Younger Chemist
Leadership Development Award

Previous Winners

Zemen Berhe

Zemen was born in Stuttgart/Germany and went to the University of Stuttgart for undergrad and received her Bachelor of Science degree in technical chemistry. As a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts (Dartmouth), her current research focuses on developing specific porphyrin molecules for cancer therapy of subcutaneous tumors. She loves working in the lab, and enjoys the engaging, hands-on aspects of being a scientist. Additionally, she really cherish being involved with the Northeastern Section ACS community and the Northeastern Section Younger Chemists Committee (NSYCC) which has enriched her life and opened amazing opportunities.

Alyssa Bienvenu

Alyssa Bienvenu is a fourth-year graduate student at the Pennsylvania State University. Her research studies geometry optimization processes and molecular reaction pathways through theoretical and computational chemistry. Her previous studies were in chemistry and mathematics at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Alyssa was an active member of her ACS student chapter and is currently active in her local chapter of Graduate Women in Science at Penn State. When she is not coding, Alyssa enjoys dancing west coast swing, cooking Cajun food, and volunteering at her local animal shelter.

Abby Bireschbach

Captain Abby Bierschbach is a Space Operations Officer at Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA. She is a 2016 graduate from the United States Air Force Academy and has been working as a spacelift operator overseeing public safety and range instrumentation operations for rocket and missile launch. She is currently a Flight Commander directly supervising 15 military officers, enlisted members, and government employees. She is separating from Active Duty military service in September of 2021 to pursue a career in chemistry.

Sarah Chapman

Sarah graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Biochemistry and a B.A. in Anthropology from Hartwick College in 2017. She is a Ph.D. candidate in the Chemistry Department at Penn State University, where her thesis research is focused on developing model systems for membraneless organelles using liquid-liquid phase separation to better understand intracellular compartmentalization and enzymatic control. In addition to her research, Sarah currently serves as an officer in Penn State’s chapter of Graduate Women in Science. Upon completion of her Ph.D. program, Sarah intends to pursue a career in post-secondary chemistry education.

Francisco Luan Fonseca da Silva

Graduated in Chemistry (Education) (2015), Master in Analytical Chemistry (2017) and PhD student in Analytical Chemistry from Federal University of Ceara. She is the student representative (2017- 2019) in the coordination and member (2017-2019) of the concil of Postgraduate Program in Chemistry of the Federal University of Ceará, she was vice-president of the Student Union of the courses of Chemistry between 2011-2012 and President of the same between 2014-2015. Member and fundator of ACS Student Chapter UFC (2020). She has expertise in analytical chemistry, with emphasis on trace analysis, optical methods of analysis.

Jessica DeYoung

Jessica is a graduate of the University of Central Arkansas where she first experienced research and outreach through chemistry. Since graduating, she has been pursuing a PhD at the University of Iowa. Firstly, she studies environmental and analytical chemistry where she uses interfacial techniques to understand environmental film maturation. In addition to this, she holds several positions on campus with a focus on safety, diversity, equity and inclusion, and sustainability. After graduation, she hopes to obtain a post-doc at a national lab then become a faculty member at an R1 university.

Madushanka Dissanayake

Madushanka is an early career green chemist with a strong focus on making advances in synthetic chemistry to introduce novel greener synthetic pathways. Madushanka pursued graduate studies at Prof. Aaron Vannucci Research Group at the University of South Carolina in developing anion pool method, which is an electrosynthetic technique that introduces a base free approach for the derivatization of pharmaceutically important molecules. During my post-doctoral research at Prof. Ellen Matson Group Madushanka focused on the synthesis of Fe based complexes with modifications in their secondary coordination sphere and study their effect on the diversity of coordination modes of nitrites.

Madison Dunn

Madison Dunn received her Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Microbiology in May 2017, then her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in December 2019, both from Tennessee Technological University. She is a Registered Nurse in the Emergency Department at Cookeville Regional Medical Center. Madison serves as Chair for the Younger Chemists Committee for the Nashville Local Section of ACS, and has been able to cultivate multiple relationships with YCC chairs across the United States. These relationships have produced numerous online networking and educational events for YCC members. Madison’s interests include education outreach and empowering women in STEM.

Stacy Fosu

Stacy Fosu received her B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2011. After which, she completed her M.S. degree from Illinois State University working with Prof. Timothy Lash, where she developed syntheses of novel carbaporphyrinoid systems. She then enrolled at The Ohio State University to pursue her PhD. As an HHMI Gilliam Fellow she completed her PhD studies working with Prof. David Nagib developing innovative C-H functionalization methodologies. Stacy Fosu is currently a medicinal chemist at AbbVie, where she began her career in 2019.

Fanny Frausto

Dr. Fanny Frausto is currently a Senior Scientist in Product Development at the Clorox Company. There, she works as a Product Developer and formulates cleaning products to meet the future needs of consumers. She is currently the WCC Co-Chair of the California Section of the ACS. She is an ACS Scholars Alumna and credits the programs offered by the ACS for her success. She earned her SB from MIT and her PhD from Tufts University studying fluorescent doped conjugated polymer nanoparticles to detect a reactive oxygen species called singlet oxygen.

Md Ikramul Hasan

Growing up in Bangladesh, Ikram moved to USA in 2020 to pursue his graduate education on Bioproducts Engineering in University of Maine. He was the Founding President (2018-2019) of ACS Student Chapter, University of Dhaka, which was first of its kind in Bangladesh. Currently, he is working in Laboratory of Renewable Nanomaterials with Dr. Mehdi Tajvidi on developing cellulose nanofiber and nanochitin based packaging material for improved gas barrier properties. Before that, he worked on biodiesel production from non-edible seeds and waste cooking oil. Besides study, Ikram loves travelling, cooking and making new friends.

Alejandra Hernandez-Santana

Alejandra Hernandez-Santana is a Ph.D. student in Environmental Science at the University of Oklahoma. Her doctoral research focuses on microbiologically influenced corrosion of steel. Before moving to the United States, Alejandra completed her master’s degree in Microbiology at Universidad de los Andes, Colombia. Outside of the laboratory, Alejandra enjoys participating in science outreach programs and in efforts to increase the participation of underrepresented groups in sciences.

Akwaowo Inyangudoh

Akwaowo Inyangudoh graduated from the University of Uyo, Nigeria with a B.Sc. degree in chemistry and he is currently a graduate student at the University of Uyo. His current research is focused on tracking regulated legacy organic pollutants in the environment. He is the immediate past Vice President of ACS University of Uyo International Student chapter, Uyo, Nigeria. Given his experience, he is the coordinator of activities in the student chapter.

Juan Jimenez

Juan is a postdoctoral research associate at Brookhaven National Laboratory investigating ways to mitigate Carbon Emissions via C1 valorization. Juan's doctoral work at the University of South Carolina was also concerned with CO2 reduction, specifically the thermocatalytic conversion of carbon dioxide to value added products, such as methane. Additionally, Juan has also worked as a visiting scholar at the Institute of Catalysis in Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Japan, where they studied using advanced X-Ray Absorption techniques.

Valtair Severino dos Santos Júnior

Valtair is an M.Sc. student in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais and a B.Ed. student in Chemistry at the Universidade de Franca, both in Brazil. His research project focuses on the design of new antifungal agents by QSAR using machine learning techniques (advisor Professor Vinícius G. Maltarollo). He is also a founder member and the former Secretary of the ACS Student Chapter UFMG, currently being part of the Marketing team, pursuing the promotion of STEM fields and scientific culture. He completed his B.Sc. in Technological Chemistry from Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in 2019.

Eric Kohn

Eric Kohn is a second year Ph.D. student in the Chemistry Program at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. His focus is on Chemical Biology, and he works to develop DNA nanotechnologies to act as artificial receptors in the lab of Jeffrey Martell with support from the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Eric believes a tribe of mentors is the most important resource for any developing scientist and has served this role through his undergraduate institution’s Office of Social Justice and ACS Chapter, New Jersey’s Governor’s STEM Scholars Program, and the Catalyst Peer Network at UW—Madison.

Koby Ljunggren

Koby (they/them) is a first-year graduate student at Harvard University in the Biophysics Ph.D. Program. They graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry from Missouri State University in May 2020. A chemist at heart, they seek to apply their chemistry background to answer biological and biophysical questions. They are currently rotating in labs searching for their dissertation advisor, but they’re looking for work in structural biology and protein dynamics. They are passionate about science policy, science communication, and they aim to bring science to the forefront of public issues.

Bichlien Nguyn

Bichlien received her PhD in Chemistry from Washington University in St. Louis in 2015. Bichlien is a senior researcher at Microsoft and an affiliate assistant professor in the CSE department at the University of Washington.

Ginikachukwu Nnabuike

Ginikachukwu Nnabuike is a Ph.D student currently under the guidance of Prof. J. A. Obaleye, in the University of Ilorin, Nigeria. She obtained her masters and bachelors degree in Chemistry in 2014 and 2010 respectively. She was awarded a TWAS-DBT Ph.D. Sandwich fellowship in India in 2019. She has the tenacity to carry out independent research. Ginika is currently working on synthesizing and characterizing metal complexes of some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. At her leisure, she enjoys spending quality time with her husband and son, cooking, eating travelling, and meeting new people.

Anastasia Patterson

Anastasia is a Research Investigator in Electronics & Imaging at DuPont, working on developing new materials to advance novel applications in the electronics industry. She received her Ph.D. in Materials from UC Santa Barbara in 2019, where she specialized in polymer physics, and her B.S. in Chemistry from Harvey Mudd College in 2014. In each of these roles, Anastasia has pursued leadership positions that promote community, communication, and inclusion.

Courtney Roberts

Courtney C. Roberts is an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Her group specializes in using organometallic chemistry to solve fundamental challenges in organic chemistry related to pharmaceuticals and energy. She did her postdoctoral work with Melanie Sanford at the University of Michigan and her PhD with Simon Meek at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Courtney has volunteered with numerous groups supporting women and under represented groups in science.

Siddulu Naidu Talapaneni

Dr. Siddulu Naidu Talapaneni is an ARC DECRA (Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award) Fellow ensconced at School of Chemical Engineering, The University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia. He completed his Ph.D. studies in Materials Chemistry from the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), Tsukuba, Japan in 2013. He then carried out his research at the LCS-ENSICAEN, France, KAIST, Daejeon, South Korea, UniSA, Adelaide, Australia and The University of Newcastle, Australia. His research interests encompass on the design and development of novel nanoporous materials to tackle the contemporary energy and environmental issues.

Alexandra Taraboletti

Dr. Alexandra Taraboletti is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of the District of Columbia. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship in the Tumor Biology program at Georgetown University Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, and received her Ph.D. from the University of Akron in Chemistry. Dr. Taraboletti is a bioanalytical chemist, who uses mass spectrometry-based metabolomics to investigate models of human disease, including neurodegeneration, and radiation injury. Dr. Taraboletti also has a passion for visual science communication and science outreach. She is an avid artist and applies her skills as a graphical editor and illustrator.

Kerri Shelton Taylor

Dr. Kerri Shelton Taylor, professor of Organic Chemistry at Columbus State University, obtained her PhD in chemistry from The University of Akron and MS in chemistry from The University of Kentucky. She has a broad knowledge and varied skill set in the field of synthetic medicinal chemistry and material science, which allows her to be an important contributor in the scientific community. Her exposure to multiple areas of chemistry, particularly organic and material science, as well as experiences with a variety of audiences has led to strengthened synthetic skills and chemical knowledge as an academic researcher.

Rodney Tigaa

Born in Ghana, Rodney came to the U.S. through an intercultural exchange program in 2006. Rodney then completed their undergraduate degree in Chemistry at Manchester University before attending the University of Nevada-Reno to pursue a doctoral degree in chemistry. Their continued passion for science led me to Florida State University on a postdoctoral fellowship. In this role, Rodney mentored students while conducting independent research on the study of energy transfer pathways in nanomaterials for phosphor applications. With the goal of preparing the next generation of leaders, Rodney recently joined Concord University as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry.

Beza Tuga

Beza received her B.S. in Biochemistry from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh where she was mentored by Dr. Rajesh Sunasee for 3 years. With Dr. Sunasee, she worked to develop bismuth trichoride as an alternative deprotection agent for methoxymethyl ether groups, and also worked to synthesize cellulose nanocrystals for various applications. Currently, Beza is a graduate student at the University of Minnesota and I work for Dr. Christy Haynes. Following on her passion for nanoparticles, she works as a student researcher for the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology and currently have projects related to nanotoxicology and nanoagriculture.

Lorilee Valientes

Lorilee Valientes graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry with a Minor in Biology, and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies. She then attended New Jersey Institute of Technology and graduated with a Masters of Science in Environmental Science. She is currently the Lab Manager for the stockroom and undergraduate teaching labs for the College of Arts, Sciences and Education at Florida International University- Biscayne Bay Campus. She is also currently the Co-Advisor the Florida International University- Biscayne Bay Campus ACS Student Chapter and Co-Chair for the SOFLACS local section YCC.

Tim Van Den Bossche

Tim Van Den Bossche is a PhD student at Ghent University, Belgium, working in the field of metaproteomics. Already during his years as Bachelor and Master student, Tim was organizing activities for his fellow students and was elected to represent them at the University. During his PhD studies, he co-founded the PhD Community in 2018 where he is still active as a core member. Tim is also representing the non-tenured academic staff at the Departmental Board, Faculty Board and Board of Governors.

David Vargas

David is originally from Colombia and is currently an NSF Graduate Research Fellow in the laboratory of Rudi Fasan at the University of Rochester. His research focuses on the development of new biocatalytic methods for the construction of new C-C bonds. David is passionate about teaching and expanding diversity in science. He has been engaged in several outreach activities in the Rochester area, bringing chemistry to young children and teaching them that anyone regardless of color, gender, or race can be a scientist.

Cecilia Vollbrecht

Cecilia Vollbrecht is a graduate student in the chemistry department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She works with Prof. Randall Goldsmith on developing instrumentation for single-molecule spectroscopy. She is also an advocate for public engagement with science and works with Prof. Bassam Shakhashiri and his Science is Fun group and the Wisconsin Initiative for Science literacy. Cecilia graduated in 2017 from Centre College in Danville KY with a B.S. in chemistry. At Centre College she also founded the Girls in Engineering Math and Science (GEMS) program.

Victoria Banas

Victoria Banas is a third year Ph.D. candidate at Washington University in St. Louis, studying the total synthesis of siderophores under Dr. Tim Wencewicz. She received her B.S in Chemistry from New York University in 2017. Victoria currently serves as a Graduate Co-coordinator of Catalysts for Change, an outreach organization dedicated to promoting science careers to high school girls.

Antonio Brathwaite

Dr. Antonio D. Brathwaite is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Chemistry at Emory University. Before assuming this position in 2017, he was an Assistant Professor at the University of the Virgin Islands. Dr. Brathwaite earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Erskine College and a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Georgia in 2013 with Prof. Michael Duncan. Dr. Brathwaite is passionate about developing the next generation of chemists and endeavors to maintain a student-focused approach to teaching and mentoring. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and playing soccer.

Alexandra Bruefach

Alexandra (Alex) Bruefach completed her B.S. degree in Chemistry and Biology in 2018. She is currently a graduate student in Materials Science and Engineering at University of California, Berkeley, studying the formation mechanism and applications of alloyed double-helical nanowires using Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) techniques.

Naishka Caldero-Rodríguez

Naishka obtained a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico (UPRRP). As an undergraduate student, she worked at Dr. Ingrid Montes’s Organic Synthesis Research Laboratory. She has been recognized as an ACS Scholar and as a Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) UPRRP Fellow. She also had the opportunity to be part of the ACS International Research Experience for Undergraduates (ACS-IREU). She is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Case Western Reserve University. Her present research is based on the study of electronic relaxation pathways in nucleic acid derivatives, under the supervision of Dr. Carlos Crespo-Hernández.

Alvaro Calderon-Diaz

Alvaro received his B. S. in chemistry from Kennesaw State University. He currently works as a graduate research assistant in the Stollenz Research Group synthesizing and characterizing bis(amidine) ligands and their coinage metal complexes. Alvaro has presented his research at multiple scientific meetings including the Herty Symposium, Symposium of Student Scholars, NCUR, SERMACS and the ACS National Meeting and Expo. He is a former president of the Students Affiliates of the ACS and is a founder and current president for the Alliance of Graduate Inorganic Chemists at KSU.

Jessica Callus

Jessica is PhD candidate in Chemical Education at Purdue University. Her research interests in chemistry education stem from a lifelong fascination with science as well as the opportunity to inspire the next generation of scientists. She believes in improving the teaching and learning of chemistry for the betterment of students and the Chemistry community. She earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Central Michigan University, where she was actively involved with the ACS student chapter. Jessica hopes to use her knowledge of chemistry and education to engage in public policy and advocate for science education.

Katherine Gesmundo

Katherine A. Moga Gesmundo is an analytical chemist with a passion for chemical education. She received a B.S. in Chemistry Education from Ashland University, then attended the University of North Carolina to complete her Ph.D. under the leadership of Joseph DeSimone. Knowing she wanted to make an impact teaching at the college level, she joined Ohio State University as the General Chemistry Lab Supervisor. While there, Katherine implemented significant revisions in the laboratory curriculum while mentoring a diverse group of teaching assistants and staff. Katherine recently relocated to Chicago, where she has joined the chemistry department staff at Northwestern University.

Safia Jilani

Greetings! Safia obtained her B.S. in chemistry (focus on secondary education) from Dominican University. Safia is a 6th year Ph.D. candidate at Georgetown University in Dr. YuYe Tong’s lab. Her research projects involve synthesizing nanoparticle electrocatalysts for the ethanol fuel cell reaction and investigating the reaction mechanism using in-situ spectroelectrochemical techniques. Safia is passionate about improving access, inclusion, and quality of science education for students. This includes learning in the classroom, outreach, mentorship in research, and professional development—Safia is an advocate for developing the whole scientist. Her interests outside of the lab include traveling, writing, training in Aikido, and running!

Stephanie Kedzior

Stephanie Kedzior obtained her bachelor of applied science in nanotechnology engineering from the University of Waterloo and her PhD in chemical engineering from McMaster University in Canada. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the department of chemical and petroleum engineering at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. Her research is focused on the design and synthesis of materials for energy storage applications. She also works with sustainable nanomaterials and aims to design high performance alternatives to synthetic systems. She has been attending ACS spring meeting since 2015 and has organized an ACS symposium since 2019.

Aya Kelly

Originally from Tokyo, Japan, Aya received her Bachelor of Science from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL. After working at Eli Lilly and Company in Indianapolis, IN as a biologist, Aya joined the Hergenrother group in the fall of 2016 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a graduate student, where she aims to expand guidelines of small molecules that accumulate in the brain using novel natural product-like molecules. Aya currently serves as the co-chair of the Younger Chemists Committee of the East Central Illinois chapter and is passionate about community outreach and professional development.

Felicia Lim

Felicia Lim completed her BPharm (First Class Honours) from Curtin University, Australia in 2014 and earned her PhD in 2019 from Monash University working in Assoc. Prof. Anton Dolzhenko’s Laboratory of Organic & Medicinal Chemistry. In 2019, she joined Monash Malaysia working as a Researcher and NMR Specialist. Her research focuses on the development of practical methods for synthesis of potentially bioactive 1,3,5-triazine based purine isosteres. She was selected by IUPAC to represent element samarium on the Periodic Table of Younger Chemists and named the 2018 CAS Future Leader. In 2019, she established the ACS Monash Malaysia International Student Chapter.

Jennifer Miller

Jennifer graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in chemistry from Youngstown State University in 2016. Her thesis research as a Ph.D. candidate at Penn State has focused on designing reconfigurable nanoparticle assemblies towards tunable optical applications such as lasers and imaging systems. She has been awarded a Distinguished Graduate Fellowship and National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship. Jennifer is a passionate ambassador for science, and volunteers in several roles to provide science outreach to the community, mentor rising scientists, and encourage underrepresented individuals to pursue careers in STEM fields.

Amanda Patrick

Jennifer graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in chemistry from Youngstown State University in 2016. Her thesis research as a Ph.D. candidate at Penn State has focused on designing reconfigurable nanoparticle assemblies towards tunable optical applications such as lasers and imaging systems. She has been awarded a Distinguished Graduate Fellowship and National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship. Jennifer is a passionate ambassador for science, and volunteers in several roles to provide science outreach to the community, mentor rising scientists, and encourage underrepresented individuals to pursue careers in STEM fields.

Amy Solinski

Amy Solinski is a graduate student at Emory University (advisor: William Wuest). In the Wuest Lab, her thesis work is based on natural product-inspired molecules that are active against bacterial biofilm growth. She is from New Jersey and received her B.S in Chemistry from The College of New Jersey. She runs the social media accounts for the WCC (Women Chemist Committee) Chapter in Georgia and attends ACS Georgia Chapter events. She was recently awarded the 2019 WCC-Merck Research Award. She also was the Social and Networking Chair for the Emory Graduate Student Chapter of the Association for Women in Science.

Amy Stringer

Amy is a Forensic Science Masters student at Arcadia University. She has done research in biochemistry, forensic science and theoretical physical chemistry. She was raised in Monmouth County NJ, but now lives in Philadelphia, PA. She completed undergraduate course work in Biochemistry at Arcadia as well. She has worked for her university, Fox Chase Cancer Research center, Amazon and the Monmouth County Park System. Amy enjoy not only science but am proficient with a number of art mediums; painting, drawing, knitting and breeds parakeets.

Meredith Ward

Meredith is a chemist at ProVerde Laboratories in Milford, MA. She earned a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.S. in Chemistry from University of Massachusetts, Boston. Meredith currently holds the position of Chair-Elect for the Northeastern Section Younger Chemists Committee and has volunteered in a variety of outreach positions to inspire young scientists.

Alyssa Adcock

Currently a fifth-year chemistry graduate student at Georgetown University, Alyssa K. Adcock researches structure-property relationships of luminescent bismuth- and lanthanide-doped organic materials in Prof. Karah E. Knope’s group. She received her BS in chemistry from Jacobs University in Germany where she developed manganese- and iron-substituted polyoxotungstate complexes under Prof. Dr. Ulrich Kortz. After graduation, Alyssa hopes to apply her love of chemistry and passion for effective science communication with a career in science policy. She is a member of the ACS Graduate Education Advisory Board and outreach coordinator for Women in Science and Education (WISE) at Georgetown University.

Stacey Althaus

Stacey Althaus is a lab scientist at Aramco Services Company in Houston, Tx. She received her BS in chemistry at Winona State University and her PhD in physical chemistry at Iowa State University working in the research lab of Marek Pruski. Her PhD research focused on Solid State NMR of mesoporous catalysts. Her current research relates to adapting NMR measurements for the study of unconventional source rock plays. During her time in graduate school she was active in her local YCC and ISP chapters.

Julian Bobb

Julian was born and raised in Guyana, South America. Julian migrated to the United States at the age of sixteen. Julian received a B. Sc. in chemistry with a minor in mathematical sciences from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in 2013. Julian worked as an intern at Afton Chemical in Richmond, Virginia conducting bench testing to evaluate the physical properties of lubricants. Julian is a PhD candidate in the department of chemistry at VCU. His research advisor’s name is Dr. M. Samy El-Shall and his research is focused on the laser synthesis of nanomaterials for catalytic, water treatment, and energy conversion applications.

Treva Brown

Dr. Treva Brown received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of New Orleans in December 2017 and began her career as a physical scientist for the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in January 2018, focusing on microscopy characterizations of microbiologically influenced corrosion. Brown continues to play a prominent role in engaging students to pursue research opportunities beyond their undergraduate careers via sponsored programs and STEM outreach. Her determination to fulfill research goals has led to collaborations with local universities and other national laboratories, resulting in accelerating research goal attainment and assisting others in their research endeavors.

Nicole Burke

Nicole first discovered her passion for chemistry at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where she graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry in 2011. She went on to Purdue University, where she worked on a collaboration project between Dr. Scott A. McLuckey and Dr. Timothy S. Zwier. Her research focused on using cryogenic ion spectroscopy to understand the conformational preferences of biologically relevant peptides. After obtaining her Ph.D. in December 2015, Nicole accepted a position at Kellogg as an analytical chemist to develop their spectroscopy research program. Her interests include yoga, rock climbing, cooking, and spending time with her dogs.

Patrick Fedick

Patrick Fedick a is a New Jersey native who completed his undergraduate degrees at Monmouth University and is currently working towards his PhD at Purdue University. Under the guidance of Dr. R. Graham Cooks, Patrick primarily works on projects applying ambient ionization mass spectrometry. His working dissertation title is “Ambient Ionization Mass Spectrometry: Advances in Monitoring Clandestine Activities, Supporting the Warfighter, and Chemical Laboratory Education Redevelopment”. Upon graduating, Patrick will start his career as a civilian Naval chemist at the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in California.

Margaret Kocherga

Margaret Kocherga was born in Ukraine and moved to the US in 2009. She received an Associates of Science at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, NC. She earned a B.S. in Chemistry from UNC Charlotte in 2016. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Nanoscale Science at UNC Charlotte with a focus on organic and inorganic hybrid materials for organic electronics. She collaborates with K-12 teachers to develop STEM based curriculum units. She is also the Outreach Coordinator for the Association of Nanoscale Graduate Students at UNC Charlotte and local YCC co-chair.

Jana Markley

Jana earned her B.S. from Oklahoma State University in 2010, where she graduated as a Niblack Research Scholar and the Chemistry Department's Outstanding Senior. In 2010, she entered the graduate program at the University of Kansas and joined the laboratory of Prof. Paul Hanson, and her research focused on the development of phosphorus-based tether methods for the synthesis of polyol-containing natural products. After earning her Ph.D. (2016), Jana began a postdoctoral fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis in the laboratory of Assistant Professor Timothy Wencewicz, working on the development and biological evaluation of small molecule inhibitors of tetracycline-inactivating enzymes.

Jennifer Miller

Jennifer graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in chemistry from Youngstown State University in 2016. Her thesis research as a Ph.D. candidate at Penn State has focused on designing reconfigurable nanoparticle assemblies towards tunable optical applications such as lasers and imaging systems. She has been awarded a Distinguished Graduate Fellowship and National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship. Jennifer is a passionate ambassador for science, and volunteers in several roles to provide science outreach to the community, mentor rising scientists, and encourage underrepresented individuals to pursue careers in STEM fields.

Bailey Mourant

Bailey is a Medical Scientist for the University of Florida (UF) studying the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of emerging drugs active against infectious diseases. Bailey co-founded the first ever YCC local section in Orlando, FL and serves as an appointed chair for her ACS local section. She also plays an active role within the International Younger Chemists Network (IYCN) government team. Bailey received her B.S. from the University of Central Florida (UCF), where she was President and Vice President of her ACS student chapter.

Nnanake-Abasi Offiong

Nnanake-Abasi Offiong obtained his BSc and MSc degrees in Chemistry and Environmental Chemistry, respectively from the University of Uyo, Uyo, Nigeria. He has been involved in several activities for the advancement of the chemical science profession in Nigeria. Nnanake is a member of the International Younger Chemists Network (IYCN) and IUPAC 100 Management Committee; the committee responsible for coordinating activities for the centenary celebration of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) in Paris 2019. He is currently studying for a PhD degree at the College of New Energy and Environment, Jilin University, China.

Madalyn Radauer

Madalyn Radlauer loves doing and teaching chemistry. Her PhD at Caltech with Theodor Agapie involved designing, synthesizing, and testing bimetallic polymerization catalysts. Following that, she was a Dreyfus Environmental Chemistry Fellow with Marc Hillmyer at the University of Minnesota where, in addition to research in polymer chemistry, she was the co-lead for the Women in Science and Engineering Initiative. In August 2017, she joined the San Jose State University Chemistry Department as an Assistant Professor where her undergraduate and master’s research students study applications of polymers as scaffolds for inorganic catalysis.

Cassandra Resse

Cassandra M. Reese is a Ph.D. student in studying polymer science at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) working with Professor Derek Patton. Her works encompasses the design of surfaces exhibiting multifunctional chemistries and tunable morphologies. She received her B.A. in Chemistry from the University of San Diego in 2014. Cassandra is the President of the ACS Division of Polymer Chemistry and Polymeric Materials Science and Engineering at USM, where she manages professional development workshops, networking opportunities, and luncheons with invited speakers. Additionally, she was the President of the Women in Science and Engineering organization, encouraging women empowerment in STEM.

Ciely Shillingford

Cicely is a PhD Candidate and outreach enthusiast at NYU. A Canadian native, she received her B.S. from the University of Waterloo and is currently an NSF Fellow with a proven record of innovating research in materials chemistry. Cicely is a proud member of the ACS Chemical Marketing and Economics group and Younger Chemist’s Committee. She volunteers for several non-profits including the World Science Festival to organize events that instill students with a flair for invention and leadership. Cicely is an advocate for STEM diversity, a vibrant academic, and driven individual focused on learning new skills and making an impact.

Michael Vogel

For most of my life, Michael has been very focused on adding-value and maximizing impact by helping others. While an undergraduate, Michael was able to serve people through Habitat for Humanity by helping build homes in various cities in the country. Now as a proud member of the Philadelphia YCC, Michael has been able to continue that focus. Through YCC, Michael has been able to help plan local university poster sessions and volunteer by demonstrating chemistry to community members. Furthermore, Michael hopes to continue developing the skills necessary to give back to an organization that has given me so much.


Carolina Amador

Carolina D. Amador is currently a PhD student in bioorganic chemistry at University of Southern California (advisor Professor Charles E. Mckenna). Before moving to the US in 2014, Carolina performed her BS in biochemistry at the University of Aveiro in Portugal. In 2012 Carolina moved to Basel in Switzerland to perform her MS dissertational research at Roche Pharmaceuticals. Once in the US, she started developing other professional interests and passions, not only in bioorganic chemistry, but also in bringing and creating opportunities to the scientific graduate students community in the LA area, by joining Biotech Connection Los Angeles organization.

Nicole Bentz

Nicole is the incoming co-president of the ACS chemistry club at Saint Cloud State University. At Saint Cloud State University, she also serves on Husky Volunteers for Science, where she assists and instructs elementary students through scientific experiments. Nicole majors in Biochemistry, and anticipates graduating with a B.S. in Spring 2018.

Anushree Das

Anushree is an international student of Indian origin with M.Sc Degree in Chemistry from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. At the University of Cincinnati, Anushree is currently in her final year of graduate school pursuing physical organic chemistry research on visible light synthesis of natural product and its mechanistic study. She plan on graduating in spring 2017, after which she will continue with photochemistry as a career in research.

Jean Feng-Báez

Jean is a senior chemistry undergraduate student at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez and the 2015-2016 Vice President at the ACS UPR Mayagüez student chapter. He is currently performing research in the analytical & pharmaceutical field, but has two years' experience in biomedical research. He is also the School Visits Coordinator at the Science on Wheels Educational Center, providing scientific demonstrations at various schools throughout the island in order to spark an interest in science, as well as promote college studies.

Lindsay Johnson

Lindsay Johnson is a fifth-year graduate student from the University of Minnesota. Under the direction of Professor Marc Hillmyer, her Ph.D. work focuses on understanding the fundamentals of polymer-drug interactions in oral drug delivery systems. She completed her B.S. in Chemistry from Virginia Tech in 2012.

Se Ryeon Lee

Se Ryeon Lee is a research chemist in the polymer synthesis group at PPG, located in Pittsburgh, PA. She has a B.A. degree from Johns Hopkins University and Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor. After joining PPG in 2014, she has been in the electrodeposition coatings synthesis group specialized in industrial application. She is an active member of the R&D Diversity Council and volunteers at Carnegie Science Center. During free time, she likes to travel with her husband.

Caitlyn Mills

Caitlyn studied Forensic Science and Chemistry at the University of New Haven and received a B.S. degree in both fields. It was during this time that she truly found a passion for chemistry through research and internship experiences. As a Ph.D. candidate at Northeastern University, her research is in protein function annotation, where a set of computational methods developed in our lab are used to predict the catalytic residues/functional family of proteins and then tested biochemically. Outside of research, she is actively involved in the NSYCC, which has given me various opportunities to expand my network and numerous professional skills.

Stephanie Santos-Díaz

Stephanie earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Universidad de Puerto Rico (UPR) at Cayey in 2016. Early in her career, Stephanie demonstrated a strong commitment with community outreach. She was an active member of the UPR-Cayey’s ACS Student Chapter and was one of the founders of the ACS High School ChemClub at Colegio Bautista de Caguas, PR. As an undergraduate student, she was a member of the Science Education Research Group at UPR. Inspired by her work with research advisors Edgardo Ortiz-Nieves and Zuleika Medina, Stephanie decided to pursue a Ph.D. in Chemical Education at Purdue University.

Megan Schmale

Megan is currently a graduate student at the University of Cincinnati, studying heavy metal accumulation in biological systems. Megan is also serving as committee chair for the Younger Chemists Committee and Women Chemists Committee for my local Cincinnati section of ACS. Megan is highly motivated in furthering diversity and inclusion at my institution and beyond!

Raynold Shenje

Born in Zimbabwe, Raynold Shenje moved to the USA in 2007 to pursue science. In 2011, he enrolled in graduate studies at the Georgia Institute of Technology as a Cherry Emerson fellow. Raynold’s research dissertation focused on utilizing strained carbocycles as building blocks in novel synthetic methodologies and their application towards total synthesis of natural products. Recently, Raynold joined GlaxoSmithKline’s Heart Failure DPU as a medicinal chemist where is applying synthetic organic chemistry to drug discovery. Raynold is also part of the ACS and NOBCChE, in which he interested in diversity awareness as well as mentorship of young minorities.

Lukas Smaga

Lukas grew up in Germany and started studying Nanostructure and Molecular Sciences at the University of Kassel in 2008. He was a visiting researcher with Prof. Chris J. Chang at UC Berkeley where he worked on fluorescent probes. He subsequently returned to Kassel where he finished his diploma thesis with Prof. Rüdiger Faust working on the development of a light harvesting system for solar cells. In 2014 he joined the department of Chemistry at University of Illinois where he currently works on the development of photoacoustic probes for deep tissue imaging as a graduate student in Prof Jefferson Chan’s lab.

Lana Nitti

As an undergraduate student, Lana had the opportunity to undertake leadership roles on several occasions. Previously she served as the president to student chapter of Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) at Mohawk Valley Community College. Currently Lana is the vice president for the Utica College Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society. She has also served as a peer tutor and mentor during the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) Summer Institute.

Juliana Agudelo

Juliana Agudelo is a fourth year Ph.D. chemistry candidate at the University at Albany, SUNY, where she works in the Halámek laboratory. A native of Medellín, Colombia, Juliana moved to the United States in 2006, and earned a B.S. in biotechnology from Kean University. In 2013 she completed the Bridge to the Ph.D. program at Columbia University. Her research in the Halámek Lab focuses on the use of bioaffinity-based assays for quick and easily interpretable on-site analyses of blood at crime scenes. Juliana is the president of Atomic Danes, she is also an ACS science coach and chemistry ambassador.

Sarina Schwartz-Hinds

At BioRAFT, Sarina works on enterprise level safety, compliance, and training software for research institutions, including pharmaceutical companies, biotech organizations, and universities. In her role, she consults with customers to see how the product may fit their specific needs. She uses her chemistry research experience and knowledge to design software which makes safety and compliance an easier task for scientists. Sarina earned her M.S. in Chemistry from New York University, and her B.S. in Chemistry from Haverford College.

Jozef Stec

Jozef Stec, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at Marshall B. Ketchum University College of Pharmacy. Prior to his current position, Dr. Stec was an Assistant Professor at Chicago State University College of Pharmacy. He obtained M.Sc. (Honors) in Molecular and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology (Gdansk University of Technology); Ph.D. in Organic and Organometallic Chemistry (University of Southampton), and postdoctoral training in Synthetic Medicinal Chemistry (University of Illinois at Chicago). Dr. Stec’s research projects are in synthetic organic and modern medicinal chemistry. He teaches organic and medicinal chemistry to professional students in the classroom and research laboratory.

Alexandra Ormond

Dr. Alexandra (Sasha) Ormond teaches chemistry at Meredith College in Raleigh, NC. She has been highly involved with the NC local section of the ACS, and currently serves as an Alternate Councilor. For the past three years she has organized a NCACS outreach booth at the NC State Fair, held for 10 days each October at the Fairgrounds in Raleigh, NC. She is also the faculty advisor of the ACS student chapter at Meredith College, where students actively participate in outreach activities through NCACS.

Arianna Ahl

During high school I became interested in chemistry, but my experiences in college turned that interest into a passion. After graduating in December with a B.S in Chemistry with ACS concentration and minor in Mathematics, I worked in the Electronics Emerging Technologies department of H.B. Fuller. In April I was hired full time as an adhesives chemist in the North America’s Reactive division of H.B. Fuller. Outside of work, I spend my time volunteering, fishing, playing recreational sports, running to Dairy Queen, and knitting.

Catherine Rawlins

I was born in Minnesota and went to University of Wisconsin-Stout for undergrad, initially as an art major. After a circuitous journey, I eventually became a scientist and was captivated with being a researcher. My current research focuses on analytical imaging techniques to study ALS. I still love working in the lab, whether I am studying medicinal plants, green energy, or proteomics of the brain, I enjoy the engaging, hands-on aspects of being a scientist. Additionally, I have really enjoyed being involved with the Northeastern Section ACS community and the NSYCC which has opened doors to new experiences and opportunities.

Logan Miller

Logan Miller received his Chemistry B.S. from Slippery Rock University. Currently he is a fourth year chemistry Ph.D. student at Duquesne University. Logan is involved in committees with both SACP/SSP since 2013. He is currently President of Duquesne’s PLU. Logan is a founding member of Duquesne’s graduate student mass spectrometry committee that helps in overseeing operation of the mass spectrometry facility. He currently serves as the MS graduate assistant that manages daily operation of the facility. He is also currently serving as the secretary and Editor of the Pittsburgh Section of the ACS and has been a member since 2009.

Raymond Borg

I have been a General Member of the ACS since 2011 and I currently work in the Rochford lab as a MS student at The University of Massachusetts Boston. My research pertains to the design, synthesis, and photochemical characterization of quadrapolar curcuminoids for diagnostic photoacoustic imaging. Being an E-board member of the NSYCC for the last two years has allowed me to meet many professional goals. I am grateful to be a member of a committee that provides me with resources, opportunities and a network of people that continues to lead me in the direction of success.

Elizabeth Draganova

Elizabeth Draganova is a fifth year doctoral candidate at Georgia State University. She holds a Molecular Basis of Disease Fellowship for her work in Dr. Dabney Dixon’s lab on heme transport mechanisms in pathogenic bacteria. Elizabeth is an officer for the Graduate Student Alliance and has served as President of the Chemistry Graduate Student Association. Recently, she received the Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges Award and was awarded with Outstanding Professional Service at the Doctoral Level. Elizabeth enjoys mentoring students and wishes to pursue a career in STEM education, focusing on undergraduate research and teaching.

Karen Antonio

At the University of Notre Dame, Karen Antonio is a 5th year analytical chemistry graduate student working under the guidance Dr. Zachary Schultz. During her first year, she was awarded the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship on her proposal utilizing nonlinear Raman imaging techniques to monitor chemical interactions in cellular systems. Alongside of research, Karen is the 2014-15 President of the Association for Women in Science, Notre Dame Chapter and received the Sister Jean Lenz, O.S.F. Leadership Award from the Graduate School for her role in facilitating professional development and outreach activities towards promoting women in STEM fields.

Olivia Cromwell

I obtained my B.S. in chemistry from Gettysburg College in 2010 where I worked in Prof. Tim Funk’s laboratory. I also participated in two NSF REU programs at Clemson University and the University of Akron working with Prof. Dennis W. Smith, Jr, and Prof. George Newkome, respectively. I obtained my Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California, Irvine in 2015 where I worked on self-healing polymer materials in Prof. Zhibin Guan’s laboratory. In 2015, I began my current position at BASF in the Ph.D. Professional Development Program in the construction chemicals division in Beachwood, OH.

Sarah Boehm

Sarah earned a B.A. in chemistry with a physics minor from the College of the Holy Cross in 2011. As a chemistry Ph.D. candidate at Penn State, she studies nanoparticle assemblies. Her work contributes to an interdisciplinary collaboration that explores emergent optical and electronic properties of nanoparticle assemblies. Throughout her graduate school career, Sarah has strived not only to contribute innovative research to her field, but also to take on leadership roles that promote science literacy and encourage the next generation of scientists. While she teaches participants from all backgrounds and ages, she particularly enjoys mentoring at-risk high school student.

Kendra Leahy

I am a Cincinnati native with an ACS-certified Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati, where I am currently in my fourth year of graduate school doing green, organic chemistry research by using a solventless methodology to perform chemical transformations. I hope to graduate in Spring 2017, after which I will continue to pursue green chemistry as a career in academia or science policy.

Whitney Hess

Whitney Hess is a PhD candidate at MIT, focusing on emerging materials for low temperature, solution processed thin film solar cells in the lab of Professor Moungi Bawendi. Prior to MIT, she received a BS and MS in Chemistry from Idaho State University. Whitney is a strong advocate for women in the sciences and for improving the graduate student experience, serving as an active member and Co-President of MIT Women in Chemistry. She has also teamed up with a K-8 teacher in her local community as an ACS Science Coach to inspire an interest in science in the next generation.

Fathima Thowfeik

Fathima Shazna Thowfeik is a biochemist specializing in drug toxicology and cancer/cell biology. She is presently working on dissertation research, focusing on the biochemical mechanism of action and pharmacokinetics of novel anti-cancer compounds at University of Cincinnati. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Computational Chemistry at University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. She enjoys spending her free time doing volunteer event to make a difference in her community, and she also enjoys cooking new foods of different varieties.

Khanh Ha

Khanh was born in Viet Nam. In 2002, after graduating from Thai Nguyen School for Gifted Students, he was awarded a Scholarship by Ministry of Training and Education of Vietnam to study Chemical Engineering at Irkutsk State Technical University in Russia. In 2006, Khanh started his research at Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences as a Favorsky Scholar. Khanh then began his doctoral studies at UF in 2010. He has authored 8 peer-reviewed publications, along with presenting his papers at various national and international conferences. At UF, he has mentored more than 15 undergraduate students majoring in different disciplines.

Peter Frank

Peter is a doctoral candidate at the University of New Hampshire and is a Dissertation Year Fellow at Phillips Exeter Academy. Under the advisement of Dr. Erik Berda, Peter investigates the application of anthracene towards the synthesis and manipulation of single-chain polymer nanoparticles. Peter is passionate about nurturing the next generation of scientists. He is particularly eager to inspire more African-Americans, who are currently under-represented in STEM fields, to pursue interests in science. Peter was the 2014-2015 International Committee Chair on the board of directors for the National Society of Black Engineers serving over 31,000 STEM students and professionals worldwide.

Devonna Gatlin

DeVonna Monike’ Gatlin, is a third-year Ph.D student in Chemistry at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio. She is conducting research that investigates the photochemical behavior of molecular systems by using LASERs. Her hunger for expanding her knowledge in chemistry and research is robust. Yet, she believes furthering her career and professional portfolio is not only for her advantage but to also pave a path for future generations: youth, adults, and communities at large, especially for underrepresented individuals. The many challenges she has faced thus far have directly motivated her to do more, be more, and be an example for more.

Kyle Hart

Kyle graduated from Mercyhurst College in 2010 with a B.Sc. in Chemistry with minors in both Computational Science and Mathematics, and earned a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering in 2014 from Pennsylvania State University. He has 12 peer-reviewed research articles, over 20 conference presentations, and has received several research awards including the Separations Division Graduate Student Research Award (AIChE 2014) and The Chemical Computing Group Excellence Award for Graduate Students (ACS 2013). Kyle has since joined Dow Chemical in the Packaging and Specialty Plastics Materials Science R&D group and is working on delivering innovative and sustainable polyolefin products.

Caleb Archambault

Hello my name is Caleb James Archambault. I am a chemist working in quality control at par sterile products, a subsidiary of endo international. We primarily make many sterile injectable and ophthalmic products with new development on pre-filled syringes. In my free time I homebrew many styles of beer wine, cider, and soda. I also enjoy listening to music, reading science fiction novels, and playing computer games.

Graduate Leadership Developmental Award Winners

Sonya Adas

Sonya Adas, alumni of Ohio Northern University from Waterville, Ohio, is currently working on a Ph.D. in the field of Inorganic Chemistry at Kent State University. She chose this field due to the interdisciplinary nature. In graduate school she has worked on inorganic and organic synthesis and single-crystal X-ray diffraction. She is now working on a project investigating mechanisms of the reactive nitrogen species with vitamin B12 derivatives. She is very active in the Kent State University community, serving as a chemistry graduate student representative and graduate student mentor for the undergraduate ACS group.

Kolawole Ayinuola

Kola Ayinuola received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife Nigeria where he was President of the Students’ Chemical Society of Nigeria. He is presently a doctoral candidate in organic chemistry at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville where he is contributing to efforts aimed at developing an azole-based approach to a scalable and functional group-tolerant Ireland-Claisen rearrangement, under the direction of Dr. Matt McIntosh.

Nathaniel Beres

Nathaniel (Nate) R. Beres graduated in 2010 with a Ph.D. in Chemistry from The University of Akron, in Akron, OH, under Dr. Daniel Smith. His dissertation research was in synthesizing negative-temperature sensitive hydrogels based on LPEI. Nate is currently an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Heidelberg University in Tiffin, OH. He enjoys getting young students interested in science and is working on a program to begin water testing through an ACS Innovation Grant. In his free time, Nate enjoys spending time with his wife, Joanna, and son, Alexander.

Hayley Brown

Hayley Brown is a Senior Chemist in the Performance Plastics R&D group of Dow Chemical. Hayley began her career with Dow in 2013, focusing on the development of novel polyethylene and polyethylene-based materials. Supported as a Gabilan Stanford Graduate Fellow and Dow Chemical Graduate Fellow, Hayley completed her PhD under the advisement of Robert M. Waymouth at Stanford after obtaining her BS degree in Chemistry with High Honors as a HHMI Undergraduate Research Fellow at New Mexico State University.

Jonathan Clark

I’m Jonathan Clark. I chair the Puget Sound Section’s Younger Chemists Committee. I also am the editor for ‘The Puget Sound Chemist,’ which is the Puget Sound section’s monthly newsletter. I have my BS in Chemistry from Western Washington University. I joined the American Chemical Society and became involved with the Puget Sound section as a way to network with chemists and to contribute to my local community. I look forwards to becoming more active with the ACS!

Margaret Grow

Dr. Margaret Grow graduated with her BS in Chemistry from Villanova University and went directly on to graduate school at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), where she synthesized biofunctionalized dendritic gold nanoparticles for pancreatic cancer chemotherapy and received her PhD in Chemistry in 2012. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Morgan State University where she is synthesizing organic cyanine dyes for pathogen detection using microwave synthetic techniques. Outside of chemistry, she loves to be active outside, playing sports and running. She recently got married and lives in Baltimore with her husband and their two cats.

Amy Hixon

Amy E. Hixon is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences at the University of Notre Dame. She has expertise in the fate and transport of the actinide elements, specifically focusing on how processes at the mineral-water interface control actinide behavior. Her specific research interests include the development of comprehensive and mechanistically-accurate surface- complexation models for actinide sorption to solid phases.

Shan Jiang

Dr. Shan Jiang got his Ph.D. from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, under Prof. Steve Granick. Upon graduation, he furthered his study at MIT Langer lab as a postdoc. In Year 2013, he joined the Dow Chemical Company as a senior engineer. Dr. Jiang has published 1 US patent and 30 peer reviewed articles on journals including Science, Nature Biotechnology, Physical Review Letters and Advanced Materials. His research has been cited more than 1000 times. He is the chief editor for book Janus particle synthesis, assembly and applications. Dr. Jiang was awarded with Racheff-Intel Award for Outstanding Graduate Research.

Felicia Lucci

Felicia Lucci is a graduate student at Tufts University where her research focuses on understanding surface catalysed reactions for industrially important processes. Her involvement in the chemistry community emphasizes empowerment of the general public and young chemists to make decisions based on scientific fact. As chair-elect of the Northeastern Section Younger Chemist Committee, she works to enhance the career development of young chemists in the Greater Boston Area. In 2011, she received her BA in chemistry from Franklin & Marshall College.

Whalmany Ounkham

Whalmany Linglee Ounkham received her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry degree from California State University, Fresno. She is currently a Ph.D in Chemistry candidate at the University of Nevada, Reno. She conducts research under Dr. Brian J. Frost synthesizing and investigating the applications of water-soluble ruthenium phosphine complexes for aqueous phase catalysis. She is currently the Community Outreach Coordinator of the recently established LSYCC of the Sierra Nevada.

Ivona Sasimovich

Currently Ivona works as Development chemist at International Flavors and Fragrances Inc. She studied chemistry at Drexel University of Philadelphia. After being an a board of ACS Drexel Chapter she joined YCC of Greater Philadelphia area. She is working with fellow committee members to organize events for all the individuals who are fascinated by chemistry. She is passionate about all the projects she takes on in both her professional and personal life.

Michael Tarselli

Mike Tarselli works for Novartis Institutes of BioMedical Research in Cambridge, MA. He bridges the gap between computer programmers and bench scientists to create new chemistry informatics solutions. Mike holds a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and worked as a postdoctoral scholar at The Scripps Research Institute. His previous leadership roles include ACS New Haven Chair-Elect, conference chair and organizer positions (RMC 2008, SRF 2010, NERM 2013), Advisory Board memberships (ACS, WNPR, UMass Alumni), and multiple outreach and volunteer experiences. Mike's interests include science writing, music, public speaking, football, and good coffee.

Thomas Umile

Thomas P. Umile is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Gwynedd Mercy University. His academic interests include natural products isolation, chemical ecology, catalysis, green chemistry, and sustainability. Dr. Umile received his BS from The University of Scranton and his PhD from Princeton University, and he completed postdoctoral work at Villanova University. He is currently active in the planning council for the Philadelphia LS YCC.

Lauren Weinrich

Lauren Weinrich is a doctoral candidate at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA researching the impacts of desalination pretreatment on organic and biological fouling of reverse osmosis membranes. She also works in the Innovation and Environmental Stewardship department at American Water. Her current research targets development applications for fluorescence and bioluminescence monitoring for organic contaminants in drinking water. Ms. Weinrich is a member of the American Water Works Association, Standard Methods Joint Task Group, and Water Management delegation president for the German American Chamber of Commerce. She is an active volunteer in the Philadelphia section of the ACS Younger Chemists Committee.

Xiaoning Zhang

I am chemistry professional with passions for teaching and research. I have experience in surface chemistry, biochemistry and nanochemistry. I am interested in applying my knowledge to address questions and develop new applications. I graduated from the University of Kentucky, KY, in 2013 followed by two postdoc trainings in Marshall University, WV and in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC, separately. I am currently an assistant professor of chemistry in the Department of Mathematics, Sciences & Technology at Paine College, where I lead courses of organic chemistry, environmental science fundamentals, and chemistry seminar.

Undergraduate Leadership Awards

  • Tess Clinkingbeard
    Western Washington University
  • Jesse Kidd
    Concord University
  • Christopher Colomier
    Seton Hall University
  • Annabelle Lolinco
    California State University, Fresno
  • Gloria De La Garza
    Valdosta State University
  • Marco Lopez
    East Los Angeles College
  • Theresa Dierker
    University of Detroit Mercy
  • Raul Martinez-Quinones
    University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedra
  • Nina Diklich
    Aquinas College
  • Calla McCulley
    University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Christian Gaetano
    Duquesne University
  • Maria Philip
    Birmingham-Southern College
  • Jack Henderson
    University of Colorado Denver
  • Kelsey Richards
    Tennessee Technological University
  • Christopher Jackson
    Saint Edward's University
  • Monica Sanchez
    Los Angeles Trade Technical College

Graduate Leadership Developmental Award Winners

Thomas Crouzier

Thomas Crouzier has received his Ph.D. from the University of Montpellier (France) and is now a Marie Curie postdoctoral fellow in the Biological Engineering department of MIT. His research is focused on the assembly of natural polymers for biomedical applications. He has authored 17 publications in international peer-reviewed journals, two book chapters and has three patents applications pending. Thomas is the recipient of the 2013 French biophysics society Young Researcher Award. He is also the 2012–2013 president of the MIT postdoctoral association, a postdoc-led organization dedicated to improving the postdoctoral experience of the 1400 MIT postdocs.

Christopher Cunningham

Dr. Cunningham is an Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Concordia University Wisconsin School of Pharmacy. He earned his B.S. in Chemistry and Germanic Studies Cum Laude, from the University of Maryland, College Park. As a Doctoral Fellow, he earned his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in 2008. His dissertation focused on elucidating mechanisms of tolerance development to opioid analgesics. He conducted postdoctoral research with the Specialized Chemistry Center at the University of Kansas from 2008–2011. His current research interests lie in the design and synthesis of probes of opioid and cannabinoid pharmacology.

Anthony Estrada

Anthony Estrada graduated with a B.S. degree (Summa cum Laude) from the University of La Verne in 2003. He obtained his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from UCSD in 2008 under the supervision of Professor K. C. Nicolaou. Anthony currently works in the Discovery Chemistry Department at Genentech, Inc. He is an author on 18 publications, and co-inventor on two granted and ten published patents. He has served as Chemistry Team Leader on multiple programs, including LRRK2, which resulted in the first publically disclosed series of potent, selective and brain-penetrant LRRK2 inhibitors suitable for Parkinson’s disease pre-clinical studies.

Pedro Flores Gallardo

Pedro Flores Gallardo has a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Minnesota State University, Moorhead. He is currently employed at Pima Community College, East Campus as Chemistry Laboratory Specialist, and also acting as co-advisor for the newly formed chemistry club. He is actively involved in science outreach activities in the community, the local ACS section and promoting STEM fields among students through events and groups or one-on-one discussions, especially with Hispanic students who are first generation college students and/or have undecided majors.

Krystal Fontenot

Krystal R. Fontenot obtained her B.S. degree in Chemistry from Southern University in 2007 and was the recipient of Student Research of the Year Natural Science Award. She went on to receive her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Louisiana State University in 2012, where she was awarded the National Science Foundation Bridge-to-Doctoral Fellowship. Her area of expertise includes organic chemistry, peptide chemistry, and in vitro studies. Currently, she holds the position of Research Chemist/Post-doc at the USDA in New Orleans and her research focuses on non-halogenated flame retardants that are durable and water-soluble for cotton textiles.

Matthew Grandbois

Matt Grandbois is an Associate Research Scientist within the Engineering & Process Sciences Organization of Core R&D for The Dow Chemical Company. He received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Minnesota and holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Chemistry (ACS) and Music Performance (Percussion) from Augustana College (Sioux Falls, SD). Matt was a 2008 Fulbright Scholar to the Norwegian Institute of Science & Technology (NTNU – Trondheim) where he studied globalization and its effect on technology in modern society.

Tiffany Gustafson

Dr. Gustafson completed a B.A. in chemistry at Coe College in 2004, before obtaining her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Denver in 2010 under the mentorship of Professor Andrei Kutateladze. Her graduate studies focused on the design of ultra-sensitive fluorescence photoamplification assays, and developed a strong interest in fundamental research with a translational biomedical focus. Her interest in translational biomedical chemistry-based research has led her to her current position in the Wooley Lab at Texas A&M University, where she leads the development and in vivo evaluation of polymeric nanostructured optical probes as theranostic platforms.

James Harrington

Dr. James Harrington has coordinated the National Chemistry Week activities for the North Carolina Section of the American Chemical Society since 2011, in addition to other public outreach activities. Dr. Harrington is a Research Chemist in RTI International’s Environmental and Industrial Sciences Division. In this capacity, he contributes to development of the pharmaceutical heavy metals testing program and other strategic areas of interest to RTI’s Trace Inorganics Department (TID). He has previously performed research with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on trace metal bioavailability in contaminated soils and on small molecule–metal interactions during his postdoctoral and doctoral studies.

E. Ben Hay

E. Ben Hay is a fifth year Ph.D. candidate at the University of Pittsburgh, advised by Dennis Curran. His thesis will involve work on sulfonyl radical chemistry and the rearrangements of vinylcyclopropanes. He is interested in the fundamental understanding of organic chemistry and using chemical tools to solve real-world problems.

Joseph Houck

Joe graduated in 2013 with a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Virginia under Dr. Timothy Macdonald. His dissertation research was synthesizing inhibitors of the sphingosine kinases as anticancer agents. He is currently fulfilling his passion for teaching as a Lecturer in Chemistry at the University of Maryland College Park. In graduate school, he volunteered teaching hands-on science lessons in local elementary school classrooms and plans to start a similar program at UMCP. A native of Pennsylvania, Joe enjoys hiking with his wife, Emma, and dog, Tildi.

Kirill Kovnir

Kirill Kovnir is an Assistant Professor at University of California, Davis since 2011. His main research interests are in the broad field of solid state and materials chemistry with emphasis on energy-related applications. He was born in Kirovograd, Ukraine in 1980. He received M.S. and Ph.D. in 2001 and 2004 with Prof. A. V. Shevelkov in the Lomonosov Moscow State University. He broadened his scientific horizons by postdoctoral research with Prof. Yu. Grin (MPI for Chemical Physics of Solids, Dresden), Prof. R. Schlögl (Fritz-Haber-Institute of the MPS, Berlin) and Prof. M. Shatruk (Florida State University, Tallahassee).

Charity Lovitt

As an educator, Charity specializes in teaching science to non-scientists. She volunteers in the Science Interpretation program at the Pacific Science Center and with the American Chemical Society. Charity currently directs a grant for the local (Puget Sound) section of the American Chemical Society on Climate Change Communication for Chemists, a series of workshops and events to help chemists learn the science of climate change and develop activities to teach these principles to non-scientists. Charity's research uses quantum mechanical methods to apply bonding paradigms to predict reactivity in transition metal complexes.

John McKeen

John McKeen is an Associate Research Scientist in Dow Solar and part of the team that commercialized Dow’s revolutionary POWERHOUSE™ solar shingle. John began his career with Dow in 2009, completing projects in Core R&D, Water and Process Solutions, and Electronic Materials. John, a Hertz and NSF fellow, completed his Ph.D. under the advisement of Mark E. Davis at Caltech, a MSEE degree under the advisement of C. Daniel Frisbie and P. Paul Ruden at the University of Minnesota and B.S. degrees in Chemical Engineering and Electrical Engineering, Summa cum Laude with High Honors at the University of Minnesota.

Eugenia S. Narh

Eugenia S. Narh received her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Armstrong Atlantic State University where she was president of the Student Affiliates of the ACS and received the Outstanding Chemistry Senior Academic Achievement Award. She then completed a yearlong internship at EMD Chemicals in Savannah, Georgia. Currently a chemistry doctoral student in the MacDonnell Lab at UT Arlington, her research comprises of synthesis and characterization of ruthenium(II) polypyridyl complexes and investigation of their biological activity as promising anticancer drugs. She is presently the vice president of the Chemistry Graduate Students Association and member of the Graduate Student Senate.

Jennifer Schmitt

Jennifer Schmitt was born in College Station, Texas. She received her B.S. in Chemistry from Stevenson University, where she developed her skills as a facilitator and manager through student leadership. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Chemistry at the University of Nevada, Reno. She works for Dr. Jason Shearer, where she studies the formation and reactivity of a novel Fe-peroxynitrite species. She is an active board member of the Chemistry Graduate Student Association (CGSA). Recently, her goals include setting up the LSYCC, as well as increasing our community outreach for the sciences.

Elizabeth Stone

Elizabeth A. Stone is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Iowa. Her research on the composition and sources of particles in the atmosphere lies at the intersection of analytical, environmental and organic chemistry. She serves as Secretary of the local Iowa chapter of the ACS and leads education and outreach initiatives centered on communicating the scientific principles of climate change and local environmental issues.

Phumvadee (Beau) Wangtrakuldee

Phumvadee (Beau) Wangtrakuldee is a Ph.D. candidate in the field of biochemistry and medicinal chemistry at Northern Illinois University. Her two current projects are focused on discovery of methionine aminopeptidases (MetAPs) inhibitors against Burkholderia pseudomallei and Plasmodium falciparum towards generating novel antibacterial and antimalarial agents. Previously, Beau served as a research intern at Michigan State University investigating ways to improve the total synthesis of Phomactin B2, a known anticonvulsant compound. She also worked as a research intern at Kalsec Inc. conducting various food chemistry experiments, overlooking HPLC sample analysis and performing synthesis of iso-α-acid standard (ICS-13) for the international brewing committee.

Undergraduate Leadership Awards

  • Adebanjo Adedoja
    University Of Louisiana at Monroe
  • Christopher Albright
    Saint Francis University
  • Dominick Alton
    University of Detroit Mercy
  • Bayan Baker
    Sarah Lawrence College
  • Sara Dampf
    University of New Haven
  • Keith Frogue
    Pasadena City College
  • Austin Green
    Texas Christian University
  • Caitlyn Hazlett
    University of Oregon
  • Lauren McCarthy
    University of Florida
  • Lydia Mensah
    Xavier University of Louisiana
  • Ana Perez
    East Los Angeles College
  • Richa Rana
    Rutgers University
  • Alex Rizo
    University of Michigan-Flint
  • Megan Schoenberger
    St. John's University
  • Mary Waddington
    Kent State Univeristy
  • Amber Williamson
    Catawba College