2021 Ralph & Charlene Bauer Graduate Student Awards

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Bauer 2021 Logo

14 talented chemistry & biochemistry graduate students have been awarded the 2021 Ralph & Charlene Bauer Awards in recognition of their excellence in research, teaching, and service.

These awards were made possible by a generous endowment established in 1988 by Dr. Ralph Bauer (B.S. ’52, Ph.D. ’58), recipient of our 2020 Alumni Legacy Award, and his wife Charlene Bauer (B.S. ’54). 

Congratulations to all the recipients listed below who have advanced to candidacy by the successful completion of their written and oral qualifying examinations!

Bauer 2021 Article

Jason Chari

(Garg group),

Zach Hern

(Diaconescu group), Francesca Ippoliti (Garg group), Natalie Kashanchi (Tolbert group), Rachel Knapp (Garg group), Irene Lim (Sletten group), Patricia Poths (Alexandrova group), Melissa Ramirez (Houk and Garg groups), Ishika Saha (Harran group), Charlene Salamat (Tolbert group), Ashley Shin (Caram group), Frank Song (Duan group), Andy Vong (Schwartz group), and Chenxiang Wang (Kaner group).

These awards are normally presented to our students at our annual departmental awards ceremony, which has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch for more graduate student award announcements coming soon!

About Dr. and Mrs. Ralph and Charlene Bauer

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In 1988, Dr. and Mrs. Ralph and Charlene Bauer established an endowment for fellowships and awards for UCLA Chemistry & Biochemistry graduate students. For many years they attended the annual Departmental Awards Ceremony and Dr. Bauer introduced the award recipients. In his remarks he explained his passion for UCLA and the department: “Three of our four parents were immigrants to the United States. UCLA offered immigrant’s children opportunities beyond their wildest dreams. What we didn’t know when we started at UCLA was that we would have the great fortune to be associated with an outstanding Chemistry department, a superb faculty, and the totally unanticipated benefit of working with Nobel Laureate Professor Donald J. Cram.” Pictured above: 

Dr. and Mrs. Ralph and Charlene Bauer at the 2011 Departmental Awards Ceremony.

In 2020, Dr. Bauer was awarded the department’s 2020 UCLA Chemistry & Biochemistry Alumni Legacy Award, which honors distinguished Ph.D. graduates in recognition of their achievements in life, and generous support and service to UCLA. For over 70 years, Dr. Bauer has been a True Bruin, contributing greatly to UCLA and the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry. The Bauer Legacy Award video below (by Kavich Reynolds Productions) provides insight into Dr. Bauer’s remarkable life and career. 

Dr.  Bauer was born in Los Angeles of immigrant parents. After attending North Hollywood High School, Dr. Bauer entered UCLA in 1948 to study chemistry. From the very beginning of his time at UCLA, Dr. Bauer was a trail-blazer. He played freshman basketball during Coach John Wooden’s first year at UCLA (73 years ago) and was influenced tremendously on the court and throughout his life by Wooden’s character-building “Pyramid of Success”. In 1952, Dr. Bauer received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry and married his high school sweetheart Charlene Uhlik, also a UCLA alumna.

Dr. Bauer then spent two years in the U.S. Navy prior to returning to UCLA in 1954 to join the research group of Nobel Laureate Professor Donald Cram as a chemistry graduate student. Dr. Bauer received his Ph.D. in chemistry in 1958. Professor Cram credited Dr. Bauer’s Ph.D. thesis as having foreshadowed the research for which he received the 1987 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. 

After receiving his Ph.D., Dr. Bauer joined Shell Development Corporation as a Research Scientist, and then in 1966, he joined Unocal as a Research Chemist. He became the International Marketing Manager of the Petrochemical Division of Unocal in 1983. Dr. Bauer retired from Unocal in 1985.  

In 1987, along with UCLA Development, Dr. Bauer formulated the idea for the department’s biggest and most important event of the year, the annual Seaborg Symposium and Medal Award Dinner. He was honored with the medal in 1992. Dr. and Mrs. Bauer continue to attend the Seaborg Medal dinner as often as they are able.

We are incredibly grateful to Dr. and Mrs. Bauer for their support, which makes these awards possible.

Learn about this year’s other award recipients at the links below:

2021 Jim and Barbara Tsay Excellence in Second Year Research and Academics Graduate Student Awards

2021 Excellence in Research Graduate Student Awards

2021 Graduate Student Commencement Awards

2021 Graduate Student Teaching Awards will be announced the week of June 14, 2021.

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