2016 Newsletter
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From the Department Head

Dear Alumni and Friends:

Greetings from the Penn State Department of Chemistry.  We hope this new electronic edition of the Newsletter finds you enjoying life and reflecting fondly on your time at Penn State.  I’m delighted to bring you news of the exciting developments from the past year in the Department.

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New Faculty Spotlights

The Department of Chemistry has welcomed seven new faculty members over the past few years. Full story

Whitmore Laboratory Undergoes Major Renovation

Chemistry undergraduate students walked into a brand new building this fall, even though it was built in 1953. Full story

Two Chemistry Faculty Members Receive 2016 Faculty Scholar Medals

Two of the four recipients of the University’s 2016 Faculty Scholar Medals for Outstanding Achievement are faculty in the Department of Chemistry. Full story

50 Years at Penn State: Steve and Pat Benkovic and Harry and Noreen Allcock

There is a certain level of drive and dedication that one needs to be a successful professor at a research university like Penn State. To do so for over fifty years is a remarkable accomplishment. Two of our faculty members have recently hit this 50-year mark. Full story

Collaboration Leads to Great Achievement: Amie Boal and Squire Booker

Understanding the sequence of chemical events that an enzyme employs to convert one molecule to another can provide crucial insight for drug design and the development of new synthetic strategies for clinically important natural products. However, teasing out the intricate details of these complex reaction pathways can be difficult. Full story

Peter Craig Breen Memorial Award Given for First Time

The Peter Craig Breen Memorial Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Chemistry Research was established in 2015 by Kevin J. Breen and Renee Romberger Breen in memory of their son, Peter. The purpose of this award is to recognize undergraduate students enrolled in the Eberly College of Science at The Pennsylvania State University who are majoring in or planning to major in Chemistry and who have demonstrated excellence in academics and research focused in chemistry.
Full story

Interview with a Chemistry Graduate Student: Erica Frankel

Erica Frankel is a 5th year graduate student, co-advised by Phil Bevilacqua and Chris Keating, who is busy investigating fundamental questions that span the earliest chemistry on Earth to the most modern mechanisms in molecular biology.
Full story

From the Ground Up: Founding the Chemistry Graduate Student Association

The experimental method begins with observation.  As scientists, this type of thinking is engrained in us.  So when two graduate students, Inanllely Gonzalez and Susan Butch, observed opportunities for improvement within the department, they set out to test the hypothesis that they could make a positive change in the lives of Chemistry graduate students. Full story

Freedman Group Makes Outreach Activities a Priority

The Freedman Group, under the direction of Dr. Miriam Freedman, studies the effects of aerosol particles on the environment. In the last year, the Freedman Group has made it a priority to participate in a wide range of outreach activities. Full story

2015-2016 Awards

View the faculty, staff, and grad student awards received during 2015-2016.

2015-2016 Donors

The Department of Chemistry wishes to extend its sincere gratitude to the following individuals and companies for supporting our programs during the past fiscal year. Full story

Alumni News

Read about the exciting things our alumni are doing.