is planning to pursue a career in chemistry.  The Goldwater Scholarship program provides funding for undergraduate students planning careers in math, the sciences, or engineering.

Sarah Kirk awarded a Partners in Science grant

M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust has awarded Prof. Sarah Kirk a $15,000 grant through the Partners in Science Program. This award will enable Greg Whatley, a science teacher at South Salem High School, to partner with Prof. Kirk to conduct research at Willamette University in the summer of 2010 and 2011.

Alumni donations

The Chemistry Department would like to thank alumni Benjamin Leipzig (2007) and Steve Sloop (1987) who have each recently donated to the department. These contributions will help support chemistry students at Willamette as they do research towards their senior theses.

Alison Fisher accepts position in bioanalytical chemistry

The Department of Chemistry is happy to announce that Alison Fisher has recently accepted a position in bioanalytical chemistry that will begin in Fall 2010. Prof. Fisher will arrive at Willamette from the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, where she is currently on a research sabbatical. In addition to continuing an active research program, Prof. Fisher will teach Biochemistry, Instrumental Chemistry, Introductory Chemistry, and Advanced Topics courses and labs.  We look forward to welcoming Prof. Fisher to the faculty at Willamette.

January 2010Chuck Williamson awarded grant

Chuck Williamson and the Chemistry Department have been awarded $8,500 from the Pittsburgh Conference Memorial National College Grants Award Program to support the purchase of a Rudolph Research Autopol III Polarimeter. The polarimeter will enable new experiments in Introductory Chemistry and Organic Chemistry labs to measure the optical activity of inorganic and organic compounds.

 [Back to top]