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The Department by the Numbers – 2020

Colorful test tubes by Sara Sheykhi
Chemistry in Pictures: Test tube treasure Credit: Submitted by Sara Sheykhi, @CastellanoGroup
  • We currently have 28 tenured and tenure-track, 12 teaching and three research faculty. Check out our full list of faculty, which includes contact information.
  • Our faculty members excel in their roles as teachers, mentors and researchers. Our general and organic chemistry programs serve over 7,000 students per year across the university.
  • We couldn’t do any of this without the active support of our staff. We have 18 staff members who excel in their dedication to our research and teaching mission. Here is the full list of staff, including contact information.
  • In 2019-20 we granted a total of 15 Ph.D. and one M.S. degrees. We also graduated 22 B.S. and 19 B.A. chemistry majors.

Recent Honors and Awards

Here are some of the awards and accolades received by members of the department in 2019-20 (in no particular order):

Faculty Members’ Awards and Activities

  • Phil Castellano was honored with the I-APS Award in Photochemistry from the Inter-American Society for Photochemistry.
  • Phil Castellano was appointed as editor-in-chief of the new journal Chemical Physics Reviews.
  • Caroline Proulx was honored by the College of Sciences with the 2019-20 LeRoy and Elva Martin Award for Teaching Excellence.
  • Masahiko Taniguchi and Jonathan Lindsey were awarded with 2020 American Society for Photobiology (ASP) Photocite A Award.
  • Wei-chen Chang has been selected to present at the 2020 Academic Young Investigator’s Symposium.

Postdocs’ Awards and Activities

  • Sara Sheykhi (Castellano Lab) took a picture that was featuredin the Chemical & Engineering News (c&en) magazine, issued in June 2020 (see above).

Graduate Students’ Awards and Activities

Graduates are pursuing advanced degrees in Pharmacy, Materials Science, Forest Biomaterials (NC State), and Environmental Engineering.

  • Kaylie Kirkwood (Baker Lab) and Preston Gourville (Proulx Lab) earned an Honorable Mention in the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program.
  • You-Chen Lin (Pierce Lab) and Christopher Poteat (Lindsay Lab) earned the Percy L. Julian Award for Excellence in Research.
  • Christopher Papa (Castellano Lab) and Quibria Guthrie (Proulx Lab) earned the Robert A. Osteryoung Award for Excellence in Research.
  • Eric Gabilondo (Maggard Lab) and Berkley Hillis (Martin Lab) earned the Anderson Award for Excellence in Teaching.
  • Alejandro Valdez (Pierce Lab) and Shaun O’Donnell (Maggard Lab) earned the Bereman Family Award for Excellence in Teaching.
  • Phyo Phyo Kyaw Zin (Williams Lab) “Chemical Network Visualization of Macrolactones” won the 1st place for Graphics & Data Visualization at the 2020 Envisioning Research Contest.

Undergraduate Students’ Awards and Activities

BS graduates will be pursuing PhD’s in Chemistry at UNC Chapel Hill, University of South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Maryland, and NC State.  

  • Jon Palmer, a junior undergraduate,was awarded The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation Award.
  • Ben Stemen, a junior undergraduate, was selected for an ACS Division of Organic Chemistry Summer Research Fellowship.
  • Ben Stemen, a junior undergraduate, won 1st place in the NC Comparative Medicine Institute Research and Innovation Summit.
  • Katharine Berkoff, an undergraduate student, won a gold medal in the 4×100-medley relay at the 2019 World University Games in Italy.

Outstanding Senior Awards from Graduation Ceremonies

  • Preston Gourville received the Scholarly Achievement Award.
  • Jacob Smith received the Research Award.
  • Gwen Hopper received the Community Engagement Award.
  • Devran Dannenberg, Preston Gourville, and Alex Irving were entitled to the Chemistry Honors Program 
  • Arjun Deva received the CRC Press Chemistry Achievement Award
  • Gwen Hopper received the American Institute of Chemists’ Foundation Award
  • Preston Gourville received the Royal Society of Chemistry Certificate of Excellence 
  • Jacob Smith received the ACS Undergraduate Award in Inorganic Chemistry 
  • Caitlin Hodges received the ACS Undergraduate Award in Analytical Chemistry 
  • Devran Dannenberg received the ACS Undergraduate Award in Organic Chemistry 
  • Alex Irving received the ACS Undergraduate Award In Physical Chemistry