Grad Student Spotlight
On November 14th, members of the Oregon Chapter of the Achievement Rewards for College Students (ARCS) Foundation visited the UO campus to show their support and celebrate as ARCS Scholar Susan Cooper defended her thesis. They also enjoyed a lunch with current ARCS Scholars Amber Rolland and Hannah Bates.
The Oregon Chapter is one of fifteen ARCS Foundation Chapters nationwide. Its membership is made up of Oregon 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.The Oregon Chapter has supported over 248 PhD candidates with financial support of over $4.1 million since the chapter was incorporated in 2004.
Current ARCS Scholars in the UO Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry are:
Susan Cooper, Hutchison Lab
Amber Rolland, Prell Lab
Michael Crawford, Wong Lab
Rebecca Keller, Kellman Lab
Hannah Bates, currently rotating in the Haley Lab
Teamwork by chemists in two University of Oregon labs has led to a new class of fluorescent dyes that could expand the real-time view of cell activity in medical diagnostics.
In a paper in ACS Central Science, with White as lead author, the group detailed how they fitted organic molecules called nanohoops with a chemical sidechain of sulfonate to make them water soluble and able to penetrate cell membranes. Nanohoops are made with short, circular slices of carbon atoms. Making them in different sizes, the group discovered, produces distinctive colors that can be illuminated in living cells by a single laser burst.
Read the full article in AroundtheO
This year’s Summer Academy to Inspire Learning (SAIL) Chemistry Camp was the fifth annual hands-on chemistry lab hosted by the UO Chemistry and Biochemistry Department. Organized and lead by grad students Lisa Eytel (Chemistry) and Dana Reuter (Geological Sciences), the camp offered hands-on chemistry lab experience for students from local high schools. Eytel and Reuter are outreach co-chairs for the UO chapter of Women in Graduate Sciences, which has provided leadership for the SAIL Chemistry camp since it got its start in 2014.
From July 23-27, student participants in this year’s forensics-themed camp got to use laboratory skills to tackle a “crime” and identify the culprit in a murder-mystery scenario.
A special appearance by UO President Michael Schill started the week off with a bang (literally!) and then SAIL campers got down to work. From Tuesday through Thursday they collected evidence from the crime scene and analyzed fingerprints, blood drops, fiber and an unidentified powder. On Friday, they presented their evidence and brought the culprits to justice. Check out the photos and videos on our SAIL Chemistry website!
Thank you! to all the additional volunteers who helped make 2018’s SAIL Chemistry Camp a huge success: Brylee Collins, Alicia DeLouize, Allison Dona, Tai Donor, Annie Gilbert, Shweta Gupta, Mason Leo, Checkers Marshall, John Morehouse, Holly Rittenberry, and Lucy Walsh – as well as SAIL staffers Katie Brooks and Robin Nagy, and faculty advisor Darren Johnson!
Chemistry graduate students Samantha Young and Nicole Paterson will be participating in the 2018 Graduate Student Research Forum on Friday, May 11th.
Samantha, a member of the Hutchison lab, will present on the Dixon Scholars Panel from 10:00- 11:00am in the EMU Swindells Room.
The Dixon Fellows are recipients of the Julie and Rocky Dixon Graduate Student Innovation Award, which supports doctoral students interested in developing their skills and experiencein innovation and/or entrepreneurship in preparation for careers outside of academia. Each year, the Dixon Fellows present at the Grad Forum to showcase their experiences and findings.
Nicole, a member of the Prehoda lab, will present her research at the Poster Session from 12:00 – 2:00pm EMU Ballroom. Her presentation is titled “Role of Gukholder and Scribble in Spindle Orientation.”
The full schedule of events for the 2018 Grad Forum is available at bit.ly/2KL6dfI
UO Dissertation Research Fellowship:
Forrest Laskowski, Boettcher Lab
2018 NSF Graduate Research Fellowships:
Ruth Maust, Jasti Lab
Trevor Shear, Darren Johnson Lab (more…)
UO Women in Graduate Sciences (WGS) was established in 2005 by Chemistry graduate student Sarah Staggs Wisser, who worked in the Darren Johnson lab. With a current membership of 150, WGS at Oregon is one of the largest graduate student women’s groups in the country. The success of WGS is so uncommon, other university student groups nationwide are seeking directions about how to start and maintain a student women’s science organization of their own.
Read more in the Oregon Quarterly article.
Kira Egelhofer has been selected as the next recipient of the Rosaria Haugland Graduate Research Fellowship. The Fellowship, established by Dr. Rosaria Haugland in 2004, is awarded every three years by the UO Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry to an outstanding graduate student in Chemistry. It covers the recipient’s stipend, tuition, and miscellaneous fees for a three-year period. Kira was selected from a pool of applicants by a faculty committee who were impressed by Kira’s science and her work to engage women and minorities in STEM.
Kira grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, with a passion for nature and outdoor learning. In high school, a tough-but-inspiring female science teacher sparked Kira’s interest in chemistry, and led her to pursue an undergraduate degree in Chemistry at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, with a thesis project in Environmental Chemistry.
Kira entered the UO chemistry PhD program in 2015, and jump-started her studies in solar energy by taking masters courses the preceding summer that were offered by the UO masters internship program, and taught by Fuding Lin, Benjamin Alemán, Jim Hutchison, and Mark Lonergan.
Now in her third year, Kira is a member of the Lonergan lab. Her research involves measuring the selectivity and recombination of contacts to solar cells. “We are interested in these parameters because they impact solar cell efficiency,” Kira explains. “More specifically, I seek to understand how and why very thin layers of semiconducting or insulating materials inserted between the bulk material and contact of the solar cell impact selectivity and recombination. This information helps us rationally design solar cells with improved characteristics, such as efficiency.”
In addition to her research, Kira has been a member of the UO Women in Graduate Sciences since her first term at the UO. The goal of WGS is to involve and retain more women in the sciences. Kira enjoys the opportunity to promote science with K-12 students, young adults, and the wider community through a variety of WGS outreach activities. She currently serves as the organization’s Fundraising Chair, and is looking forward to their hosting a visit from Astronaut Wendy Lawrence for WGS’s annual fundraiser in March.
As for what the future might hold after completing her doctoral degree, Kira has no firm plans, but a few possibilities appeal to her – such as writing for scientific journals with a focus on communicating science to the general public, or working in solar energy research and development, perhaps even for NASA or SpaceX.
– By Leah O’Brien
The Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact may not have broken ground yet, but its impact got a jump start by sponsoring five, $500 Knight Campus Student Innovation Fellowships for underrepresented students in STEM disciplines who participated in the Sustainable Invention workshop that kicked off the 2017-18 academic year.
One chemistry graduate student and two undergrads were among the five fellowship recipients: Genevieve Dorrell (undergrad, biochemistry), Carl Hartzell (post bac, physics), Ruth Maust (graduate student, chemistry), Makenna Pennel (undergrad, chemistry, honors college) and Pallavi Webb (undergrad, CIS). The fellowship funds could be used to offset academic expenses such as tuition, books, school supplies and travel to scientific meetings.
The week-long workshop, titled Sustainable Invention Immersion Week, took place September 10-15th at 942 Olive Street, the UO’s innovation hub in downtown Eugene. Participating students had the opportunity to learn from experts in design, business, chemistry and communication as they worked in interdisciplinary teams to create their own green product over the course of the event. The teams then pitched their product ideas to win funding to move their idea forward. Awards were given for the top four product ideas.
The workshop was organized by professor Julie Haack, the assistant department head of the UO’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Kate Harmon, the undergraduate program manager and management instructor at the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship. Their goal is for Sustainable Invention Immersion Week to become an annual event, with a changing theme that will be tied to what’s happening at the Knight Campus.
From July 25-29, 2016, the UO Chemistry and Biochemistry department hosted its third annual hands-on chemistry lab experience for twenty local high school students. The students are participants in the Summer Academy to Inspire Learning (SAIL).SAIL is a University of Oregon program led by volunteer faculty and aimed at increasing students’ enrollment and success in college. SAIL invites eligible 8th through 12th grade students to attend free, annual academic summer camps until they graduate from high school.
This year’s SAIL Chemistry Camp was organized by chemistry grad students Lisa Eytel and Erik Hadland along with biology graduate student Kate Walsh. The campers, all rising freshman in high school, put on their goggles and analyzed water samples, created filters, tested the pH of of common household chemicals, designed batteries, and toured some university laboratories. Be sure to check out our photos!
Thank you! to all the additional volunteers who helped make this year’s camp a huge success: grad students Loni Kringle, Blake Tresca, Mae Voeun, Anneliese Morrison, Matt Cerda, Kathryn Chamberlain, Nicole Paterson, SAIL staffers Randi Besio and Robin Nagy, and faculty advisor Darren Johnson!
Ann 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 www.aauw.org.