2017 Chemistry and Biochemistry Graduation

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Video and select photos from the 2017 Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry Commencement Ceremony are now available for viewing.

At the ceremony on Saturday, June 17, 2017, the UCLA Chemistry and Biochemistry 2017 Alumni award was presented to commencement speaker Dr. Sep Sarshar ’89, Principal, Peritus Partners. Sarshar was joined at the event by several members of his family and friends.

The video of Chair and Professor Catherine Clarke’s introduction, the alumni award presentation by Professor Miguel Garcia-Garibay, Dean of the Division of Physical Sciences at the UCLA College, and Dr. Sarshar’s commencement address can be viewed here. Select photos from the event can be viewed below.

Graduate and undergraduate award winners (listed below) were recognized for their achievements at the ceremony. Many thanks to our generous donors who made the awards possible!

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Photo Captions
(all captions are left to right) 1. Commencement ceremony viewed from the roof of Boelter Hall & graduates at the ceremony. 
2. Department Chair Prof. Catherine Clarke and Dean Miguel Garcia-Garibay addressed the audience. 
3. Dr. Sep Sarshar was presented the 2017 Alumni Award by Dean Garcia-Garibay. 
4. Dr. Sarshar giving his commencement speech, graduates listen to Dr. Sarshar’s inspirational speech.
5. (Left) Guests enjoyed cake and punch on the lawn prior to the ceremony, (right) happy graduates.
6. Graduates during the commencement ceremonies.
7. Dr. Sep Sarshar poses for photo with graduates.
8. Chemistry and Biochemistry staff who helped to make the event possible – Jin Lee, Nick Baerg, Annie Carpenter, Justyna Wojtach, Corrine Alas, Jacquelyn Perez, Denise Mantonya, and Tim Mahlanza.
9. Dolores Cannon Southam award recipients undergraduates Joshua Martin (Spokoyny group) and Sooihk Ro (Diaconescu group) with Robin Genchel, a cousin of the late alumna Dolores Cannon Southam.
10. Atkinson West fund supporters with recipients of the Daniel E. Atkinson and Charles A. West Biochemistry Undergraduate Prizes in Metabolic Biochemistry – Prof. Audree Fowler, undergraduate Nguyen Pham (C. Clarke group), masters student Jason Gosschalk (Clubb group), Department Chair Prof. Catherine Clarke, Joy Morimoto, Dr. Bruce Morimoto, Prof. Steven Clarke, Dr. Jonathan Lowenson.
11. Prof. Alex Spokoyny with the recipient of the Inorganic Faculty Chemistry Award graduate student Jonathan Brosmer (Diasoncescu group), Prof. Ken Houk with graduate student Brice Curtin (Harran group), recipient of the Aldrich-UCLA Dissertation Award for Outstanding Contributions to Organic Synthesis.
12. Garg group members –  graduate students Nick Weires and Jesus Moreno, recipients of the Pfizer-UCLA Dissertation Award for Excellence in Organic Synthesis, Prof. Neil Garg, and Jose Medina, recipient of the Top Hat-UCLA Dissertation Award for Excellence in Organic Chemistry.
13. Proud faculty with their graduate students – recipient of the Thomas L. and Ruth F. Jacobs Award Jessica Grandner, Prof. Ken Houk, and recipient of the  Saul and Sylvia Winstein Award Peiyuan Yu. Prof. Robert Clubb with recipient of the Biochemistry Award Brendan Amer.
Congratulations to the following student award recipients: GRADUATE STUDENT DISSERTATION AWARDS Saul and Sylvia Winstein Award

Peiyuan Yu

Biochemistry Award

Brendan Amer and Henry Chan

Inorganic Chemistry Award

Mark Abubekerov 

Inorganic Faculty Chemistry Award

Jonathan Brosmer 

Physical Chemistry Award

Robert Boutelle and Nanette Jarenwattananon 

The Pfizer-UCLA Dissertation Award for Excellence in Organic Synthesis

Jesus Moreno and Nicholas Weires 

Aldrich-UCLA Dissertation Award for Outstanding Contributions to Organic Synthesis
Tim Chung and Brice Curtin

Materials Chemistry Award

Kristofer Marsh

TCI-UCLA Dissertation Award for Outstanding Contributions to Organic Synthesis
Lingchao Cai and Kui Zhang

Thomas L. and Ruth F. Jacobs Award

Jessica Grandner

The Top Hat-UCLA Dissertation Award for Excellence in Organic Chemistry

Jose Medina

UNDERGRADUATE AND MASTERS STUDENT AWARDS Arthur Furst Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research

Zach Sobell

Dolores Cannon Southam Award for Excellence in Research

Joshua Martin and Sooihk Ro

Dunn Award for Excellence in Biochemistry

Luke Batty 

Daniel E. Atkinson & Charles E. West Biochemistry Undergraduate Prize in Metabolic Biochemistry
Jason Gosschalk and Nguyen Pham

Alpha Chi Sigma Achievement Award

Ronnie Garcia

Geissman Award for Excellence in Organic Chemistry

Ryan McCurdy

Ethel Terry McCoy Award for Excellence in Chemistry & Biochemistry
Monica Kirollos and Janine Fu

Merck Index Award

Jesus Iniquez and Kevin Swartz


Thanks to our generous donors, 25 undergraduate students will conduct research in our faculty labs as summer research fellows this year. Read more here.

Photos by Gradimages