Jul 5, 2022
2022 Excellence in Research Awards

11 talented chemistry & biochemistry graduate students have been awarded 2022 Excellence in Research awards.

Congratulations to Lisa Boatner (Backus group), Samuel DeMario (Chanfreau group), Shijie Deng (Diaconescu group), Cesar Garcia (Sletten group), Zach Hern (Diaconescu group), Natalie Kashanchi (Tolbert group), Andrew Kelleghan (Garg group), Patricia Poths (Alexandrova group), Daniel Robertson (Tolbert group), Charlene Salamat (Tolbert group), Yi Shen (Diaconescu group)!

The Excellence in Research Awards are given to students who have advanced to candidacy. These awards are based on research excellence and productivity. The awards were presented to our students at our annual departmental awards ceremony on May 13, 2022. Congratulations to all the recipients listed below!

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

THEODORE A. GEISSMAN EXCELLENCE IN RESEARCH AWARD
This award honors Professor Theodore (Ted) Geissman, an organic chemistry faculty member who passed away in 1978. For thirty-five years Professor Geissman provided distinguished service to the University of California and UCLA. His teaching covered the span from elementary courses to the guidance of postdoctoral scholars, many from foreign lands.


Andrew Kelleghan (Garg group)

GEORGE GREGORY RESEARCH AWARDS
This award was established in 1990 by Products Research Corporation (PRC) and a life-long friend of the department alumnus George Gregory (B.A. ’42), upon his retirement from PRC, to support outstanding physical chemistry graduate students in the department. Mr. Gregory passed away in March 2005 at the age of 87. 


Daniel Robertson (Tolbert group) and Charlene Salamat (Tolbert group)

THOMAS L. AND RUTH F. JACOBS EXCELLENCE IN RESEARCH AWARD 
This award honors Professor Emeritus Thomas L. Jacobs, an organic faculty member who passed away in 1996.  Professor Jacobs was a true organic chemist, a genuine scholar, and a great University servant.


Patricia Poths (Alexandrova group)

JOHN M. JORDAN EXCELLENCE IN RESEARCH AWARD
This award honors Professor John Jordan, a biochemistry faculty member from 1970 until his death in 1997. His widow, Dr. Ann Sodja, a professor of chemistry at Wayne State, was instrumental in establishing the John M. Jordan Award to memorialize his love of intellectual discourse, passion for his work and originality in research. 


Samuel DeMario (Chanfreau group)

CHARLES J. PEDERSEN EXCELLENCE IN RESEARCH AWARD
This award was established in 1988 with a gift from the DuPont company. Dr. Charles Pedersen was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1987 jointly with Professor Donald J. Cram (UCLA) and Professor Jean-Marie Lehn (Universite Louis Pasteur), for their development and use of molecules with structure-specific interactions of high selectivity. He spent his entire 42-year career as a chemist for DuPont at DuPont Experimental Station.


Cesar Garcia (Sletten group)

JOHN STAUFFER EXCELLENCE IN RESEARCH AWARDS
This award was established by the John Stauffer Charitable Trust in 1997 to be awarded annually to an outstanding graduate student in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry with the selection based on merit. The first Stauffer Fellowship was presented in 1998.

  
Natalie Kashanchi (Tolbert group) and Zach Hern (Diaconescu group) 

JOHN ALAN WALKER EXCELLENCE IN RESEARCH AWARDS
This award was established in 2006 by Evelyn Walker to honor her son Dr. John Alan Walker (Ph.D. chemistry '83) who passed away in 2005.


Shijie Deng (Diaconescu group), Yi Shen (Diaconescu group), Lisa Boatner (Backus group).

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Read about this year's other graduate student award and fellowship recipients at the links below:

 

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