2022 UCLA Alpha Chi Sigma (AXΣ) Glenn T. Seaborg Award

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Seaborg Banquet Chairs Alex Umanzor and Pauline Aghamalian with Prof. Chong Liu

Professor Chong Liu was presented with the 2022 UCLA Alpha Chi Sigma (AXΣ) Glenn T Seaborg Award at the annual AXΣ Seaborg Banquet on May 7.                     

The event, held at Hotel Casa Del Mar in Santa Monica, was attended by both members of Alpha Chi Sigma, UCLA chemistry and biochemistry faculty members, and their guests. At the banquet, Liu gave a brief presentation about his recent work and the direction of his research in the future.  “Thanks to AXΣ for sponsoring this award despite the challenges due to the pandemic,” Professor Chong Liu said. “I am very grateful to AXΣ for inviting me to speak at the banquet about our group’s research!”. 

The event was organized by AXΣ members Pauline Aghamalian and Alex Umanzor. “We were elected in spring of 2019, so this banquet was three years in the making,” Umanzor said. “Even though Pauline and I both graduated in 2020, we felt we had to see our banquet through to the end, no matter when that would be. The Glenn T. Seaborg Banquet is a very special event for the Beta Gamma chapter, as it brings together the department’s faculty along with our pledges, members and alumni under one roof as we celebrate the accomplishments of one of our own. We are humbled to have been entrusted with organizing this event not only to highlight Prof. Liu and his group’s accomplishments, but to reunite everyone as well.” 

(Left) At the dinner held at Hotel Casa Del Mar, Liu gave a brief presentation about his research. (Right) Co-organizer Pauline Aghamalian presented Liu with the award.
(Left) Seaborg Banquet Chairs Alex Umanzor and Pauline Aghamalian with Liu after the award ceremony. (Right) AXS alumni Jessica Nyon, Geno Shin, Xen Ping Hoi, Johnny Kozlowski, and Timothy Islam pose with AXS faculty member Hung V. Pham outside the venue on Santa Monica beach.

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. An assistant professor of inorganic chemistry since 2017, Professor Chong Liu holds the Jeffrey and Helo Zink Career Development Chair. He is an authority on electrochemical systems for energy and biology. His laboratory combines expertise in inorganic chemistry, nanomaterials and electrochemistry to address challenging questions in catalysis, energy conversion, microbiota, and carbon dioxide and nitrogen — with important implications for the environment. 

Alumni and current members of AXS at dinner.

Past and current undergraduate researchers of the Spokoyny lab reunited at the banquet. 

(Left) Past AXΣ Glenn T. Seaborg Award recipients Ellen Sletten (2018) and Alex Spokoyny (2017) with Liu. (Right) Anne Hong-Hermesdorf and husband Ray Hong, a professor of biology at California State University, Northridge.

Event photos by Samantha Umbay.