2024 Graduate Student Commencement Awards

Posted on

Each year at commencement, we recognize our graduate students for their accomplishments in academics and research.

The 2024 Chemistry & Biochemistry Graduate Commencement Awards were presented to our students at the department’s annual commencement ceremony. Congratulations to all the recipients!

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

Charles J. Pederson Dissertation Award
This award was established in 1988 with a gift from DuPont. Dr. Charles Pedersen won the 1987 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Professors Donald J. Cram (UCLA) and Jean-Marie Lehn (Universite Louis Pasteur) for their work on highly selective molecules.

Lisa Boatner (Backus group), Yi Chen (Liu group), and Santiago Vargas (Alexandrova group)

UCLA Chemists Association Dissertation Award
This award was made possible by the gifts from alumni and donors to the UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry.

Claire Dickerson (Alexandrova group), Joseph Garcia (Sletten group), Kenneth Mei (Schwartz group), and Katie White (P. Weiss group)

Daniel E. Atkinson and Charles A. West Dissertation Award
This award honors Professors Daniel Atkinson and Charles West for their significant contributions to biochemistry at UCLA, their valued mentorship, and their impact on the research community and education.

Troy Lowe (S. Clarke group)

Donald J. Cram Dissertation Award
This award honors Professor Donald J. Cram (1919-2001), the Nobel Prize-winning chemist who taught and conducted research at UCLA for more than 50 years.

Ana Bulger (Garg group)

Dr. Yuh Guo Pan Dissertation Award
Eugenia Pan (BA Psychology ’79) and her family endowed this award in 2020 to benefit organic chemistry graduate students in honor of her late husband, Dr. Yuh Guo Pan (MA Chem ’77, Ph.D. Chem ’80, Jung Group).

Matthew McVeigh (Garg group)

Evelyn Pan Dissertation Award
Established by Walter and Shirley Wang, this award honors Shirley’s mother, Evelyn Pan.

Austin Ready (Spokoyny group), Jingyu Wang (Liu group), and Zisheng Zhang (Alexandrova group)

George Gregory Dissertation Award
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.

Quynh Duong (Schwartz group) and Zerina Mehmedović (Schwartz group)

Majeti-Alapati Dissertation Award
Drs. Satyan (PhD ’69) and Vimala Majeti (PhD ’71), former students of Professor Christopher Foote, established the Majeti-Alapati Endowed Graduate Fellowship in 2001, with matching funds from Proctor & Gamble, to support deserving graduate students.

Nikolas Burton (Backus group) and Laura Wonilowicz (Garg group)

Roberts A. Smith Dissertation Award
In 2009, the Roberts A. Smith Graduate Award for the Study of Biochemistry was established with a generous endowment from funds contributed by Atsuko Fujimoto (PhD ’63, MD ’69) and her husband, Akira Fujimoto, and by Emeritus Professor Smith.

Alexa Noelle Novales (C. Clarke group)

Saul and Sylvia Winstein Dissertation Award
This award honors Professor Saul Winstein (1912-1969), who was one of the leading physical organic chemists of the 1950s and ‘60s, employing the tools of physical chemistry to explore reactions in solution, and his wife, Sylvia Winstein, also a UCLA alumna, was a long-time supporter of the department until she passed away in 2009.

Billy Treacy (Houk group)

SG Dissertation Award
This award was established in 1991 to support graduate students in the UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry.

Brandon Jolly (Liu group)

Thomas L. and Ruth F. Jacobs Dissertation Award
This award honors Professor Emeritus Thomas L. Jacobs, a dedicated organic chemist, scholar, and esteemed University servant who passed away in 1996.

Helen Cumberbatch (Tolbert group) and Aamir Shah (Duan group)

Upjohn Graduate Dissertation Award
This gift was established in 1988 to support graduate student awards in the UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry.

Yuto Katsuyama (Kaner group) and Boyu Zhao (Loo group)

The Department is extremely grateful to our generous donors and alumni whose support makes these many award programs possible.

To learn how to contribute to our student award funds or to establish a new named award or fellowship, please contact the Chair’s office, chair@chem.ucla.edu, (310) 825-3958. Your gift of any size will directly impact one of our world-class students and aspiring scientists!

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