Yoana Throssell Receives PhD

Dr. Yoana Throssell successfully defended her PhD thesis, “Asymmetric IFB-Like Reactions of 1,2,3-Triones and Electron-Rich Phenols for the Synthesis of a Tetracyclic Antiviral’ on May 7, 2020. Yoana came to Wesleyan in 2013 after receiving her B.A. in chemistry magna cum laude from Mount Holyoke College and her M.A. in chemistry from Brown University. Yoana worked on the design and development of pharmaceutical formulations at Integral Biosystems, before coming to Wesleyan. Yoana joined Prof. Calter’s lab in 2014 and worked on a number of projects before settling on the development of a novel set of asymmetric carbon-carbon bond forming reactions. She prepared a number of analogs of a novel antiviral compound, effective against picornaviruses. Yoana has moved to Boston to work in the pharmaceutical industry and is planning a trip to Europe to visit family and friends.


Dr. Throssell delivering her Open Defense over Zoom to faculty, friends, and loved ones.

Dr. Throssell’s Open Defense:”Asymmetric IFB-Like Reactions of 1,2,3-Triones and Meta-Substituted Phenols for the Synthesis of a Tetracyclic Antiviral”


Dr. Throssell surrounded by loved ones

 

Conclusions and Future Directions of Research


Dr. Throssell’s Congratulatory Cake

 

 

 

Virtual Commencement 2020

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Wesleyan’s 188th Commencement Ceremony, honoring the graduating Class of 2020, was held through a virtual setting on May 24th.

Ph.D.

Melissa Elizabeth King

Yoana Throssell

 

B.A.

Anik Macy Bernstein

Yin-Tung Grace Chen (with Honors)

Daniel JongHwa Chung (with Honors)

Calvin Robert Coffey

Joshua Pohn Crane

May Do

Alexandra Nicole Goss

Liam Nathan Isaacs

Alexander James Kapphahn

Miranda Lillie Nestor

Dillon James Noone

Josephine Margaret Russ

Anastasia C. Saar (with Honors)

Iman Iqbal Sigman

Rochelle Barrie Spencer

Katherine Hanson Sundberg (with Honors)

Sydney Maya Taylor-Klaus

Aryan K. Vavila

Claire Jing Jing Wang (with Honors)

Sonja Maria Welch

Jaina Wollowitz (with High Honors)

 

Chemistry Majors Perform Virtual Demonstrations for WesFest 2020

The annual WesFest chemistry demonstrations show, (Barely) Controlled Substances, went virtual this year along with the rest of WesFest.  The Science and Art of Chemical Demonstrations student forum, led by Kate Sundberg (’20), and Abrar Habib (’21), made a video version, incorporating footage of classic demonstrations from previous years as well as new ones from students’ kitchens and front porches.  In addition to the leaders, the video features the quarantined, but highly adaptable Aaron Arkin (’21), Joshua Crane (’20), Sophia Marra (’21), Emma Shapiro (’21), Sydney Taylor-Klaus (’20), and Sonja Welch (’20), with a cameo appearance by their faculty sponsor, Prof. Westmoreland.

 

A link to the virtual WesFest Chemistry demonstrations may be found here:

http://videos.wesleyan.edu/futurecardinal/detail/videos/archived-events/video/6149638843001/barely-controlled-substances?autoStart=true

 

 

2020 Annual Chemistry Department Awards

Awards – ACS Younger Chemists Committee

The Chemistry Department is proud to announce the recipients of the 2020 Annual Chemistry Department Awards:

ACS Analytical Award: Rochelle Spencer
Awarded for excellence in analytical chemistry
ACS Award in Inorganic Chemistry: Jing Jing Wang 
To recognize achievement in inorganic chemistry and to encourage further study in the field
ACS Award in Organic Chemistry: Jaina Wollowtiz
To a student who has displayed a significant aptitude for organic chemistry
ACS Award in Physical Chemistry: Iman Sigman 
To recognize achievement in physical chemistry and to encourage further study in the field
ACS Connecticut Valley Section Award: Sydney Taylor-Klaus
For outstanding achievement by a graduating chemistry major
American Institute for Chemists Award: Anastasia Saar
For outstanding achievement by a graduating chemistry major
Bradley Prize: Grace Chen 
To the senior or junior who excels in chemistry and particularly in special original work
Silverman Prize: Allie Goss
Awarded to a member of the junior or senior class for excellence in chemistry
CRC Award (General Chemistry): Edrea Jiang 
For the outstanding first-year student in Principles of Chemistry
CRC Award (Organic Chemistry): Michael O’Sullivan 
For the outstanding first-year student in Organic Chemistry
Hawk Prize: Kate Sundberg
To the students who have done the most effective work in biochemistry
Martius Yellow Award: Sophia Marra
Awarded for excellence in Integrated Chemistry Laboratory
The Wallace C. Pringle Prize for Research in Chemistry: Jaina Wollowitz 
Awarded to a student for excellence in research.
Peterson Fellowship: Angelika Rafalowski 
For graduate study in biochemistry
Tishler Prize: Bakar Hassan 
Awarded to the best graduate teaching assistant in chemistry

Chemistry Majors Elected to Phi Beta Kappa

The spring Phi Beta Kappa electees have been announced and include two chemistry majors, Yin-Tung (Grace) Chen and Jaina Wollowitz.


Yin-Tung (Grace) Chen, 2020


Jaina Wollowitz, 2020

They join Tristan Ang Tze Heng who was elected last fall.  See the complete story at: http://newsletter.blogs.wesleyan.edu/2020/04/13/79-seniors-from-the-class-of-2020-elected-to-phi-beta-kappa/?utm_source=&utm_medium=EMLET&utm_campaign=The+Wesleyan+Connection+April+15+and+18(2045087

Diverse Magazine Honors Prof. Erika Taylor

Associate Professor Erika Taylor has been named one of the “Top 35 Women in Higher Education” by Diverse magazine.  This honor recognizes women who have made significant contributions to the cause of diversity in higher education and beyond.

“Taylor, associate professor of chemistry, environmental studies and integrative sciences, joined the Wesleyan faculty in 2007. She holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry with honors from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign and was a postdoctoral research associate at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Throughout her career, Taylor has worked at the interface of chemistry and biology. She strives to find ways to exploit enzymes found in nature to perform reactions that can help advance the fields of chemistry and medicine. Her research group has included over 75 students to date, spanning high schoolers to Ph.D. students, with women and other underrepresented students comprising more than three-quarters of her lab members. In addition to her research, she has been a passionate advocate for diversity, lending time and energy to provide opportunities in science for female, minority and low-income students. Taylor was awarded the Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching for her passion and dedication to supporting the academic and personal development of all of her students. Her track record of mentoring diverse students culminated in being named Wesleyan University’s McNair Program faculty director in 2018. Beyond Wesleyan, she founded and continues to run a Girls in Science camp for elementary through middle school aged girls, which highlights the diversity of women that exists in science and raises funds to enable nearly half of the students to participate tuition free.”

See the full story at http://newsletter.blogs.wesleyan.edu/2020/04/05/taylor-named-a-top-35-women-in-higher-education-by-diverse/ and the full list of this years’ honorees at https://diverseeducation.com/2020-Top-35-Women-in-Higher-Education/#/ .

 

Chemistry Department Donates Personal Protective Equipment to Local Health Organizations

With the suspension of research projects in Hall-Atwater, Facilities Manager Camille Keeler has collected unused personal protective equipment (PPE) and sent it where it’s needed most.  The supplies have included disposable gloves, disposable lab coats, and a variety of masks.  “We would normally use most of this over the course of a semester, but with few students and researchers in the building, we decided to send what we could to Middlesex Hospital and Middletown Health Department to distribute,” Keeler said. In doing so, the Chemistry Department joins the many local businesses and philanthropic organizations who have already collected and donated personal protective equipment across the state.

 

For more information on how to donate, please visit the CT State Coronavirus website at: https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/Pages/Request-for-Personal-Protective-Equipment.

Chemistry Department Holiday Party 2019

At the culmination of each Fall semester, the Chemistry Department hosts an annual Holiday Party to commemorate the hard work of students, faculty, and staff.  It is always a highlight of the Holiday Season and a welcomed respite from the stress of exams and papers. Largely organized by graduate students within the Chemistry Department, the Holiday Party featured a wide array of pot-luck food items, as well as departmental trivia. A special thanks goes out to Andrea Lee who directed the flawless execution of the event.

Chemistry Department Holiday Beaker Tree and Menorah

Pictured left to right: Jaina Wollowitz, Kate Sundberg, Sonja Welch, Bobby Bourque, Alyssa Cortes, Lucas Mani, Iman Sigman, Daniela Estrada, Cali Clark, and Sydney Taylor-Klauss

Pictured left to right: Angelika Rafalowski, Jozafina Milicaj, Sue Stevens, and Sean McDarby


Andrea Lee

 

Pictured left to right: Dr. Anthony Davis, Joshua Dudley, and Camille Keeler

Pictured left to right:  Bakar Hassan, Dr. Melissa King, Dr. Anthony Davis, and Joshua Dudley

Pictured left to right: Bobby Bourque, Alyssa Cortes, and Lucas Mani


Pictured left to right: Cali Clark, Sydney Taylor-Klauss, and Hannah Xu


Dr. Michael Calter

Pictured left to right: Joshua Dudley and Camille Keeler

Pictured left to right: William Selleck and Jessica Cuneo

Pictured left to right: Kat Blejec and Mikayla McLaughlin

Chemistry Mug – Trivia Prize

Pictured left to right: Tenzin Ngodup, Jing Jing Wang, and Grace Chen

Pictured left to right: Terry Emmons, Aracely Suto, and William Selleck

Melissa King Receives PhD

Melissa King recently defended her Ph.D. dissertation and will be receiving her degree at commencement this May. Melissa joined the Department of Chemistry at Wesleyan in 2014 after having received her B.S. in chemistry from Central Connecticut State University. At CCSU Melissa worked on the synthesis of chiral diols for the separation of racemic mixtures with Dr. Neil Glagovich. Upon coming to Wesleyan, Melissa joined the lab of Prof. Michelle Personick where she changed her research focus from the total synthesis of small organic molecules to the synthesis of inorganic nanocatalysts. Melissa has spent her time at Wesleyan studying the mechanisms of shape control in the growth of bimetallic nanoparticles and their subsequent relevance as catalytic materials. After graduating, Melissa will be joining the lab of Prof. Michael Ross in the Chemistry Department at the University of Massachusetts Lowell where she will apply her experimental expertise and strong fundamental understanding of tailorable nanomaterials to the study and development of sustainable photocatalytic materials.

 


Dr. Melissa King delivers her Open Ph.D. Defense to faculty, friends, and family


Pictured left to right: Dr. Joy Cote, Dr. Melissa King & her children, and Dr. Dan Obenchain


Dr. Melissa King


Dr. King’s Periodic Table Cake


Terry Emmons and Dr. Andrea Roberts


Pictured left to right: Sean McDarby, Joshua Signore, Jozafina Milicaj, Bakar Hassan, and Jeffrey Keyes


Pictured left to right: Dr. Michelle Personick, Dr. Dan Obenchain, Yoanna Throssell, Vasileios Drogkaris, and Dr. Anthony Davis

Free Radicals Tie Dye Event

On October 26th, the Free Radicals held their annual Tie-Dye Lab Coat event, where the Chemistry majors gathered outside of Hall-Atwater on a beautiful Saturday afternoon to dye their own lab coats. The day was organized by the Free Radical officers, California Clark and Jing Jing Wang with assistance from Professor Andrea Roberts. Around twenty Free Rads enjoyed Thai food and decorated their new lab coats, t-shirts, socks, and even a banner, courtesy of the Chemistry department. The group also gifted colorful bandanas for Professor Roberts and our administrative staff members, Terry Emmons and Will Selleck. Check out the photos of the event below!


Pictured left to right, top to bottom: Bryan Guarin (’21), California Clark (’21), Kate Luo (’21), Joshua Crane (’21), Timothy Yen (’21), Abrar Habib (’21), Annika Velez (’22), Emma Shapiro (’21), Jing Jing Wang (’20), Jaina Wollowitz (’20), Sydney Taylor-Klaus (’20), and Josie Russ (’20)


Pictured left to right: Sophia Marra (’21), Aaron Arkin (’21), and Emma Shapiro (’21)


Pictured left to right: Kimberley Lopez (’21), Kate Luo (’21), Jaina Wollowitz (’20), California Clark (’21), Emma Shapiro (’21), and Aaron Arkin (’21)


Aaron Arkin (’21)


Annika Velez (’22)


Pictured left to right: Jing Jing Wang (’20), Abrar Habib (’21), and Sophia Marra (’21)


Jaina Wollowitz (’20) and Emma Shapiro (’21)


Jessica Garcia (Graduate Student)


Pictured left to right: Lucas Mani (Graduate Student), Jessica Garcia (Graduate Student), and Bryan Guarin (’21)


Pictured left to right: Annika Velez (’22), Lucas Mani (Graduate Student), and Jessica Garcia (Graduate Student)


Jing Jing Wang (’20) and Abrar Habib (’21)


Professor Andrea Roberts


Pictured left to right: Sophia Marra (’21), Emma Shapiro (’21), and Aaron Arkin (’21)


Pictured left to right: Jing Jing Wang (’20), Bryan Guarin (’21), California Clark (’21), Kate Luo (’21), Jaina Wollowitz (’20), Timothy Yen (’21), Joshua Crane (’21), Abrar Habib (’21), Annika Velez (’22), Sydney Taylor-Klaus (’20), Josie Russ (’20), and Emma Shapiro (’21)


Pictured left to right: Emma Shapiro (’21), Jing Jing Wang (’20), Bryan Guarin (’21), California Clark (’21), Kate Luo (’21), Timothy Yen (’21), Joshua Crane (’21), Abrar Habib (’21), Annika Velez (’22), Sydney Taylor-Klaus (’20), and Josie Russ (’20)


Pictured left to right: Timothy Yen (’21), California Clark (’21), Kate Sundberg (’20), and Jing Jing Wang (’20)


Pictured left to right: Timothy Yen (’21), California Clark (’21), Kate Sundberg (’20), and Jing Jing Wang (’20)


Pictured left to right: Timothy Yen (’21), California Clark (’21), Kate Sundberg (’20), and Jing Jing Wang (’20)


Timothy Yen (’21)


Timothy Yen (’21)


Timothy Yen (’21)