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Chemistry Newsletter – March 2023

Professor Gavin Williams, the Department of Chemistry Head, introduces the latest updates and activities of the Department.

From the Department Head

Gavin Williams

Welcome to the annual Department of Chemistry newsletter, where we celebrate the achievements of our students, postdocs, faculty, and staff. Over the past year, we have made significant strides in our research, teaching, and outreach, and we are excited to share some of our highlights with you.

We are thrilled to announce that we have expanded our faculty by hiring exceptional scholars who bring expertise in a range of subfields. Their research programs and high-quality teaching promise to further enhance our reputation as a leader in fundamental and applied chemistry. Our department has grown over the past two years, with new faculty members: Ryan Chiechi (2022), Daniel Fowler (2022), Raja Ghosh (2024), Phoebe Glazer (2023), David Heidary (2023), Milena Jovanovic (2023), Naish Lalloo (2022), and Cassie Lilly (2022). Dr. Ghosh and Dr. Jovanovic are our newest faculty hires who signed their offer letters just days ago, and we extend a warm welcome to them on behalf of the department!

We have also added several new staff members since the last newsletter who are making critical contributions to the department by providing essential administrative support and assisting with our research and instructional programs: Thomas Derosier, Wendy Goddard, Dmytro Havrylyuk, Aleksandra (Aleks) Kymalainen, Caitlin Sterling, and Andrew Thapa. This represents a phase of tremendous growth, which I anticipate will continue in the coming years. 

We have also celebrated several faculty who were awarded tenure and promotions during the last year. Dr. Wei-chen Chang was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure, Dr. Elena Jakubikova, Dr. Paul Maggard, and Dr. Joshua Pierce were promoted to Professor, and Dr. Kirsten Kramer was promoted to Teaching Assistant Professor.

I would also like to extend a warm welcome to our international and national incoming graduate students. Our students continue to impress us with their dedication and accomplishments. Many of them have won prestigious scholarships, and fellowships, have presented their research at national conferences, and have published papers in top-tier journals. Our faculty, staff, postdoctoral researchers, graduate, and undergraduate students continue to receive numerous accolades and awards listed at ‘The Department by the Numbers’. In addition, our Innovation in Chemistry video highlights some of the history and several novel aspects of our programs and mission.

In terms of research, our faculty and research groups are making important contributions to some of society’s grand challenges such as energy, drug discovery, human health, and the environment, and expanding our fundamental knowledge. We have continued to secure significant external funds from government agencies, foundations, and industry partners to support these efforts, and our researchers are collaborating with colleagues in other departments and institutions across the globe to tackle complex challenges.

Furthermore, we continue to work together to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for everyone in the department, with special thanks to our DEI committee chaired by Dr. Marion Martin and Dr. Reza Ghiladi and the efforts of the Chemistry Graduate Student Association.

I hope that this newsletter provides a glimpse into the vibrant and dynamic community that we have in the Department of Chemistry. Thank you for your interest and support, and we look forward to another productive and fulfilling year. I anticipate a big year with respect to our alumni relations and engagement efforts, stay tuned to learn more! I encourage everyone to follow our website, Twitter, and Instagram accounts, as well as our Facebook and LinkedIn pages to learn more about our department’s activities and accolades.

Thanks for reading this and best regards. 

Gavin Williams