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From the Department Head

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

Chemistry Newsletter, September 2023

Welcome to the bi-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 continued to expand our faculty by hiring exceptional chemists who bring expertise in a range of subfields. Their research programs and high-quality teaching will further enhance our reputation as a leader in fundamental and applied chemistry. Our department has grown in the past year, with new faculty members: Xiaotong Li (2024), Raja Ghosh (2024), Milena Jovanovic (2023), Phoebe Glazer (2023), and David Heidary (2023). Dr. Li is our newest faculty hire, and we extend a warm welcome to her and all our new hires on behalf of the department! 

One of our longest-serving staff members, Jackie Hughes, was recognized this year with the College of Sciences SHRA Excellence Award for her dedication, creativity, and hard work as an accounting technician.

We have also celebrated several faculty who were awarded tenure and promotions during the last year. Dr. Marion Martin was promoted to Associate Teaching Professor, Dr. Jeremiah Feducia, Dr. Ana Ison, and Dr. Ghada Rabah were promoted to Teaching Professor, Dr. Vincent Lindsay, Dr. Caroline Proulx, and Dr. Thomas Theis were promoted to Associate Professor with tenure, and Dr. Elon Ison was promoted to Professor.

Our faculty received numerous awards this year. Dr. Wei-Chen Chang and Dr. Yi Xiao were named LORD Distinguished Scholars, Dr. Joshua Pierce was named the Howard J. Schaeffer Distinguished Professor, and Dr. Thomas Theis was named the Goodnight Distinguished Scholar in Molecular Characterization. In addition, Dr. Caroline Proulx received the Goodnight Early Career Innovators Award, and Dr. Yevgeny Brudno and Dr. Nelson Vinueza were named University Faculty Scholars. Last but not least, Dr. Phil Castellano was recently honored with the NC American Chemical Society Distinguished Speaker of the Year Award.

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, which you can read more about here and 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 crucial contributions to solving 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 a 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 encourage everyone to follow our website, X (formerly Twitter) and Instagram accounts, and our Facebook and LinkedIn pages to learn more about our department’s activities and accolades.

Thanks for reading this, and best regards. 

Gavin Williams