Chemistry at Whitman News

May, 2021: We have three new external grants to celebrate! Assistant Professor Mark Hendricks was recently awarded two grants for his work on nanocrystal synthesis. One is from the American Chemical Society PRF, "Effects of Precursor Conversion Kinetics on the Crystalline Phase of Nanomaterial Catalysts", ($55,000). The second is a Natural Sciences Grant from the Murdock College Research Program, "Single-Source Precursor Libraries for the Controlled Synthesis of Zinc Sulfide Nanomaterials" ($70,000). Associate Professor Tim Machonkin was awarded a Natural Sciences Grant from the Murdock College Research Program, "Hydroquinone Ring-Cleaving Dioxygenase PnpC1C2: Mechanistic Characterization and Reengineering for Activity Towards Novel Substrates" ($70,000).

March, 2021: Senior Lecturer and Chemistry of Art guru, Deb Simon ('72) announced her retirement after 26 years of dedicated service to Whitman and the Chemistry Department. Prof. Simon's contributions to the department are beyond measure and with gratitude we wish her a spledid retirement. Read her reflection on her career and retirement in the Whitman Wire.

November, 2020: Faculty and students attended a virtual MJ Murdock College Science Research Conference to present posters and give talks on their research in the Chemistry Department. Chemistry major Haven Dick-Neal ('21) won an award for his poster presentation.

June, 2020: Professor Nate Boland was awarded $362,929 for his proposal, " RUI: Effect of Multidentate Ligand Exchange Pathways on Metal Ion Uptake"  (click to view the award abstract). This award will support faculty-student research at Whitman for the next three years. 

May, 2019: Congratulations to Professor Nate Boland, the 2018-19 recipient of Whitman's A.E. Lange Award for Excellence in Science Teaching. 

November, 2019: Faculty and students attended the MJ Murdock College Science Research Conference to present posters and give talks on the cutting-edge undergraduate research happening in the Chemistry Department. Chemistry major James Bent ('21) won an award for his poster presentation.

April, 2019: Prof. Dunnivant just published his 6th book “Pollutant Fate and Transport in Environmental Multimedia” with Wiley Chemistry integrating environmental chemistry, pollutant fate and transport modeling, engineering, chemical toxicology, risk, and law.

January 2019: Four Whitman Chemistry faculty members, Profs. Boland, Götz,  Juhasz, and Machonkin, became Beckman Mentors as part of a successful Beckman Foundation award to create a Beckman Scholars program at Whitman to expand student summer research opportunities.

November 2018: Students and faculty from the Chemistry Department participated in the Murdock Research Conference in Spokane, WA. Two chemistry majors, Madeleine Duncan and Liza Briody-Pavlik each won awards for their poster presentations.

September 2018: We are pleased to announce our newest faculty member and physical chemist, Dr. Mark Hendricks, Assistant Professor of Chemistry! Welcome Mark!

September 2018: Two Chemistry faculty were awarded grants from the National Science Foundation. Professor  Dalia Rokhsana was awarded $188,386 for her proposal, "Study of Small Molecule Activation by Molybdenum Enzymes using

 Computational Methods" ( click to view the award abstract).  Professor Mark Juhasz was awarded $240,000 for his proposal, "New Synthetic Methods for CB11 Carboranes"  ( click to view the award abstract). Each award will support faculty-student research at Whitman for the next three years.

May 2018: Congratulations to Professor Dalia Rokhs, the 2017-18 recipient of Whitman's Suzanne L. Martin Award for Excellence in Mentoring.

May 2018: The Chemistry Department faculty and student enjoyed a year-end celebration and awards ceremony at Wildwood Park. Students and faculty took a Reading Day break to relax and enjoy the sun and food from the on-site taco truck.  

2018 senior chemistry majors and cake

Senior chemistry majors gathered around the cake are (standing, from left) Will Mendelsohn, Sam Erickson, Julian Reed, Annie Stefanides, Clara Wheeler, Braden Hussey, Kevin Helenurm, Greg Hof; and (kneeling, from left) Gabe Merrill-Steskal, Brad Kline, Bryce Benson, and Aaron Lieberman.

March 2018: Chemistry students and faculty presented their research at the 2018 Spring National American Chemical Society Meeting in New Orleans.

Whitman Chemistry students and faculty at the 2018 ACS Meeting in New Orleans

Pictured (from left) are Professor Frank Dunnivant; seniors Aaron Lieberman, Will Mendelsohn, Clara Wheeler, Bryce Benson, Marc Foster, and Ethan Gladhill; and Professor Nate Boland.  

April 2017:  Senior chemistry students presented their research at the 2017 Spring National American Chemical Society Meeting in San Francisco. The 5 day conference drew over 18,000 chemists from around the world.

March 2017:  Nate Boland, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, was awarded a grant from the Murdock College Research Program for Natural Sciences in March 2017.  Boland's research in environmental chemistry focuses on nutrient and toxic metal bioavailability and mobility in the environment. With this grant, he will investigate the mechanisms of metal ion mobilization and acquisition exploited by plants, microbes and fungi to satisfy their nutritional needs.

September 2015:  Marion Götz, Associate Professor of Chemistry, was awarded a grant of $260,647 from the National Institutes of Health for her research on proteasome inhibitors. Her project investigates the development of a new and improved class of proteasome inhibitors that may lead to more effective therapeutic agents for cancer. Her grant will provide research opportunities for 9 students over three years.

August 2015:  Tim Machonkin, Associate Professor of Chemistry, was awarded a grant of $385,400 from the National Science Foundation. His research examines the mechanisms of a specific class of bacterial enzymes that can be used for bioremediation or other applications. This work, which involves a collaboration with Yale University, will provide research opportunities for 8-12 Whitman students, and send some of them to spend the summer doing research at Yale.  

May 2015: Congratulations to  Janni Conrad ('15) who was awarded a 2015 Fulbright Study/Research Grant to examine the influence of organic matter on arsenic contamination with Dr. Mario Villalobos at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México!

March 2015: Two Chemistry faculty were awarded grants from the Murdock College Research Program for Natural Sciences in March 2015. Assistant Professor Dalia Rokhsana received $57,600 to explore "Realistic computational and synthetic models for structure/function studies of Mo-Cu containing carbon monoxide dehydrogenase" and Assistant Professor  Mark Juhasz received $57,600 for studies of "New synthetic methodologies for CB11, CB9 and C2B10 carboranes."  Funding from these awards will support student-faculty collaborative research projects over the next three years.

March 2015: During the second week of spring break, 15 seniors and 2 professors attended the 2015 Spring National ACS Meeting in Denver, Colorado. The conference spanned 5 days and students and faculty were both attendees and contributors, attending dozens of research talks and poster sessions as well as presenting their own work across the various chemistry divisions.

2015 ACS Meeting Group

From left to right: Rosie Midget, Dr. Nathan Boland, Suzy Xu,  Maclean Harned,  Peter Carmichael, Janni Conrad, David Wilson, Joseph Tillman, Graham Matheson, Samuel Hinkle, Clint Vorauer, Julianna Wetmore, Morgan Dienst, Julia Burrows, Dr. Tim Machonkin, (and crouching) Greg Dwulet.