2019 UCLA Alpha Chi Sigma (AXΣ) Glenn Seaborg Award

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Professor Hosea Nelson was presented with the 2019 UCLA Alpha Chi Sigma (AXΣ) Glenn Seaborg Award at the annual AXΣ Seaborg Banquet on April 27.                    

The event, held at Yamashiro Hollywood, was attended by both members of Alpha Chi Sigma, UCLA chemistry & biochemistry faculty members, and their guests. At the banquet, Nelson gave a brief presentation about his recent work and the direction of his research in the future. 

“The best honors are the ones that come from student organizations like AXΣ,” Nelson said. “They are the future and the ones we need to inspire”.

At the dinner held at Yamashiro Hollywood, Nelson gave a brief presentation about his research.

The event was organized by AXΣ members Alex Umanzor and Serena Zhang. “The Glenn T. Seaborg Banquet is an event that captures the essence of the Beta Gamma chapter of Alpha Chi Sigma. Alex and I are honored to have been entrusted with the opportunity to organize the event to celebrate the legacy of Glenn T. Seaborg and recognize Professor Nelson’s great contribution to the field of chemistry” Zhang said.

An assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, Hosea Nelson received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from University of California at Berkeley in 2004 and his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology in 2013. After postdoctoral training at University of California at Berkeley, Nelson joined the UCLA faculty in 2015. He was awarded a 2018 Sloan Research Fellowship, and was an inaugural member of Chemical and Engineering News magazine’s Talented 12 in recognition for his achievements as a graduate student, postdoctoral scholar and assistant professor. In 2017, Nelson was among 18 outstanding young scientists in the United States to be awarded Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.  To learn about his research, visit the Nelson group’s website.  

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(Left) Alex Umanzor and Serena Zhang organized the event. (Right) Members of the fraternity pose with chemistry instructor Faculty Member Dr. Hung Pham and Faculty Member and awardee, Nelson.

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(Left) Seaborg Industrial Symposium Lecturer Dr. Sean Smith with Professor Chong Liu, Professor Ellen Sletten and her husband Dr. Dominic Larubina, and Alpha Chi Sigma members, Claire Page and Michael Ashby. (Right) Nelson enjoying refreshments with Professor Neil Garg and his wife, Lindsey Garg

The Seaborg Banquet is a tradition for the Beta Gamma chapter of Alpha Chi Sigma. The Alpha Chi Sigma Glenn T. Seaborg Award (not to be confused with the Glenn T. Seaborg Medal awarded by the department) is presented annually at the banquet to an early-career UCLA chemistry and biochemistry faculty member in recognition of his/her outstanding achievements, with emphasis on research and scholarly impact. Consideration is also given to outstanding teaching, mentoring and professional service.
This year, the fraternity expanded their Seaborg Award Banquet events to include the inaugural 2019 Seaborg Industrial Lecture Symposium, which took place earlier in the day on the UCLA campus. The theme of the symposium was focussed on current frontiers in the area of industrial chemistry research and development and featured scientific talks by three researchers working in industry; Dr. Mari Rosen (The Dow Chemical Company), Dr. Sean Smith (3M Company), and Dr. Staci Wegener (BASF Corporation). 
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(From left) 2019 Seaborg Industrial Lecture Symposium speakers Dr. Sean Smith, Dr. Staci Wegener, and Dr. Mari Rosen with AXΣ faculty advisor Professor Alex Spokoyny and AXΣ President Claire Page, a chemistry undergraduate researcher in the Yi Tang laboratory.

Alumnus Professor Glenn T. Seaborg (’34 Chemistry), for whom the award is named, was one of the founding members of the Beta Gamma Chapter – pursuing his interests in chemistry well after his years at UCLA, he became a Nobel Prize Laureate in 1951. 

Event photos by Tia Liu. Many thanks to Claire Page for her help with this article.

Penny Jennings, UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, penny@chem.ucla.edu.