2021 Undergraduate Student Departmental Awards

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2021 Ugrad Dept Awards

Each year we recognize our undergraduate students with departmental awards for their accomplishments in academics and in research.

The 2021 Chemistry & Biochemistry Undergraduate Departmental Awards have been announced. Congratulations to all the recipients listed below! These awards are normally presented to our students at our annual departmental awards ceremony, which has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Commencement awards for undergraduates will be announced at the end of May and Summer Research Fellowships will be announced in July.

We are incredibly grateful to our donors whose generous gifts make these awards possible.

Daniel E. Atkinson and Charles A. West Prize in Metabolic Biochemistry

This award is named in honor of the second and third biochemists on the UCLA faculty, who taught generations of students over their forty-year careers and were largely responsible for the development of biochemistry within the department.

Christen Tai

Christen Tai

(Feng Guo and David Eisenberg groups)

Susan Elizabeth Baumgarten Chemistry Endowed Student Award

Alumna Susan Baumgarten (B.S. ’73, M.S.’76, M.B.A. ’79) established this award in 2019 to support chemistry and biochemistry undergraduate students.

David Dumas

David Dumas

(Chong Liu group) 

The Maria Rebecca and Maureen Bellettini Award

Established in 2019 by the Bellettini family, this award recognizes outstanding undergraduate students studying chemistry in the department.

Nathalie CoKaylie Bair

Nathalie C

o (Paula Diaconescu group) and Kaylie Bair (Todd Yeates group)

Max Shaw Dunn Award for Excellence in Research & Academics

This award honors the memory of Professor Max Shaw Dunn, UCLA’s first biochemistry faculty member, who joined the Southern Branch of the University of California in 1922.  He was a strong and positive force in the development of UCLA until his retirement in 1962.

Xie Catherine

Catherine Xie

(Goldhaber group, Cedar Sinai) 

Max Shaw Dunn Undergraduate Awards for Excellence in Chemistry & Biochemistry

These awards, also honoring Professor Max Shaw Dunn, are given to third-year students who have achieved excellence in academics. 

Dean Teagan Vjola Haka Hansen%2C%20David Kang%2CAndrew Lin Irene Nguyen%2C%20Ngoc%20Quynh%20Giang

Phuong Trang Nguyen Phuong%20Anh%20Pham%2C%20Taylor Scully%2C%20John Ter Pogosyan Yee Flora Kwong Ryan

(Top left, clockwise) Teagan Dean, Vjola Haka, David Hansen, Andrew Kang (Gerard Wong group), Irene Lin, Ngoc Quynh Giang Nguyen, Phuong Trang Nguyen, Taylor Phuong Anh Pham, Jack Scully, Arthur Ter-Pogosyan (Kathrin Plath group), Flora Yee, Weiyu Zhao (not pictured), and Ryan Kwong.  

Arthur Furst Award for Excellence in Research and Academics

The late Dr. Arthur Furst ’37, M.S. ’40, who was a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of San Francisco, endowed this award to recognize the most outstanding research demonstrated by a UCLA chemistry or biochemistry major.

Shammami Matthew

Matthew Shammami

(Paula Diaconescu group)

Gold Family Foundation Award

Thanks to the continued generosity of the Dr. Marvin and Sophye Gold Family Foundation of the Sacramento Region Community Foundation, the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry can support promising young chemists and biochemists with financial need and encourage undergraduates to pursue careers in chemistry and biochemistry professions.

Chantranuwathana Varit

Varit Chantranuwathana

(Paula Diaconescu group)

Leonard Greiner Excellence in Research Award

This award was established by family and friends in 2007 to honor the memory of alumnus Dr. Leonard Greiner ’43, a successful chemist who worked for many years to develop technical solutions to global warming.

Bui Kyle

Kyle Bui

(Ellen Sletten group)

Ethel Terry McCoy Award for Outstanding Women Students in Chemistry & Biochemistry

These awards honor chemists Dr. Ethel Terry McCoy and her husband Dr. Herbert Newby McCoy who had successful careers at the University of Chicago and in industry. Each year the award is given to outstanding female chemistry and biochemistry students.

Sofia Litchev Tracie Luu Tzeng Jasmine

Sofia Litchev


Tracie Luu

(William Gelbart group) and

Jasmine Tzeng

Hosmer Stone Award

The award was established in 1970 to honor the late Professor Hosmer Stone, one of the department’s first faculty members. It is awarded to the chemistry and biochemistry students who had the best grades after their first year in chemistry and biochemistry classes during the 2019-20 academic year.

Payton Hana Bechefsky Huang Tzu Ling

Payton Hana Bechefsky


Tzu Ling Huang

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