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Chemistry Major Among New Stamps Scholars for 2022

Posted on: November 9th, 2022 by nhammer

Stamps Scholars are selected based on academic excellence, leadership experience and exceptional character. UM freshmen in the Class of 2026 cohort are (front, from left) Mary-del Jansen, Amber Amis and Ryleigh Johnson; (second row) Yasmine Ware, Olivia Bacon and Dymond Mitchell; (third row) Jasmine Sanders, Layla Ashley, Carolena Graham and McKenzie Cox; and (fourth row) Ethan Roberts, Hayden Walker and Andrew Nichols. Photo by Bill Dabney/UM Foundation

The Stamps Scholars Program awards scholarships based on academic excellence, leadership experience and exceptional character. The program awarded 247 scholarships this year to students at 31 partner institutions across the U.S. and the United Kingdom.  Jasmine Sanders, a biochemistry major from Prosper, Texas, is one of the 13 new scholars.

The new class brings the number of Stamps Scholars at Ole Miss to 58, making the university the second-largest in the program.

At UM, each scholarship covers the full cost of attendance, along with a $12,000 stipend for enrichment activities such as study abroad, academic conferences and leadership training.

The complete roster of freshmen UM Stamps Scholars is:

  • Amber Amis, an economics major from Clinton
  • Layla Ashley, a public policy leadership major from Chicago
  • Olivia Bacon, an English major from Atlanta
  • McKenzie Cox, a journalism major from Concord, North Carolina
  • Carolena Graham, a civil engineering major from Columbus
  • Mary Jansen, a mechanical engineering major from Brandon
  • Ryleigh Johnson, an international studies major from Olive Branch
  • Dymond Mitchell, a sociology major from Prosper, Texas
  • Andrew Nichols, a public policy leadership major from Monroe, North Carolina
  • Ethan Roberts, an engineering major from Paducah, Kentucky
  • Jasmine Sanders, a biochemistry major from Prosper, Texas
  • Hayden Walker, a public policy leadership and engineering major from Oxford
  • Yasmine Ware, an international studies major from Madison

Ashleen Williams, a fellow in the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, serves as an academic mentor for the scholars. She said that this year’s class is poised to do great things.

“I hope that they will learn to ask big questions and seek answers to them, and to extend their ideas of what is possible,” Williams said.

Georgia native Roe Stamps and his late wife, Penny, launched the Stamps Scholarship in 2006. Though Penny Stamps died in 2018, her legacy continues through the Stamps Scholars community, which has grown into an international network of more than 2,600 scholars and alumni.

“The Stamps family and organization are true partners in helping identify students that want to think creatively and solve big problems,” said Katie Morrison, director of foundation relations and strategic partnerships at UM. “What we have been able to grow together – a supportive scholar community that enriches our whole campus culture – is a testament to what higher education should deliver.

“We appreciate their investment that has made the Ole Miss program the second-largest Stamps Scholars collective. Our students live out their dreams because of Roe and Penny Stamps’ vision and generosity.”

For more about this class of Stamps Scholars, visit https://www.stampsscholars.org/. To learn more about supporting scholarship programs at UM, contact Morrison at katie@olemiss.edu.

STEM Facility Construction Nears Halfway Point

Posted on: November 1st, 2022 by nhammer

Largest academic building in university history to feature innovative lab spaces, TEAL classrooms

The Jim and Thomas Duff Center for Science and Technology Innovation, in the university’s Science District, is on track to open in fall 2024. Construction began a year ago and is approaching the halfway point.

 

Imagine standing in the atrium of the largest academic building in the history of the University of Mississippi‘s main campus. Looking up, four floors of laboratories and lecture halls are all dedicated to increasing STEM student success and teaching.

This vision is quickly becoming a reality as the Jim and Thomas Duff Center for Science and Technology Innovation is approaching 50% complete, and on track to open in fall 2024.

“This space will be a fantastic space,” said Chad Hunter, associate university architect. “It’s an incredible building because of its function, but also simply because of its size.”

The 202,000 square-foot facility will support science, technology, engineering and math-related endeavors at the university. It will include classrooms with low student-instructor ratios, as well as state-of-the-art undergraduate lab spaces. The building is anticipated to be one of the nation’s top facilities for STEM education.

Kurt Shettles, president and CEO of McCarty Architects, is the project’s architect of record. He said the center stands out among other buildings at Ole Miss because of its interdisciplinary nature and the broad audience that it will serve.

It is unique in many ways, one of which is the teaching style that it supports.

The Duff Center will include more than 50 TEAL classrooms, traditional labs and classrooms to accommodate some 2,000 students at a time. The building will be equipped with technology to support a range of teaching methods and support interactive learning.

 

“We’ve used the term ‘Swiss watch’ when referencing the science labs in the building,” Shettles said. “They are extremely intricate and designed for flexible teaching pedagogy.

“We have ‘TEAL’ classrooms, which are technology-enabled active learning classrooms. They support a different method of instruction with less lecture and more demonstration and participation. The students learn through the technology and the process of interacting and collaborating with each other, while the professor is more of a participant in that process, as opposed to just standing in front of the classroom lecturing.”

The Center for Science and Technology Innovation will include more than 50 TEAL classrooms, traditional labs and classrooms to accommodate some 2,000 students at any given hour throughout the day, Hunter said. It will also have a dedicated center for success and supplemental instruction, study rooms, a food service venue, more than 60 faculty offices and a 3D visualization lab, which is like a small IMAX theater.

The building is in the heart of the UM Science District. Construction is presently focused on the exterior – tasks such as installing windows, weatherproofing, waterproofing and laying brick. Once the exterior walls and roof are completed in the next couple of months, construction will begin on interior walls and finishes.

Cristiane Surbeck, chair and professor of civil engineering, can see the construction from her office window. She is eagerly anticipating the opening, which will have a major impact on her department.

“I’ve been taking a photo of it almost every day,” Surbeck said. “It’s going to provide a big upgrade to the teaching spaces that we have now. There’s going to be a specific room for civil engineering students to work on their senior design projects. It’s laid out for them to be able to work together in a space that is dedicated just for them.

“We are also going to have a water resources engineering and environmental engineering teaching lab that our students are really going to be able to take advantage of. It can even be shared among different departments if they have students who are doing experiments with water and environmental pollutants.”

The center will be an asset to the university community – especially its students, Surbeck said.

Among the many features of the Duff Center is an environmental engineering teaching lab that will provide a major resource for civil engineering students and anyone conducting experiments with water and environmental pollutants.

 

“I’m proud that we will have such a modern building that we are going to use to educate our engineering students,” she said. “I believe our engineering students are going to feel the same way. They are going to feel confident to go out and practice as engineers, having been educated in a such a high-quality facility.”

A new animated walk-through of the building’s interior gives viewers a better sense of the layout.

“You can see all four floors from the atrium; you can orient yourself by standing in it,” Hunter said. “The laboratories also have large windows, so you can observe what’s going on inside.

“It was designed this way on purpose to promote collaborative and interdisciplinary teaching and learning.”

Shettles said he hopes that once the center opens, students will find a home there.

“As designers, the best compliment we could receive would be to see students using this building even if they don’t have a class there,” he said. “We would love it to be a hangout destination for students simply because of the quality of the interior and exterior spaces, and because it promotes engagement and collaboration.”

Brothers Jim and Thomas Duff, of Hattiesburg, have committed $26 million to the construction of the building. The total project cost is $175 million, with $135 million in construction expenses.

Hunter has been part of the project since it was first imagined some 10 years ago.

“It’s a major honor to be part of this project,” he said. “To work so long on something and then seeing it actually being built is amazing.”

Click here for the original story.

Chemistry Major Named 2022 Mentee for the Toxicology Mentoring Skills Development and Training Program

Posted on: October 4th, 2022 by nhammer

First-generation student Ember Suh, a senior chemistry major at the University of Mississippi, has been named a 2022 mentee for Toxicology Mentoring Skills Development and Training, a program that bolsters underrepresented populations in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. The program will allow the Southaven native to discover different applications of toxicology – the study of diagnosing and treating exposure to toxins – and find the niche she is most passionate about, Suh said. A member of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honor College majoring in forensic chemistry, Suh said she hopes to use the skills she picks up to help make a real-world impact on communities around her. 

Ember Suh, a senior forensic chemistry major, has been named a 2022 mentee for the Toxicology Mentoring Skills Development and Training program. The Southaven native hopes to use the skills she picks up to make a real-world impact on communities around her and to encourage other minorities to consider STEM career fields. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

“I actually was interested in lead being found in drinking water and other chemicals in water supplies in the past,” Suh said. “I became interested in that because I wanted to do something about the Jackson and Flint water crises.” 

Suh took a toxicology class in 2021 under Kristine Willett, professor of pharmacology and environmental toxicology and chair of the Department of Biomolecular Sciences, in 2021. It was Willett who encouraged Suh to apply for the mentorship program.

“She stuck out among her classmates because she got a 100% on everything – nobody gets a 100 on everything,” Willett said.

As a part of the program, Suh will attend a workshop at the University of California at Davis, meet monthly with her mentor and, if successful, be awarded a certificate of completion at Tuskegee University.

Each participant in the 2022 class of 25 mentees is assigned a mentor in their field of study. Suh will shadow Mike Peterson in his role as a principal at Gradient, an environmental and risk sciences consulting firm. 

Having an assigned mentor helps to bridge cultural gaps in education while alleviating some of the burden on underrepresented groups, Willett said.

“If you’re a first-generation or underrepresented student, you may not know all of the options,” Willett said. “If you happen to have one good mentor, they can do that for you. But that’s more of a luck, positional and potentially privileged thing.

“This will build community and help participants see the diversity of career pathways and options.” 

Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Toxicology MSDT program provides career development opportunities for students of underserved backgrounds in the field, where there is a “critical lack” of diversity, the program’s description cites.

Eden Tanner, an Ole Miss assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, said she has noted a lack of diversity in STEM fields, and that the lack of different voices in research can have real-world effects, particularly on underserved populations.

“Diverse teams are more creative, better at their jobs, and they’re better at science,” Tanner said. “A lot of what we do stems from that diversity. A lot of the great ideas that our teams have happened because team members bring different life experiences to the table.

“… The critical lack of diversity in many fields, including toxicology, has hugely deleterious effects on people, and it goes some way to explaining health disparities.” 

Suh’s parents emigrated from South Korea in the 1990s. Growing up as a second-generation American and first-generation student, Suh said her South Korean background has influenced how she communicates with professors and peers.

“I’m still having problems talking with mentors and professors,” she said. “I think it’s a part of South Korean culture. If there’s someone older than us or in a higher position than us, we’re supposed to respect them.

“I think because of that mindset, I’ve been nervous talking to people older than me and in a higher position than me, especially professors. I think I’m still trying to find a way to relate to them and talk comfortably with them.” 

This problem is rampant among many underserved populations, Tanner said. Not having generational knowledge about higher education – how to apply for scholarships and graduate schools, different fields of study available, even not knowing about office hours – means some students never take advantage of university resources.

Finding a good mentor, someone who can open doors for students and nurture their passions, is at best a matter of luck, and at worst a matter of privilege, Tanner said. Programs such as Toxicology MSDT take luck out of the equation by partnering students with mentors directly.

As a toxicologist, Suh hopes to continue advocating for minority and underprivileged populations.

During her graduate research, Suh said she wants to analyze airborne pollutants in the Memphis area. This interest arose after she heard of a recent finding of an EPA-classified carcinogen in the air there, she said. 

“They may not know all of the resources they might have,” Suh said. “Having someone they can look to is one of the reasons I wanted to go into toxicology.”

OPEN POSITION: Assistant Professor of Chemistry (ORGANIC CHEMISTRY)

Posted on: September 20th, 2022 by nhammer

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Mississippi, in Oxford, Mississippi, invites applications for a tenure track faculty position at the ASSISTANT PROFESSOR level in the area of ORGANIC CHEMISTRY to begin August 2023.

Individuals with expertise in any area of organic chemistry, including those complementing active research programs in the Department, are strongly encouraged to apply.

Applicants must have a Ph.D. and relevant postdoctoral experience in chemistry or a closely related field. The Department has 17 tenured and tenure-track faculty, 6 teaching faculty, and a vibrant graduate Ph.D. program. Construction of a new $175M STEM education facility on campus is underway that will foster interdisciplinary opportunities to fulfill our commitment to inclusive excellence in chemical education. The successful candidate is expected to establish a nationally recognized, externally funded research program; provide mentorship for graduate and undergraduate researchers; perform service to the department, college, and university; and demonstrate excellence in teaching.

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until an adequate applicant pool is established. Applications must be submitted online (https://careers.olemiss.edu) and should include a cover letter, a current CV, research plans, and a teaching philosophy statement.

Because the University of Mississippi is committed to building an inclusive and diverse university community as outlined in its Pathways to Equity plan (https://chancellor.olemiss.edu/pathways-to-equity), applicants should specify within their application how their teaching, scholarship, and service will contribute to a diverse and inclusive community. During the online application process, applicants will be prompted to provide the names and email addresses of three professional references that will provide letters of recommendation.

The University of Mississippi has a Carnegie classification of R1 and is rated a “Great Colleges to Work For” by the Chronicle of Higher Education. The University of Mississippi is an EOE / AA / Minority / Female / Vet / Disability / Sexual Orientation / Gender Identity / Title VI / Title VII / Title IX / 504 / ADA /ADEA employer

 

About the University of MS & Oxford, MS

Founded in 1848, the University of Mississippi (UM), affectionately known to alumni, students and friends as Ole Miss, is Mississippi’s flagship university. Included in the elite group of R-1: Doctoral Universities – Highest Research Activity by the Carnegie Classification, it has a long history of producing leaders in public service, academics and business. The University of Mississippi, consistently named by The Chronicle of Higher Education as a “Great College to Work For,” is located in Oxford, MS, which is ranked one of the “Top 10 Best College Towns.” With more than 24,000 students, UM is the state’s largest university and is ranked among the nation’s fastest-growing institutions. The University of Mississippi, which has aggressively implemented many health and wellness initiatives for its more than 2,900 employees, has consistently been named one of Mississippi’s Healthiest Workplaces.

Touted as the “Cultural Mecca of the South”, creativity abounds in Oxford as musicians, artists and writers alike find inspiration in Oxford’s rich history, small town charm and creative community. Oxford is a one-hour drive south of Memphis, TN and is known as the home of Nobel Prize winning author William Faulkner. Over the years Oxford has also been known for offering exceptional culinary experiences and as the home of the University of Mississippi and the Ole Miss Rebels, there is always something here to immerse yourself in. Oxford has also been featured as a literary and arts destination in such publications as The New York Times, Southern Living, Condé Nast Traveler, and GQ. Among other cultural activities, annual events include the Oxford Film Festival, a thriving local music scene, and the Ford Center Performing Arts Series. Oxford is a vibrant university town, filled with unique shops and galleries, eclectic restaurants and clubs, historic landmarks, and comfortable inns.

 

OPEN POSITION: Assistant Professor of Chemistry (CHEMICAL EDUCATION)

Posted on: September 20th, 2022 by nhammer

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Mississippi, located in Oxford, Mississippi, invites applications for a tenure track faculty position at the ASSISTANT PROFESSOR level in the area of CHEMICAL EDUCATION to begin in August 2023. Areas of specialization could include but are not limited to pedagogy, inclusive teaching practices, STEM outreach, assessment and other themes related to inclusive pedagogy in chemistry. Applicants must have a Ph.D. in chemistry or a closely related field as well as relevant professional experience after obtaining the doctoral degree.

The Department has 17 tenured and tenure-track faculty, 6 teaching faculty, and a vibrant graduate Ph.D. program. Construction of a new $175M STEM education facility on campus is underway that will foster interdisciplinary opportunities to fulfill our commitment to inclusive excellence in chemical education. The successful candidate is expected to establish a nationally recognized, externally funded research program; provide mentorship for graduate and undergraduate researchers; perform service to the department, college, and university; and demonstrate excellence in teaching.

Review of applications will begin October 17, 2022 and will continue until an adequate applicant pool is established. Applications must be submitted online (https://careers.olemiss.edu) and should include a cover letter, a current CV, research plans, and a teaching philosophy statement. Because the University of Mississippi is committed to building an inclusive and diverse university community as outlined in its Pathways to Equity plan (https://chancellor.olemiss.edu/pathways-to-equity), applicants should specify within their application how their teaching, scholarship, and service will contribute to a diverse and inclusive community. During the online application process, applicants will be prompted to provide the names and email addresses of three professional references that will provide letters of recommendation. The University of Mississippi has a Carnegie classification of R1 and is rated a “Great Colleges to Work For” by the Chronicle of Higher Education. The University of Mississippi is an EOE / AA / Minority / Female / Vet / Disability / Sexual Orientation / Gender Identity / Title VI / Title VII / Title IX / 504 / ADA /ADEA employer.

This tenure-track position is included in the University of Mississippi, College of Liberal Arts multi-year faculty cluster hire initiative. This initiative is designed to expand our understanding of multicultural competence in a number of areas including, among others to be named in future years: successful, effective, and ethical leadership; inclusive pedagogy in STEM; and Black intellectual thought in the Humanities. We seek scholars and scholarship with a focus on the experiences of African Americans and other underrepresented groups and attention to identities with respect to race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. The goal is to attract and support a diverse cohort of tenure-track scholars who will produce cutting-edge research, scholarship, and creative achievement around the theme of inclusive pedagogy in STEM. For more information and the list of the other positions included in this cluster hire, please visit the College of Liberal Arts website at https://libarts.olemiss.edu/cluster-hire/.

 

About the University of MS & Oxford, MS

Founded in 1848, the University of Mississippi (UM), affectionately known to alumni, students and friends as Ole Miss, is Mississippi’s flagship university. Included in the elite group of R-1: Doctoral Universities – Highest Research Activity by the Carnegie Classification, it has a long history of producing leaders in public service, academics and business. The University of Mississippi, consistently named by The Chronicle of Higher Education as a “Great College to Work For,” is located in Oxford, MS, which is ranked one of the “Top 10 Best College Towns.” With more than 24,000 students, UM is the state’s largest university and is ranked among the nation’s fastest-growing institutions. The University of Mississippi, which has aggressively implemented many health and wellness initiatives for its more than 2,900 employees, has consistently been named one of Mississippi’s Healthiest Workplaces.

Touted as the “Cultural Mecca of the South”, creativity abounds in Oxford as musicians, artists and writers alike find inspiration in Oxford’s rich history, small town charm and creative community. Oxford is a one-hour drive south of Memphis, TN and is known as the home of Nobel Prize winning author William Faulkner. Over the years Oxford has also been known for offering exceptional culinary experiences and as the home of the University of Mississippi and the Ole Miss Rebels, there is always something here to immerse yourself in. Oxford has also been featured as a literary and arts destination in such publications as The New York Times, Southern Living, Condé Nast Traveler, and GQ. Among other cultural activities, annual events include the Oxford Film Festival, a thriving local music scene, and the Ford Center Performing Arts Series. Oxford is a vibrant university town, filled with unique shops and galleries, eclectic restaurants and clubs, historic landmarks, and comfortable inns.

Join Prof. Tanner on Tuesday September 20th at 6pm at Heartbreak Coffee for her free Science Cafe!

Posted on: September 12th, 2022 by nhammer

Join Prof. Tanner on Tuesday September 20th at 6pm at Heartbreak Coffee for her free Science Cafe!

Prof. Pedigo Selected as 2022 Isom Fellow

Posted on: July 1st, 2022 by nhammer

The Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies has awarded fellowships to six University of Mississippi faculty members for their academic research related to gender and sexuality.  Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry Susan Pedigo is one of these. 

“The fellows this year had such interesting and diverse research projects,” said Jaime Harker, director of the Isom Center and professor of English. “All the applicants were so strong that we requested the provost support all the projects submitted this year, and he graciously agreed.”

Susan Pedigo, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Susan Pedigo, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

During the two-year program, fellows receive $4,500 a year in support of the research project they submitted in their fellowship application. The funds may be used as summer salary, for travel and/or for graduate student support. Fellows may also coordinate with the Isom Center to plan lectures, campus events and develop new cross-listed courses.

“We feature their work in a poster session every fall,” Harker said. “I am always inspired by the work of Isom fellows, and our fall reception is one of my favorite events every year.”

The poster session will take place this year at 3 p.m. Sept. 21 in the Ford Ballroom at The Inn at Ole Miss.

Pedigo, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, said she will use her fellowship to examine the attitudes of women and Black faculty in chemistry departments in Mississippi universities about the issue of merit and reward. She will use the funds to recruit and pay student workers for the development of qualitative assessments, interviews and interview analysis addressing this subject.

The gender gap in STEM faculty is well documented; however, the cause of the gender gap is not well understood, Pedigo said. She believes a problem exists with the rigidity and nature of the structure around the merit and reward system in academics.

“There is heavy demand on faculty to be competitive individualists who enter into a binding work contract upon hire; thus, faculty members are tracked into a path from which they cannot deviate,” she said. “I hope that my research prompts conversation and reflection around topics that are generally not discussed. Tenure and promotion guidelines are steeped in tradition and do not allow for alternative pathways to excellence and institutional transformation.

“Faculty is tasked with training students to tackle the problems of the 21st century, and only a diverse workforce trained by a diverse professoriate can accomplish this task.”

 

Chemistry Faculty Receive 2021-2022 Awards from the College of Liberal Arts

Posted on: June 28th, 2022 by nhammer
Jared Delcamp, associate professor of chemistry & biochemistry, is recipient of the 2022 Melinda and Ben Yarbrough, M.D. Senior Professor Research Award for the Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Jared Delcamp, Associate Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry

Several Faculty in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry were Honored at Graduation from the College of Liberal Arts. These include Jared Delcamp, Saumen Chakraborty, and Emily Rowland.

College of Liberal Arts Award for Research, Scholarship, and Creative Achievement:

 

 

The Melinda and Ben Yarbrough, M.D., Senior Professor Research Award is presented annually to an outstanding tenured faculty member in the natural sciences and mathematics.  Jared Delcamp, Associate Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry, is this year’s recipient. The award is given in recognition of sustained exemplary performance in research, scholarship, and/or creative achievement at the national/international level while serving as a faculty member at the University of Mississippi.  The recipient each year will have achieved scholarly recognition and influence well beyond the University of Mississippi community and made a positive contribution to the success of their department. Recipients of the award are not eligible to receive the award again. Each recipient is recognized with a $2,000 cash prize and a medal, which will be presented at the College of Liberal Arts graduation ceremony in May.

 

Saumen Chakraborty, assistant professor of chemistry & biochemistry

Saumen Chakraborty, Assistant Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry

Dr. Mike L. Edmonds New Scholar Award in The College Of Liberal Arts:

 

 

 

The Dr. Mike L. Edmonds New Scholar Award in the College of Liberal Arts is presented annually to untenured, tenure-track professorial rank faculty members in the College of Liberal Arts who are within 6 years of their initial tenure-track academic appointment and who have demonstrated exemplary performance in research, scholarship, and/or creative achievement. Candidates must be untenured when nominated. Depending on the quality of the pool of nominees, up to four awards will be available, with one each chosen from the areas of (1) Natural Sciences and Mathematics, (2) Social Sciences, (3) Humanities, and (4) Fine and Performing Arts.  Jared Delcamp, Associate Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry, is this year’s recipient. Saumen Chakraborty, Assistant Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry, is this year’s recipient.  The ideal recipients each year must have significantly enhanced the scholarly reputation of the College and University through exceptional contributions to their disciplines and demonstrated a positive impact on the success of their department.  Individuals may only receive this award one time, but recipients will retain their eligibility for the College of Liberal Arts Award for Research, Scholarship, and Creative Achievement (Humanities), Sanford and Susan Thomas Senior Professor Research Award in the Social Sciences, Hensley Family Senior Professor Research Award in the Fine and Performing Arts, and Melinda and Ben Yarbrough, M.D., Senior Professor Research Award for the Natural Sciences. These awards are only given to post-tenure, senior faculty.  Each recipient will receive a $1,000 cash prize and medal to be presented at the College of Liberal Arts graduation ceremony in May. Awardees will be invited to be members of the platform party during these ceremonies.

 

Emily Bretherick Rowland, instructional associate professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry

Emily Bretherick Rowland, Instructional Associate Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry

Liberal Arts Outstanding Instructor of The Year:

 

In 2011, the College of Liberal Arts began recognizing the Liberal Arts Outstanding Instructor of the Year. Criteria for the annual award include, but are not limited to, excellence of class instruction, intellectual stimulation of students, and concern for students’ welfare. The recipient is recognized during the College’s commencement ceremony, has his or her name added to an award plaque in the Dean’s office, and receives $1,000. Eligibility is limited to instructors, lecturers, senior lecturers, and instructional professors who taught full time during the academic year they are nominated. Visiting instructors and previous recipients are not eligible.  Emily Bretherick Rowland, Instructional Associate Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry, is the 2022 Liberal Arts Outstanding Instructor of the Year.

 

Department Welcomes Prof. Vignesh Sundaresan

Posted on: May 31st, 2022 by nhammer
Vignesh Sundaresan, Assistant Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry

Vignesh Sundaresan, Assistant Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry

Dr. Vignesh Sundaresan will join the University of Mississippi Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry on July 1st. Dr. Sundaresan received his Bachelor of Technology from Central Electrochemical Research Institute in Karaikudi, India in 2014 and a Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA in 2018 under the direction of Prof. Katherine A. Willets. He then joined as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Notre Dame under the mentorship of Prof. Paul W. Bohn before joining the faculty at UM. His group will use and develop coupled electrochemical and optical techniques for studying the behavior of single entitles such as nanoparticles, molecules, and enzymes to not only answer fundamental questions but also to develop ultra-sensitive chemical and biosensors.

Imaging electrochemical reactions and biological phenomena at the nanoscale and single entity level can provide rich details on 1) heterogeneity in the system and 2) enhanced mechanistic insights that are not possible with traditional electro- and bio-analytical tools. The Sundaresan Lab vision is to use and develop high-throughput multimodal imaging techniques such as optical, electrochemical, and electron imaging to understand electrochemical and biological phenomena at the single entity level and utilize the obtained insights to design better performing catalytic and biological systems at the ensemble level. Accordingly, the group will focus on interfacing novel high-resolution optical imaging techniques, including super-resolution imaging, with electrochemical techniques that can address fundamental scientific questions in the fields of electrocatalysis, materials science, and biology. Additionally, the developed methodology can be used to design ultra-sensitive chemical and biosensors.

 

 

University Hosts Regional Conference for Chemists, Chemical Engineers

Posted on: May 28th, 2022 by nhammer
Tomayo Berida, a UM pharmacognosy research assistant, won first place in the poster presentation competition during the National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers Conference. His study of ‘Novel 1,2,4-Triazolyl Pyridine Agent’s Potent Against Mycobacterium tuberculosis’ focuses on ongoing efforts to develop of a new class of agents that are potent against the organism that causes tuberculosis. Submitted photo

Tomayo Berida, a UM pharmacognosy research assistant, won first place in the poster presentation competition during the National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers Conference. His study of ‘Novel 1,2,4-Triazolyl Pyridine Agent’s Potent Against Mycobacterium tuberculosis’ focuses on ongoing efforts to develop of a new class of agents that are potent against the organism that causes tuberculosis. Submitted photo

 

OXFORD, Miss. – Chemistry and chemical engineering students from across the Southeast and Southwest gathered recently at the University of Mississippi for a two-day conference designed to promote STEM careers for people of color.

Some 120 students and researchers, including 95 in-person participants, attended the joint Southeast and Southwest regional conference of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers, or NOBCChE on the Ole Miss campus. Students represented 70% of the total participants for the hybrid event.

“The conference showcased the research excellence of Black chemists and engineers regarded as top experts in their respective fields,” said Murrell Godfrey, professor of chemistry and NOBCChE immediate past president. “It also provided young researchers with a platform to present original research and receive valuable feedback.”

More than 75 students from underrepresented backgrounds in chemistry, chemical engineering and related STEM fields took part in networking and professional development opportunities. Milcah Jackson and Joerg Schlatterer, both of the American Chemical Society, presented professional development workshops on creating effective resumes and curriculum vitae and on making personal connection that matter.

Former NOBCChE presidents Emanual Waddell and Marquita “Dr. Q” Qualls presented on “Opportunities with the National Science Foundation” and “Establishing Your Brand,” respectively.

Students also participated in oral and poster presentation competitions, with prize money at stake. First-, second and third-place winners in each category split $1,650 in prize money.

Tomayo Berida, a pharmacognosy research assistant at UM, won first place in the poster presentation competition. The native Nigerian’s poster, “Novel 1,2,4-Triazolyl Pyridine Agent’s Potent Against Mycobacterium tuberculosis,” deals with ongoing efforts to develop a new class of agents that are potent against the organism that causes tuberculosis.

“I was more than excited (about winning),” Berida said. “It was gratifying to note that my poster presentation was well received by students, faculty and judges at the conference.”

Attendees at the National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers regional conference at the university include (from left) Montray Leavy, the first African American to earn his doctorate in chemistry from UM, in 1999; Margo Montgomery-Richardson, who received her doctorate in 2012; and Murrell Godfrey, who earned his doctorate in 2003. Formerly director of the Ole Miss forensic chemistry program, Godfrey is assistant graduate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion. Submitted photo

Attendees at the National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers regional conference at the university include (from left) Montray Leavy, the first African American to earn his doctorate in chemistry from UM, in 1999; Margo Montgomery-Richardson, who received her doctorate in 2012; and Murrell Godfrey, who earned his doctorate in 2003. Formerly director of the Ole Miss forensic chemistry program, Godfrey is assistant graduate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion. Submitted photo

 

Davita Watkins, UM associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, was among the keynote speakers. She recently won a prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER Award for her work on elucidating the role of sigma-hole interactions in advanced functional materials that she develops in her labs on campus.

Others who delivered keynote addresses included LSU professor Isaiah Warner, and Philip W. West, emeritus professor of analytical and environmental chemistry at LSU; Montray Leavy, deputy chief technology officer at Entegris in Singapore; and LaRico Treadwell, R&D chemist and material scientist at Sandia National Laboratories.

Students also participated in a graduate exposition that allowed the undergraduate students to learn about top academic graduate programs and job opportunities. Schools and organizations represented included:

  • Auburn University
  • Texas A&M University
  • LS-PAC MODELS Center
  • Jackson State University
  • Entegris
  • the UM departments of BioMolecular Sciences and Chemistry and Biochemistry and School of Engineering
  • Emory University Department of Chemistry
  • Louisiana State University
  • the American Chemical Society

The Ole Miss academic units provided undergraduate students with information on various doctoral programs and tours of their departments. Both professionals and students had an opportunity to visit the School of Pharmacy’s marijuana and medicinal plant gardens.

“The conference provided a space for discussion to foster partnerships and collaborations that can lead to new research, innovations and solutions to global challenges,” Godfrey said. “It also allowed members of the NOBCChE student chapters to give back to the community by performing a chemistry magic show for approximately 30 9th-to-12th-grade Coffeeville, Mississippi, Upward Bound students during the conference-ending cookout.”

The National Science Board recently bestowed its 2022 Public Service Award to NOBCChE. The award honors exemplary public service in promoting public understanding of science and engineering.