Chemistry News

Congratulations to Klaus Ruedenberg for celebrating 60 years as a member of the American Chemical Society!!

Congratulations to Klaus Ruedenberg for celebrating 60 years as a member of the American Chemical Society!!

Congratulations to Malika Jeffries-EL

Congratulations to Malika Jeffries-EL for being named a Martin Luther King, Jr. Visiting Professor and Scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Malika is in residence in Boston for the spring and summer semesters.

and here:

Jack Su wins Best Paper Award from Protein Science

Congratulations to Chih-Chia (Jack) Su, a scientist in biological systems on Professor Edward Yu’s research team at Iowa State University, for winning one of two 2015 Protein Science Best Paper Awards from the research journal Protein Science. The top two papers were selected as the best from all of those published in the journal in the previous year.

Read the press release here:

Winter, Stanley and VanVeller receive Thieme Chemistry Journal Award

Congratulations to Art Winter, Levi Stanley and Brett VanVeller for receiving the Thieme Chemistry Journal award for 2014. Recipients of this award are promising young professors at the beginning of their career and is made by the editorial boards of the journals Synlett, Synthesis, and Synfacts.

















Congratulations to Tom Greenbowe

Congratulations to Tom Greenbowe, for receiving the James Flack Norris Award for Outstanding Achievement in Teaching of Chemistry from the Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society. The Norris Award is one of the oldest national awards of the ACS and is presented annually to an educator who is both an excellent classroom teacher and whose professional activities have had a wide-ranging effect on chemical education. 

Read more at:

Congratulations to Pat Thiel

Congratulations to Pat Thiel, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and a faculty scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory, for receiving this year’s Greek Community Outstanding Faculty award.

Dr. Alan K. Burnham and Professor Feng Gai receive Outstanding Chemistry Alumni Reward

Congratulations to Dr. Alan K. Burnham and Professor Feng Gai for receiving the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Outstanding Chemistry Alumni Award. Dr. Burnam received his BS in Chemical Technology in 1972 and is currently the Chief Technology officer with American Shale Oil, L.L.C. Dr. Gai received his PhD in Physical Chemistry in 1994 and is the Edmund J. and Louise W. Khan Endowed Term Professor of Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania. 


Professor Theresa Windus Named 3-Year Term Councilor

Congratulations to Professor Theresa Windus for being named a three-year term councilor to the Physical Chemistry division of the American Chemical Society. Councilors represent the division in the ACS Council, the deliberative assembly of the organization. The ACS is the world’s largest scientific society with more than 161,000 members.

Congratulations to Javier Vela

Congratulations to Javier Vela for winning the Midwest American Chemical Society (ACS) Stanley Israel Award for Advancing Diversity in the Chemical Sciences. The award recognizes individuals and/or institutions that have advanced diversity in the chemical sciences and significantly stimulated or fostered activities that promote inclusiveness within the ACS Midwest region. He will receive his award at the Midwest Regional ACS Meeting in November in Columbia, MO.

Tom Holme receives Louis Thompson Award

Congratulations to Tom Holme for receiving the College of Liberal Arts and Science's Louis Thompson Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award. This award recognizes an outstanding teacher who is dedicated to helping undergraduate students. Holme’s teaching is described by his nominators as “truly legendary.” He has a unique ability to quickly recognize the level of knowledge of his audience (or class) and aim his presentation at their level. Not only does he prepare lectures using examples relevant to the students’ interests, but he is adept at in-class student interactions.

Chemistry personnel honored with awards

Congratulations to the following Chemistry personnel for being honored with awards from The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.


Tom Holme. Cassling Family Family Award - recognizes and rewards outstanding faculty in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Holme’s nominator calls his teaching “truly legendary,” beginning at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he established a weekly television show to explain science to the public. Holme has a unique ability to quickly recognize the level of knowledge of his audience (or class) and aim his presentation at their level. He can tell when he is getting through and when he is not. If he is not, he adjusts, presents his message differently, adding his unique brand of humor.



Javier Vela. Early Achievement in Research - recognizes faculty who have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments in research and/or artistic creativity unusually early in their professional careers. Vela is rapidly becoming a world leader in developing new chemical strategies for the preparation and functionalization of colloidal semiconductor and metal nanocrystals, and “quantum dots” toward applications in biological imaging, energy conversion, and catalysis. He has pioneered novel strategies to control surface functionalization of nanocrystals that are used as fluorescent probes in biological imaging and tracking. Vela is also gaining tremendous insights into the formation of nanoscale materials. During his early research career, Vela has established numerous collaborations, and has been especially active at involving under-represented students in his research through Science-Bound and Project SEED.


Jacob Petrich. Graduate Mentoring - recognizes the effectiveness of major professors who serve as mentors and who enrich the student-professor relationship by support and attention to detail, which enables students to finish their work in a timely and scholarly manner. Petrich has been an incredibly successful mentor of graduate students. He has mentored 15 successful Ph.D. students, six of whom hold faculty positions in universities. This is an exemplary record. Even more astounding is that four of his Ph.D. students (Feng Gai, Doug English, Pramit Chowdhury, and Ram Adhikary) have been awarded the Zaffarano Prize for graduate student research. This is an ISU record for the number of students from one group to receive the Zaffarano Prize. Equally impressive is the fact that since the prize was first awarded in 1988, 1/6 of the awardees have been in Petrich’s group.

Melissa Gruhn - Chemistry Stores Manager. Professional & Scientific Excellence – recognizes and honors professional and scientific employees who have achieved excellence in their respective fields. Since becoming manager of Chemistry Stores in 2007, she has implemented many new conveniences, increased product selection, and provided new vendor services. Through improved efficiencies, she has increased sales and passed the earnings back to the customers by reducing markup fees.




Carla Holbrook - Chemistry secretary. Merit Excellence – recognizes and honors Merit employees who have achieved excellence in their respective fields. Carla has worked in chemistry for 27 of her 40 years at ISU. Her ability to readily adapt to change and her institutional knowledge of policies and procedures make her an outstanding departmental resource. Her efforts and expertise are vital to the research enterprise of the department and also to the educational mission of the department’s substantial undergraduate teaching load.


Robert "Bob" E. McCarley

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of former professor Robert McCarley on August 19th. Please see the link below for more information on his visitation and funeral service:

Congratulations to Mark Gordon

Congratulations to Mark Gordon, winner of the the 2015 ACS Award in Theoretical Chemistry. This award recognizes innovative research in theoretical chemistry that either advances theoretical methodology or contributes to new discoveries about chemical systems.

Pat Thiel Wins 2014 Welch Award

Congratulations to Pat Thiel, winner of the 2014 Welch Award, which recognizes outstanding research in the fields of materials, interfaces and processing.

John Burright and Joe Burnett

Congratulations to John Burright and Joe Burnett, who were given CELT's 2014 Learning Communities Partner Award.