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Scholarships & Fellowships

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November 17, 2016

Meet our 2016 Chemistry and Biochemistry Scholarship Recipients – Ainsley Taylor & Brian Drury

Last June, the UO Chemistry and Biochemistry department selected the recipients of our undergraduate scholarships for the 2016-17 academic year.  Ainsley Taylor was awarded the Faith Van Nice Scholarship, and Brian Drury received the Kuntz-Swinehart Memorial Scholarship. (more…)

October 11, 2016

How I Spent My Summer Vacation – Catching Up with SAACS Summer Research Award Recipients Sam Prakel & Carson Adams

In June 2016, the UO chapter of the Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society (SAACS) presented Summer Research Awards to biochemistry majors Sam Prakel and Carson Adams.  The SAACS awards are designed to support chemistry and biochemistry majors’ ability to conduct summer research in a UO research lab, or elsewhere in an REU summer program. Two research awards have been awarded each year since the program began in 2015, using funds the organization raises through its T-shirt sales. We asked Sam and Carson to share a little about themselves and their science.


samprakelSam Prakel came to the UO in 2013 from Versailles, Ohio, attracted by the balance between the small, liberal arts feel of the Clark Honors College and the qualities of a large, research institution – as well as the desire to run for the Oregon track and cross country teams. Now in his senior year, Sam has made the most of his opportunities in the classroom, on the field, and in the laboratory.

The SAACS Summer Research Award motivated Sam to put continuous work into his research projects year-round. Working in both the Mike Pluth and Darren Johnson labs, his research seeks to find new ways to detect biological hydrogen sulfide, an important physiological mediator and signaling agent whose functions play a role in diabetes, hypertension, heart failure, inflammation, and neurodegeneration.

Sam finds inspiration in the complexity and open-ended nature of science. “The intricacies in the scientific field keep pushing me to learn,” he explains, “and the endless possibility of discovery keeps pushing me to think.”  He plans to continue that push through grad school, furthering his studies in chemistry and biochemistry.


carsonadamsCarson Adams grew up in Salem, Oregon, close enough to hear about some of the research coming out of the University of Oregon Chemistry department and to know that he wanted to be a part of it.  And he has certainly done just that – joining the Andy Marcus lab at the beginning of his sophomore year. He has continued his research work right up through his current and senior year, studying the ways in which DNA strands interact and how these interactions affect DNA replication.

“We use special molecules called fluorophores which release light when light is shined on them,” Carson explains.  “The released light is of a different color than the light projected onto these molecules, so we can use special machines and apparatuses to measure the emitted light. We can then use this information to conclude things about how the DNA molecules are interacting and how their bases are positioned.”

Carson says his inspiration to be a scientist stems from the inventiveness of the process – seeing the creativity and incredible discoveries of the past, and looking forward to similar discoveries in the future.  He also enjoys the challenge involved in finding a viable and unique way to solve a problem. His SAACS award has helped him to pursue his research goals, and affirmed the importance of his studies. He plans to earn his PhD in biochemistry and conduct biochemical research at a professional level, perhaps eventually teaching what he learns to the next generation of undergraduate students.

by Leah O’Brien

July 15, 2016

Grad Student Ann Greenaway Honored with Two Awards

AnnieGreenawayAnn Greenaway, a chemistry Ph.D. student at the University of Oregon, is one of 90 doctoral students in the U. S. and Canada selected to receive a $15,000 Scholar Award from the P.E.O. Sisterhood.  She was sponsored by Chapter W of Arkansas.

In addition, Ann was chosen by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) for the prestigious 2016–17 AAUW American Fellowship.

Ann is a 2012 graduate of the Hendrix College in Conway, AR, where she was the recipient of Goldwater and Truman scholarships, among many other honors. She is currently completing her fourth year in the University of Oregon Chemistry PhD program, working in Prof. Shannon Boettcher’s research laboratory on the development of low-cost alternative growth methods for the world’s most efficient solar cell materials. After graduation, Ann plans to pursue a career in fundamental solar energy and solar fuels research, while working to advance the presence of women in science.

About the P.E.O. Scholar Awards

Supporting Women…Changing the World

The P.E.O. Scholar Awards (PSA) were established in 1991 to provide substantial merit-based awards for women of the United States and Canada who are pursuing a doctoral-level degree at an accredited college or university.  Scholar Awards recipients are a select group of women chosen for their high level of academic achievement and their potential for having a positive impact on society.

The P.E.O. Sisterhood, founded January 21, 1869, at Iowa Wesleyan College, Mount Pleasant, Iowa, is a philanthropic educational organization dedicated to supporting higher education for women. There are approximately 6,000 local chapters in the United States and Canada with nearly a quarter of a million active members.

About the AAUW American Fellowship

One of the world’s oldest fellowship programs for women

American Fellowships, AAUW’s oldest and largest funding program, date back to 1888, making them one of the oldest and most prestigious fellowships in the world exclusively for women. AAUW American Fellowships support women scholars who are completing doctoral dissertations, conducting postdoctoral research, or finishing research for publication.

“I am incredibly excited to receive this fellowship,” Ann says. “The American Fellowship will allow me to focus full-time on completing my dissertation this year, as well as on continuing my mentoring and outreach activities within the University of Oregon’s scientific community.”

“We have a long and proud history of supporting exceptional women scholars through our American Fellowship program. This year’s group includes women who are leaders in their institutions and their fields working on issues related to sexual violence, race, and other topics of importance to women and girls. They aren’t just brilliant, they are agents of change,” said Gloria Blackwell, AAUW vice president of fellowships, grants, and global programs.

For the 2016–17 academic year, AAUW awarded a total of $3.7 million to more than 230 scholars, research projects, and programs promoting education and equity for women and girls through six fellowships and grants programs. AAUW is one of the world’s leading supporters of graduate women’s education, having awarded more than $100 million in fellowships, grants, and awards to 12,000 women from more than 140 countries since 1888.

Read AAUW’s announcement about this year’s awards. To find out more about this year’s exceptional class of awardees, visit AAUW’s online directory. To reach an award recipient, call 202.728.7602 or e-mail


The American Association of University Women (AAUW) empowers women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. Our nonpartisan, nonprofit organization has more than 170,000 members and supporters across the United States, as well as 1,000 local branches and more than 800 college and university partners. Since AAUW’s founding in 1881, our members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day — educational, social, economic, and political. Learn more and join us at

April 25, 2016

6 Current UO Chemistry and Biochemistry Students & 3 Alumni chosen for 2016 NSF Awards and Honorable Mentions

L-R, UO Chemistry graduate students Lisa Eytel, Micah Donor, Aurora Ginzburg, Andrea Steiger, Mari Saif and Meredith Sharps

L-R, UO chemistry graduate students Lisa Eytel, Micah Donor, Aurora Ginzburg, Andrea Steiger,
Mari Saif and Meredith Sharps

When the National Science Foundation announced the 2016 awardees and honorable mentions for their Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP), the University of Oregon Chemistry and Biochemistry Department had plenty of reasons to celebrate. Five University of Oregon chemistry graduate students were among the fellowship award recipients – Micah Donor, Aurora Ginzburg, Mari Saif, Meredith Sharps and Andrea Steiger – and one more grad student, Lisa Eytel, received an honorable mention.  In addition, two UO Chemistry and Biochemistry alumni also received awards, and a third alum received an honorable mention. (more…)

April 20, 2016

Stamps Scholar Makenna Pennel on her way to study Chemistry at the UO

Read AroundtheO article:

Triangle Lake student Stamps her ticket to the UO


April 12, 2016

2016 Undergrad Dept Scholarships – Apply by April 27th!

CHEMelement_yellowWe are happy to announce the availability of several departmental undergraduate scholarships! There are two separate applications for the awards.

The applications are available in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department office, room 91 Klamath Hall, or by clicking the links below.

The Faith Van Nice and Kuntz-Swinehart scholarships recognize outstanding academic and research achievements by undergraduate chemistry and biochemistry majors. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 on a scale of 4.0 (or similar grade assessment). Funds will be made available in September 2016 for the 2016-2017 UO academic year. One application is used for both awards, applications available in 91 Klamath Hall, or click here for printable PDF.

The SAACS Summer Research Awards support chemistry and biochemistry majors’ ability to complete summer research in their lab here at the UO, or elsewhere on an REU summer program. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.5. Funds will be made available for summer 2016. Applications can be found in 91 Klamath Hall, or click here for printable PDF.

The submission deadline for all departmental undergraduate scholarships is Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at 5 pm. Please bring your application materials to the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department office in room 91 Klamath Hall in a sealed envelope addressed to Scholarships c/o Julie Haack, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Oregon. Scholarship awards will be announced at the end of May.

If you have questions regarding the application process, please contact Julie Haack, by phone (541) 346-4604 or by email at The Department’s office hours are 8:00 am to 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday.

March 10, 2016

5 UO Students named University Innovation Fellows by NSF-funded Epicenter

Photo: grad students

L-R: Epicenter Fellows Susan Cooper, Brandon Crockett and Adam Jansons

University of Oregon chemistry graduate students Susan Cooper, Brandon Crockett, and Adam Jansons are among 155 students from 47 higher education institutions that have been named University Innovation Fellows by the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter). Epicenter is an NSF-funded national program that trains student leaders to create new opportunities for their peers to engage with innovation, entrepreneurship, design thinking and creativity. (more…)

January 29, 2016

Susan Cooper Chosen for ARCS Award

photo Susan CooperUO Chemistry and Biochemistry graduate student Susan Cooper has been selected to receive the 2016 ARCS Foundation Josselyn Family Scholar Award.

The Achievement Rewards for College Students (ARCS) Foundation of Portland is one of sixteen ARCS Foundation Chapters nationwide.  Portland’s ARCS Foundation members are women philanthropists committed to advancing science in America. The chapter seeks to support and nurture young American women and men in doctoral programs as they prepare to take on current and future scientific and medical challenges. In February of 2015, ARCS Portland announced that the University of Oregon Department Chemistry and Biochemistry and Department of Biology had been approved for funding support from the chapter. Susan Cooper and Katja Kasimatis (Biology) are the first UO recipients of ARCS awards. The $18,000 unrestricted awards are payable over three years, at $6,000 per year. (more…)

September 29, 2015

New Scholarships offered by UO Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP)

The UO’s Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) has announced two new scholarships for undergraduate researchers.

The UROP Mini-grant program provides grants of up to $1,000 that may be used by undergraduate award recipients to purchase materials, equipment, and supplies that are necessary to complete their project and/or assist with travel expenses related to their project.  Awards will be given out twice during the academic year, once during the fall term and the winter term. Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA, a project proposal finalized and a faculty mentor secured prior to applying. Application materials are available at

The Vice President for Research and Innovation Undergraduate Fellowship awards students a $5,000 stipend for conducting research, creative scholarship or completing work on an innovative project full time during the summer. The fellowships are open to students from all majors. Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA, a project proposal finalized and a faculty mentor secured prior to applying. Applications will be available in early January, 2016.

June 29, 2015

Andrew Wagner Receives AHA Research Training Grant

UO Chemistry and Biochemistry graduate student Andrew Wagner has been awarded a 2015 American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship.

The $50,000 award will be distributed over two years, and is intended to help students initiate careers in cardiovascular and stroke research by providing research assistance and training. Research topics may be broadly related to cardiovascular function and disease and stroke, or to related clinical, basic science, bioengineering or biotechnology, and public health problems, including multidisciplinary efforts.

Andrew earned his BA in Biochemistry in 2011at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, CO., and entered the UO Chemistry doctoral program in the fall of that year.  He is currently doing his thesis work in the Nolen lab, and his proposal, “WISH/DIP1/SPIN90 (WDS) Proteins Seed Assembly of Branched Actin Networks,” was selected for funding by the AHA.  His research is focused on investigating the regulation of the actin cytoskeleton, a protein framework that provides a physical scaffold for cells. Actin molecules polymerize into helical filaments that undergo dynamic rearrangements to allow changes in cell shape during motility and provide tracks for material transport. Striated tracks of actin filaments play a fundamental role in muscle contraction like those of the heart.
After completing his PhD, Andrew plans to continue to lead a research driven career investigating mechanisms in biochemistry and cell biology in diseased and non-diseased states.
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