2020 Annual Report


Introduction

This is my first year as a chair. What a year to take on this job!

Moving into Evelyn M. Anderson Hall marked the beginning of our last academic year. The new facility houses classrooms, labs, and offices for Chemistry, Geology, and Physics, and it is gorgeous! The building is named in honor of a member of the class of 1921 who was a pioneer in the understanding of endocrinology, and went onto lead the National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases at the NIH. Google her, you’ll be impressed! This fall, the finished new combined facility will bring together those three departments, along with Biology, Computer Science and Psychology.

This move, that seemed so momentous in the fall, has been overshadowed by more recent events. We are all in the midst of very difficult times that have, of course, impacted the department and the college as well. As you probably know, last term, after spring break, COVID forced us to switch all our classes to an online mode. This summer, most of our research students did their work online. We are currently in the midst of finishing our planning for this fall, which will look very different from “normal”. As we think about the practical logistics of teaching at a distance, the national conversation regarding issues of race has also rekindled our commitment to making sure the Chemistry Department is a place where every student feels valued. We are all doing our best to continue to support each other and to provide our students with a true Carleton experience.

Although a lot has been on our minds all year, I wanted to pass along some other news about the department too. Over the last year we were lucky to have Visiting Assistant Professor Kim Huynh continue to work with us. In her second year at Carleton, Kim took on CHEM 123 as well as courses in the Organic sequence. Kim is starting a job at Bard Early College in Washington DC this fall. We will miss her and wish her the best! This September we are welcoming back to Carleton Julia Bakker-Arkema’ 14, who just received her PhD in Atmospheric Chemistry from University of Colorado, Boulder. Julia will be teaching CHEM 123 in the fall and winter.

Much more can be found in the following pages. As always, we look forward to keeping in touch.

Daniela Kohen, Chair

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Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Respect in Chemistry

We want to make the Chemistry Department a place where every student feels valued. We recognize that we do not exist apart from the systemic injustices being so painfully exposed by the events that have occurred recently. These events do not stand alone and are a painful reminder of a long history of racism and inequality in our country. We want to affirm our commitment to supporting you all whenever and however we can and we count you as important partners in our efforts to identify and address these issues.  

We look forward to exploring the ways in which we can improve in developing the talents of, and empowering, scientists from backgrounds that have not traditionally been well-represented, in order to change chemistry for the better.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to any member of the Chemistry Department if you have any questions or want to discuss these issues further.

See the American Chemical Society’s statement on Diversity, Inclusion, and Respect in Chemistry. 

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The Class of 2020

Funto Akindona — Missouri City, TX — At Carleton I was very involved with the OIIL office, the African and Caribbean Association, and Fellowship in Christ. Last summer I conducted biomedical research at the NIH in that National Institute of Aging with Dr. Sara Saez-Atienzar. I focused on a mutation in the KIF5a gene in the C-terminal which affects cargo transport in kinesin. In September I will be returning to the NIH. I will be working in National Cancer Institute for the Neuro-Oncology Branch. Previously, I did my summer research at the  MD Anderson Cancer Center for two summers; in Summer 2017 with Dr. Yoko Takahashi and in Summer 2018 with Dr. Candelaria Gomez-Manzano.

David Byun — St. Cloud, MN — In 2018 I did summer research at Carleton under supervision the of Dave Alberg/Gretchen Hofmeister. Last summer did natural product synthesis research in the Dave Sarlah lab through the Snyder Scholars program at UIUC. This summer I accepted a 2 year post-bac position at the NCI working for the Yoo lab.

Anna Conley — Yakima, WA — I have been an active part of CANOE and played in orchestra at Carleton. Last summer I did a Carleton-funded research fellowship in Pat Holland’s lab at Yale. I also did research at Carleton with Matt Whited and Dani Kohen and did an externship at the U of M in the Hobbie Lab. I plan to embark on a Watson Fellowship when the situation allows.

Maya Costales — Springfield, IL — This summer I plan to be doing remote work for the Russian department and preparing to move. I’ve worked for the Russian department for the past four years and was a member of FOCUS. Last summer I did summer research at Texas A&M University with Matt Sheldon. Next, I’ll be attending graduate school in Texas to get a PhD in chemistry.

Jack Dalluge — Delano, MN

Sam Darwish — Akron, OH — I was a varsity swimmer for all four years at Carleton. I did research at Carleton under Dr. Deborah Gross as well as at the University of Akron under Dr. Li Jia. Last summer I worked at a golf course while taking classes at the University of Akron to fulfill my pre-dental requirements. I plan on getting a job this summer while I prepare for my first year of dental school at the Ohio State University.

Kyle Duplessis — Seattle, WA

Karen Ehrhardt — Sugar Grove, NC — I have played on Syzygy, the D1 womxn’s ultimate frisbee team, for my three years at Carleton. Last summer I did research with Kim Huynh at the University of Maryland, College Park. I worked on synthesizing metal oxide nanoparticles for thermite mechanistic studies. It was a great experience working with Carleton people while experiencing a new city and university. I am working at a sewing business over the summer to supply local counties with masks. In the fall, I will be starting a PhD program in Materials chemistry at UNC Chapel Hill.

Sarah Finstuen-Magro — Washington, DC — At Carleton I was on the varsity soccer team, a volunteer at HealthFinders, a peer mentor in Carleton Pre-Health Association and a KRLX DJ. In 2018-2020 I did on-campus research with Stephan Zweifel and during the summer of 2018 with Dr. Kylene Kehn-Hall at the National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases. Last summer I was a research intern at Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN) studying drug-mediated chemotherapy resistance in ovarian cancer (Kaufmann Laboratory). This summer I will be a research associate at Dana Farber Cancer Institute (Boston, MA) developing blood-based biopsy diagnostic and prognostic tools for pediatric cancers (Crompton Laboratory).

Jesse Gates — Vermillion, SD — While at Carleton, I was in the Symphony band. Last summer my research project at the UMN was natural product discovery in the Smanski Lab. I plan to take a gap year before medical school, working as a nurse aid.

Spencer Hamilton — Manhatten Beach, CA — Last summer I did research at UC Riverside with Dr. Michael Zachariah on 3D printing energetic material for use in rocket fuels, explosives and biological warfare countermeasures. I was supposed to talk at the Spring 2020 ACS conference in Philadelphia before it was canceled due to COVID-19. My talk, with Xander Idrogo, was to be titled “3D Printing of Nano-Scale Energetic Material”. Over the summer I am hoping to start research at UCLA with Dr. Sarah Tolbert. Next year I am starting a PhD program at UCLA in chemistry.

Madi Ho — San Diego, CA

Isabel Ledsky — Chicago, IL

Joseph Luther — Spokane, WA

Noah Marcel — Livermore, CA — Both the lacrosse team and juggling club are like family. I am super lucky to have spent time in the makerspace. Last summer, I took a physics class at UC-Berkeley and did research in orofacial sciences at UCSF, under Dr Andrew Jheon. This summer I’m moving home to the bay area, looking for a job, and restoring a car.

Morgan Mayer — Garrett Park, MD

Ian McCarthy — Spokane, WA

Matthew Pan — Princeton, NJ

Will Pangburn — New York, NY

Duncan Peterson — Northampton, MA — At Carleton I was on the Lacrosse  team. Last summer I did research with Kim Huyhn in Washington DC and hope to do research at UNC this summer.

Andrew Sauer — Northampton, NY

Tess Sevetson — Seattle, WA

Claire Shugart — Denver, CO — I was a member of the Carleton Choir for most of the time here and did research with Matt Whited. Last summer’s research was funded by Carleton at the University of Minnesota with Laura Gagliardi on the CASSCF and CASPT2 computational methods. I was hoping to start research this summer, but right now it’s looking like I won’t be doing anything until August. Next year I will be attending CSU to study for a PhD in Chemistry.

Shelsea St. Hillien — Naples, FL

Jenna Tom — Waipahu, HI —  Last summer I spent 10 weeks in Boulder doing research on photopolymers and diffractive optics in the McLeod lab. This summer I plan to spend some time with my family and friends in Hawaii before moving to San Diego, where I will be starting graduate school in the fall.

Luke Westawker — St. Paul, MN — Last summer I worked for Dr. Daniel Frisbie (‘89) at the University of Minnesota’s Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science in the Twin Cities. I researched how to tailor the conductive properties of molecular wires through synthetic modifications. I am going to be studying and working in Germany through the Congress-Bundestag Young Professionals exchange program from January until June (typically a year-long program). My internship will involve renewable energy policy and advocacy related to my senior Comps project for my German Major. At Carleton I was on the Men’s Track and Field, a German Major, a ResLife RA, in CANOE Club, a PEAR Team Leader and in Synchrony II.

Stuart Yi — Forest City, IA — Last summer I did protein crystallization research at San Diego State University under Dr. Manal Swairjo. This summer I plan to be a medical scribe.

Do email tlittle@carleton.edu if you would like your information to be updated.

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Student Honors and Awards

JAMES ADAMS MEMORIAL AWARD FOR POSITIVITY

Henock B. Befekadu ’21, Katherine C. Mateos ’21

AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY UNDERGRADUATE AWARD IN ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY

An Kitamura ‘21

AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY UNDERGRADUATE AWARD IN ORGANIC CHEMISTRY

Tess M. Sevetson

AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY UNDERGRADUATE AWARD IN INORGANIC CHEMISTRY

Christof M. Zweifel ‘21

AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY UNDERGRADUATE AWARD IN PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY

Jenna K. Tom

AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF CHEMISTS AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN CHEMISTRY

Jenna K. Tom

B.A. DEGREE WITH LATIN HONORS

Magna Cum Laude — Anna M. Conley, Sarah G. Finstuen-Magro, Andrew J. Sauer, Tess M. Sevetson, Jenna K. Tom

Cum Laude — Oluwafunto A. Akindona, Karen M. Ehrhardt, Madeline B. Ho

BISCOTTI AWARDS FOR OUTSTANDING SEMINAR ATTENDANCE

Claire M. Shugart

CHARLES CARLIN PRIZE IN CHEMISTRY

Jesse C. Gates, Madeline B. Ho, Isabel R. Ledsky

CRC PRESS FRESHMAN CHEMISTRY ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Helen Jin-Le ‘23

DISTINCTION IN THE MAJOR

Anna M. Conley, Sarah G. Finstuen-Magro, Spencer Hamilton, Isabel R. Ledsky, Andrew J. Sauer, Jenna K. Tom, Luke P. Westawker

DISTINCTION ON THE SENIOR INTEGRATIVE EXERCISE

Anna M. Conley, Sarah G. Finstuen-Magro, Jesse C. Gates, Spencer G. Hamilton, Isabel R. Ledsky, Andrew J. Sauer, Jenna K. Tom, Luke P. Westawker

FRANZ EXNER AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE IN CHEMISTRY

Oluwafunto A. Akindona, Sarah G. Finstuen-Magro

JAMES FINHOLT PRIZE IN INORGANIC CHEMISTRY

Karen M. Ehrhardt

HONORS IN MUSIC PERFORMANCE

Matthew Pan

KOLENKOW REITZ FUND FOR UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH

Bella Bettner ‘23, Anna Hughes ‘21

BRIAN MARS AWARD FOR LABORATORY SERVICE

Seth Greengo

JERRY MOHRIG PRIZE IN CHEMISTRY

David P. Byun

MORTAR BOARD

Class of 2020 Tess M. Sevetson

PAGLIA POST-BAC RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP

Sarah G. Finstuen-Magro

PHI BETA KAPPA

Class of 2020 – Anna M. Conley, Sarah G. Finstuen-Magro, Andrew J. Sauer, Tess M. Sevetson, Jenna K. Tom

RICHARD RAMETTE TEACHING AWARDS

Spencer G. Hamilton, Ian H. McCarthy, Shelsea A. St. Hillien

SIGMA XI

Oluwafunto A. Akindona, Anna M. Conley, Maya S. Costales, Madeline B. Ho, Tess M. Sevetson, Shelsea A. St. Hillien, Jenna K. Tom, Luke P. Westawker, Stuart F. Yi

WATSON FELLOWSHIP

Anna M. Conley

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Off-Campus Student Research Presentations

Ehrhardt, K.*; Rehwoldt, M.; Zachariah, M.; Huynh, K. Analysis of Thermite Reaction Behavior for 18O-Labeled Metal Oxides. Poster presented at the American Chemical Society National Meeting. San Diego, CA. August 29, 2019.

Ehrhardt, K.*; Zweifel, C.*; Rehwoldt, M.; Zachariah, M.; Huynh, K. Mechanistic Studies of Thermite Reactions with Cu18O, Bi218O3 and Fe218O3. Abstract accepted for the Energetic Materials Gordon Research Conference. Newry, ME. May 31 – June 5, 2020. Canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic

Hamilton, S.*; Idrogo, A.*; Rehwoldt, M.; Kline, D.; Zachariah, M.; Huynh, K. 3D Printing of Nano-scale Energetic Materials. Abstract accepted for the American Chemical Society National Meeting. Philadelphia, PA. March 22 – 26, 2020. Canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual poster presentation:https://www.morressier.com/article/3d-printing-nanoscale-energetic-material/5e73d6ce139645f83c22acac?

Peterson, D.*; Wang, L.; Eichhorn, B.; Huynh, K. Mechanistic Study of the Chemical Components in the Solid Electrolyte Interphase. Poster presented at the American Chemical Society National Meeting. San Diego, CA. August 29, 2019.

Stoutland, I.* Dinardo Z.* D. Kohen and Whited M., Carleton College, Computational investigation of cobalt silylene and related compounds. 35th Midwest Undergraduate Computational Chemistry Conference. On-line. Talk.

Zweifel, C.*; Zachariah, M.; Eichhorn, B.; Huynh, K. Investigation of Dimethyl Methylphosphonate Adsorption and Decomposition Activity with Isotope-Labeled Materials. Poster presented at the American Chemical Society National Meeting. San Diego, CA. August 29, 2019. 

Zweifel, C* and D. Kohen, Molecular insight into cation motion within MFI zeolite. 35th Midwest Undergraduate Computational Chemistry Conference. On-line. Talk.

Way, L*; G. Hofmeister G., and Kohen D.. Using transition state analogues to predict enantioselectivity. 35th Midwest Undergraduate Computational Chemistry Conference. On-line. Poster.

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Enrollments

Fall 2019

CourseStudentsFaculty
122, Introduction to Chemistry20Calderone
128, Principles of Environmental Chemistry & Lab35Hollingsworth
224, Principles of Chemistry II & Lab47Gross
233-1, Organic Chemistry I & Lab23Alberg
233-2, Organic Chemistry I & Lab46Huynh
292, Independent Research1Drew
301, Chemical Kinetics Laboratory26Chihade, Kohen
343, Chemical Thermodynamics20Ferrett
361, Materials Chemistry15Drew
392 Independent Research1Calderone
394, Student-Faculty Research7Staff
400, Integrative Exercise1Staff

Winter 2020

CourseStudentsFaculty
113, Concepts of Chemistry & Lab14Drew
123-1, Principles of Chemistry I & Lab57Huynh
123-2, Principles of Chemistry I w/ Problem Solving19Calderone
233, Organic Chemistry I & Lab44Alberg
234, Organic Chemistry II & Lab45Chihade
292, Independent Research7Staff
302, Quantum Spectroscopy Laboratory28Ferrett,Hollingsworth
306, Spectrometric Chara. of Chemical Compounds9Whited
330,331, Instrumental Chemical Analysis10Gross
344, Quantum Chemistry23Hollingsworth
394, Student-Faculty Research6Staff
400, Integrative Exercise24Staff

Spring 2020

CourseStudentsFaculty
123, Principles of Chemistry I & Lab67Calderone
224, Principles Chemistry II & Lab65Drew
234, Organic Chemistry II & Lab44Huynh
320, Biological Chemistry37Chihade
321, Biological Chemistry Laboratory18Chihade
348, Intro to Computational Chemistry11Kohen
349, Computational Chemistry Lab11Kohen
350, Chemical and Biosynthesis16Alberg
351, Inorganic Chemistry13Whited
352, Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory7Whited
392, Independent Research2Staff
394, Student-Faculty Research12Staff
400, Integrative Exercise27Staff

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Faculty and Staff Activities

David G. Alberg, 1993-, Professor and Chair. B.A., Carleton College; Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley.

The 2019-20 academic year started with such excitement.  We moved into brand new Anderson Hall, with fantastic new offices, great student study spaces, wonderful teaching labs, and state of the art research labs.  Sadly, the year ended with the wretched COVID-19-induced disruption in our lives, our challenging move to online classes and labs, and then the tragic and anguishing murder of George Floyd and the chaotic aftermath.  What a strange and difficult year….

Fall and winter terms I taught Organic Chemistry I.  Teaching in the new organic chemistry lab was a real treat.  The lab is spacious and it’s easy to move around and work with students.  Everything we need is easy to access, with an adjacent instrument room and the NMR spectrometer next door.  We also have a dedicated pre-lab classroom adjacent to the lab.  The classroom, of course, gets used before each lab period to discuss the lab project and go over safety information, but the classrooms are particularly convenient for lab discussions and student presentations.  The building is working as planned — which means outstandingly!

In the fall, visiting professor Kim Huynh and I taught concurrent sections of Organic Chemistry I and we collaborated on the running of the lab component — holding joint meetings with our lab TAs.  It was a pleasure to work with her.  She has been a great addition to our department over the past two years.  We are happy for Kim as she moves on to a permanent job at the new Bard High School Early College DC.  We in the department, and her students, are going to miss Kim greatly.

Spring term I taught my upper-level Chemical and Biosynthesis course.  The first few weeks were quite stressful.  I found myself working harder and longer than I did as a first-year professor.  In particular, making videos for “asynchronous” teaching took me much longer than I think it should have.  I find it strange that I have no problem lecturing in front of a full classroom, but I quickly became tongue-tied when speaking into my computer.  I guess I’m a better stage actor than a movie star!  I was much happier on the days when I ran my class “synchronously” via Zoom.  With a class of 16, Zoom worked pretty well and interacting with students in real time was so much more energizing than making videos, alone in my office.  But, despite the stress and fatigue, we made it through the term and, in the end, I felt like the course actually went pretty well!

I’m looking forward to breaking in our research labs this summer, with an abbreviated summer research period, starting July 6.  The department will have a total of only four chemistry students doing lab research this summer.  The college policy on research dictates that only students who were living on campus spring term are allowed to participate in on-campus research; that is, we are not bringing students back to campus for the summer.  But, Gretchen Hofmeister and I have two students, Eway Cai (’23) and Tony Qiang (’23), working with us on our collaborative project.  Matt Whited has one student, as well.  Among us three synthetic chemists and three students, we’ll have a lot of room to social-distance in our large, shared “synthetic suite”.

We are all bracing ourselves for this fall.  As I write this, no final decision has not been made about how we will hold fall classes — fully online, all students back on campus, or some mixture of online and in person teaching.  In any case, we can look forward to a flurry of planning and preparation once the final decision is announced.

At home, Gretchen and I are no longer empty nesters.  In fact, we are back to our full nest!  After three years working at a San Francisco-based biotech start-up company called Benchling, our son, Sam, left that job last year.  He then embarked on an extended trip through Central and South America, returning to Northfield just as COVID-19 hit Minnesota.  He’s been stuck with us ever since.  Our daughter Ellie has been living in LA since she graduated from Occidental College in 2019, but after the virus-induced loss of her job working as a barista, she will soon be back home with us, too.  I’ll report in next year’s annual report on how we did living together under one roof, again.  Until then, stay healthy!

Christopher Calderone, 2012 — Assistant Professor. B.S., University of Chicago; M.Phil., Cambridge University; Ph.D., Harvard University.

The highlight of this year was supposed to be moving into the freshly-renovated biochemistry research lab space in preparation for a summer of student research, but the shutdown of campus due to the pandemic threw a bit of a monkeywrench into the works.  Though I won’t be able to do it with any students, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to finish unpacking and get some research back up and running this summer, continuing my lab’s work on natural product biosynthesis.

I taught the gamut of introductory courses this year, including CHEM122 Introduction to Chemistry and a problem-solving section of CHEM123 Principles of Chemistry for the first time.  In the spring, along with the rest of the faculty, I tried to figure out how to teach chemistry through electronic whiteboards and Zoom.  Also along with the rest of the faculty, I used the words “synchronous” and “asynchronous” more in nine weeks than I had in my entire life previous to this term.  Extra-challenging was figuring out how to translate experimental laboratories into an online format, and I discovered that I have absolutely no talent as a cinematographer during my one and only attempt at recording a laboratory demonstration.

Though as of this writing it is not known what format the 2020-21 academic year will take, we all have our fingers crossed that we’ll be somewhat back to normal, seeing students in three dimensions and not as thumbnails in the Zoom gallery view.

Charles H. Carlin, 1966-2004; Charles “Jim” and Marjorie Kade Professor of the Sciences, Emeritus, 2004-. B.A., Carthage College; Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University.

Marion E. Cass, 1987-2018, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry. B.S. Fort Lewis College, Durango Colorado, Ph.D., University of Colorado at Boulder.

Greetings from rural New Hampshire where I have spent the year working on many projects to finish building our energy efficient home.  It is still hard to project when we will finally be done. Not surprisingly, the arrival of coronavirus has slowed things down. Looking on the bright side, having fewer subcontractors (close to zero) has given us an “opportunity” to learn new skills (does this sound a little bit like the “oral opportunity” made available in Chemical Kinetics?). This year I helped upgrade our solar system with bifacial panels, mapped out and installed the electrical circuits for lighting and outlets, insulated the roof and remaining walls, helped Steve install tile floors on the porch and in the kitchen, cut and bent the copper flashing for the roof and siding, taped, gasketed and sealed the window installations for higher energy efficiency, helped install a heat recover ventilation system (HRV) and served as a general lacky on site.   Most recently, Steve and I started putting slate on the upper parts of the building. All of the work has been more or less perfect work during a pandemic since we are quite isolated and have infinite projects to keep us occupied. I haven’t done much chemistry this year with the exception of working on the creation of a new learning object in molecular orbital theory stemming from the work I did with students (Jonas Sun, Adam Nijhawan and Tristan Pitt) last spring at Carleton.

Steve continues to work (mostly remotely) as the Director of Research at the Irving Institute for Energy and Society at Dartmouth College although on weekends, early mornings and evenings he is also a construction worker and drives much of the creative work on making the building air tight and energy efficient. Steve’s mom Joan (soon to turn 87) has been isolating with us here in rural NH and is doing well. Ada is slowing down a bit but still has great enthusiasm for walks in the woods or a swim in a pond whenever possible.

Much love to all of you from this side of the country.

Joseph W. Chihade, 2003-, Professor. B.A., Oberlin College; M.A., Ph.D., Columbia University.

I am probably the thousandth person to say it, but this has been quite the unusual year. This was my first year after being department chair and my first year in the last ten without having a course release for some sort of college service, so I was excited to “get back to normal”. Things didn’t quite turn out that way. 

This fall, Dani Kohen and I co-taught Chemical Kinetics lab and took the opportunity to try out a couple of changes we had been thinking about for the course. We replaced the once per week class meeting with a four-week schedule of MWF meetings at the beginning of the term and used a textbook as a way of pulling together the material. While there are still things to work on, we were pretty pleased with how the course turned out. We think that we managed to keep the entertainment value of having a married couple co-teach a course at just the right level, but you’d have to ask the students about that. In winter, I taught Organic II to a marvelous group of students. This year I more formally integrated material on synthetic polymers, building on material that Matt Whited had developed when he taught the course a few years ago. A comparison between biological and synthetic polymers was a nice way to tie together lots of the big ideas of organic chemistry during the last week of the term. 

When the pandemic and online teaching hit in the spring, I had to come up with some new plans for teaching Biological Chemistry and the associated lab. With students scattered all over the country, most of the coursework was asynchronous, with a lot more textbook reading and online homework and a lot less lecturing and in class work. I still made plenty of video lectures and had Zoom Q&A sessions during class sessions. Lots of learning about electronic teaching tools occurred, and some learning about biochemistry might have even managed to seep in. The lab course was the big adventure, as I decided to ditch my previous plans and make the lab entirely about SARS-CoV-2 biochemistry. Two major targets for the development of drugs that might cure the virus or prevent infection are the main protease and the spike protein. By early March, structures of both proteins were publicly available and DNA encoding the proteins could be obtained easily. The two projects that students worked on were to understand the specificity and the mechanism of main protease, which is related to papain, one of the classic enzymes that is studied in every biochemistry course, and to try to identify a fragment of the spike protein that would be water soluble if expressed in E. coli. I did all the lab work, while the students (with some coaching) designed the experiments and interpreted the results. We ran into a couple of unexpected roadblocks towards the end of the term. (For example, I had no idea that while commercial DNA synthesis is fast and cheap, commercial peptide synthesis is very slow and expensive.) Still, I ended up with a project that may be the basis of future biochemistry lab courses for years to come and the students got to engage in some science that felt very relevant. I also (re)learned how important hands on experience is for making connections; I’m hopeful that I will be able to use that insight in designing and teaching lab courses in the future. 

Despite not having a research group last summer because of construction, the year was still very exciting in terms of scholarly progress. I made my first trip to China in November to attend the 12th International Symposium on Aminoacyl-tRNA Synthetases in Hangzhou. This winter I was a co-author on a paper in Nature Communications that came out this February describing the the basis of tRNA recognition by human mitochondrial alanyl-tRNA synthetase, a project my students and I have been poking away at for more than a decade. It was incredibly satisfying to see that work come to fruition. This summer I’m working with a great team of five students, all of whom are working from their homes, to try to finish up another long-running research project aimed at properly identifying aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase coding regions in the genomes of several parasitic worms. We’re using tools that I learned about last summer when I attended a workshop on biochemistry teaching sponsored by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. I’ve been working with Jennifer Wolff in the Biology department on coming up with ways to incorporate this type of genomic analysis into her Genetics courses. We co-directed a group of eight students in the Fall term who worked both on doing the analysis and on how to best integrate the material into a teaching lab. 

On the home front, we remain amazed at how fast kids grow up. Margo will be a high-school senior this fall and Sofia will be a junior. It’s a lot of fun, if a bit disconcerting, to watch them zig-zag from acting like adults who are more competent than their parents at certain things to being the sweet little girls we’ve known for years in the course of a day. As always, they continue to make us better teachers and better people.

William C. Child, Jr., 1956-1990; Emeritus Professor, 1990-. B.A., Oberlin College; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin.

Nancy and I have done little travel over the past year, but we did have the pleasure of celebrating our 60th wedding anniversary last June. Obviously, we avoided any indoor party, but many of our neighbors at Village on the Cannon hosted an outdoor gathering. A second happy occasion was the wedding of our son Doug on August 1st. We now await the results of the pivotal election this November.

Steven M. Drew, 1991-, Professor. B.A., St. John’s University; Ph.D., University of Colorado.

2020 has proved to be an eventful year so far…with more still to come!

As is often the norm for me, I taught a nice mix of 100-, 200- and 300-level courses during the 2019-2020 academic year.  In the fall I taught Chemistry of Materials (CHEM 361) for the first time (more on this later).  In the winter, I taught Concepts of Chemistry (CHEM 113) to a receptive group of non-science majors.  This has been an enjoyable course for me and I was planning to present information on the course and laboratory structure at the 2020 Biennial Conference in Chemistry Education, but then the pandemic put an end to that. 

In the spring, I had the experience of teaching an online course for the first time ever.  With the majority of students sent home for the term, an immediate conversion to teaching Principles of Chemistry II (CHEM 224) online was necessary.  This was quite an experience.  I learned how to use some new tools (Zoom, Slack), but quickly discovered their limitations.  The entire experience reinforced my core belief in the value of teaching and learning in a residential liberal arts college setting.  While learning did occur online, the student experience was more varied and lacked a sense of communal effort.  Group learning is critical in the sciences, and this was difficult to reproduce online.  In addition, we could not offer students the opportunity to improve their lab skills beyond the analysis of data we would provide.  If this type of emergency arises again, I’ll be better prepared to teach online now, but I hope we will be able to have students on campus this fall for at least some in-person work, particularly work in the lab.

Last summer it was not possible to use the new research labs in Anderson Hall due to the move, however, there was much to do organizing the move and getting settled in the building.  The chemistry spaces are wonderful and have only required some minor tweaks to get all the details right.  I ended the summer preparing to teach Chemistry of Materials for the first time.  This is a course I’ve been wanting to teach for several years and I finally was able to make it happen.  One forgets how much work is involved when creating a course for the first time, but it was intellectually challenging and fun at the same time.  For the course we studied topics in materials chemistry such as bonding in solids, band theory, sates of aggregation, crystalline structure, X-ray diffraction, classes of materials, phase diagrams, and the properties of semiconductors and nanomaterials.  I have convened an informal materials interest group at Carleton that includes professors from chemistry and physics.  We hope to collaborate in the future to enhance the materials themed course offering across both departments and perhaps develop a joint laboratory course that covers topics in materials.

During the school year, Isabel Ledsky (’20) and Ethan Ta (’21) helped get my research lab operating again.  We continued our work on applying our 2D photocurrent scanning station to the study of thin film mixed metal oxide semiconductors we make using our inexpensive restricted evaporation technique.  Carleton’s new SEM was installed last year.  I plan to be fully trained on the instrument this year so we can add SEM analysis to our tool kit for examining our metal oxide thin film materials.

Tricia A. Ferrett, 1990-, Professor. B.A., Grinnell College; Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley.

Fall and winter terms were “normal”, filled with joyful on-campus learning with chemistry majors in Chemical Thermodynamics (fall) and Quantum Spec Lab (winter).  I look back on these terms with increased gratitude. I also had the pleasure of working with senior Kyle Duplessis on his comps paper on unusually fast radical reactions at very low temperatures relevant to astrochemical conditions. I have some wonderful memories of those spontaneous moments in the classroom and my office where learning, humor, good will, and affection collided in the magical Carleton way.

As COVID took over in early March, the transition to online learning was challenging for everyone. Thanks to incredible staff in the Learning and Teaching Center (Director Melissa Eblen-Zayas) and ITS, I learned over 3 weeks in many Zoom classes about the ins and outs of shifting to online learning. I chose to trust those who had taught online before, took many leaps of faith, and made massive adaptations in course design, delivery, and learning activities.  This creative storm was fun, risky, and tiring.

Spring term I had 27 students in Abrupt Climate Change (ENTS 288), including many ENTS majors but also first and second-year students (and 2 seniors!). We had the good fortune to have two guest visitors — Richard Alley, a glaciologist and world expert in abrupt climate change, and Sophie Hines (’11), an alum who is now a paleoceanographer at Woods Hole who studies glacial ocean circulation using deep sea corals. We ended the last 2 weeks with a project related to Northfield’s new Climate Action Plan (CAP). Students did research on the CAP themes of flooding (riverine and impervious surfaces), water (drinking and wastewater), and energy (geothermal and renewable energy micro grids). They gathered and wrote about ideas and case studies elsewhere for how to build resilience to climate shocks into Northfield’s future.  As of this writing, I am preparing to edit and send the student work to city employees.

Like other faculty who taught spring term, I have not worked as hard since my first several years of teaching.  The whole experience was challenging and exhausting in terms of workload, constant adaptation, and invention of learning activities.  More importantly, it involved constant and vigilant compassion and flexibility for students — especially near the end of term when George Floyd was murdered.  Much of what I learned I can use for both campus and online learning in the future.  Students were supportive, engaged, flexible and kind as we all moved into a difficult new world, pandemic, and critically important attention to issues of racism and police brutality. I am already imagining how I can bring attention to some of these issues into my future teaching. Currently, I am embracing more learning about online teaching for at least fall 2020. I plan to be on sabbatical in 2021-22 and am in search of a great project.

One of the happiest moments of my term was the Chemistry (Zoom) picnic, where students did a funny skit and had us play a trivia game in Kahoot Thank you students!

At home, my nest is empty and my partner and I are doing lots of gardening, yardwork, cooking, reading, and daily afternoon happy hours.  I am grateful for my long walks and runs outside, along with the vigilance of most Northfield citizens to behave safely with COVID. My nutty dog Indie is a great source of joy and humor. My elderly and vulnerable mother is safe but isolated in Fort Collins with my brothers — I hope to see them (outside, at a distance) soon.

James E. Finholt, 1960-2001; William H. Laird Professor of Chemistry and the Liberal Arts, Emeritus, 2001-. B.A., St. Olaf College; Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley.

Deborah S. Gross, 1998-, Professor. B.A., Haverford College; Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley.

This year is hard to summarize. I will start by saying that I hope that the challenge put to all of us after the murder of George Floyd will resonate through our work at Carleton into the future. I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish with a strong sense of purpose and with so many (ourselves included) holding the College, our department, and each of ourselves accountable. Nothing looks the same now as it did recently, for a whole variety of reasons, and it’s on all of us to capitalize on this moment to ensure that things continue to look different (better!) for everyone, especially Black, Indigenous, and people of color who have been systematically denied equal access to progress to this day.

From my personal perspective, things look different in so many ways. We moved into and really started to enjoy our new building last summer, and got comfortable teaching here during the fall and winter terms. The labs and common spaces are excellent, bright, and filled with possibility. Spring term, I worked almost entirely from home. This means I have enjoyed a fantastic commute (kitchen to living room beats St. Paul to Northfield, any day!) and my not-always-as-helpful-as-they-think-they-are cats, who have managed to appear in nearly every Zoom meeting I’ve had, are nice office mates. I have seen many students this term, but all on my laptop screen through video calls, and the total number of people I have seen in person is very small.

It’s hard to remember what fall and winter terms were like, but in the fall, I taught CHEM 224, Principles of Chemistry II, to 47 students, getting to inaugurate the new lab spaces in Evelyn M. Anderson Hall (I’m trying to keep the “Evelyn” part of her name present whenever I refer to the building so that we remember to celebrate that our new facility is named for a woman scientist!). It was great fun, although there were some details to adjust as we got used to the new spaces. I also worked with the FOCUS Sophomore Colloquium — 28 amazing students who are changing the face of the STEM fields through their hard work and impressive achievements — on a project that lasts all year.

In the winter, I taught CHEM 330/331, Instrumental Chemical Analysis and the associated lab to a small but select group of dedicated students who are skilled instrumentalists. I also worked alongside Steve Drew with a comps group to study the mass spectrometry work done by Professor Jenny Brodbelt from UT Austin. We worked with David Byun, Jack Dalluge, Sam Darwish, Jesse Gates, Joseph Luther, and Jenna Tom and they carried out excellent work, both during the winter, when we met regularly in person, and during the spring, when everything was remote, including our meetings with Professor Brodbelt. Finally, in the winter, Tsegaye Nega and I co-advised an ENTS comps done by Akiko Williams and Justin Webb, in which they did a really interesting study of the role of student textbook purchases on generation of plastic waste on campus (think of those bubble-envelopes that books and other small items are mailed in), and the factors that go into student choices about how, where, when, and if to purchase books. There’s a lot to learn from their work!

In the spring, my teaching was limited, including one lab section for Steve Drew’s offering of CHEM 224 and the continuing FOCUS Sophomore Colloquium. In terms of the transition to remote teaching, I got off “easy” with this schedule. I spent my spring break working to make video recordings of CHEM 224 labs (thanks Nghi Lam for your recordings!) and editing them so that the students could analyze the data and results from home while getting a pretty good idea of what was actually happening in the experiments.

On the research front, I moved my instruments into the lab but had little time to actually work there. I had two students, Diana Rodriguez and Cassie Smith, working with me and we took on a project to help a Northfield family investigate the impact of wood-smoke emissions from a local restaurant chimney on their home. We managed to get one set of measurements of air quality in downtown Northfield using a fleet of handheld instruments before campus shut down, and the data was consistent with the complaints.

This summer, I have been working with three research students: Mehdi Shahid (’22) on campus, and Diana Rodriguez (’22) and David Stem (’21) remote. It’s different. But we’re getting work done and digging into cookstove emissions, the relationship between aerosols and COVID-19 (both as a mode of transmission and as a form of pollution that is impacted by lockdowns and changes in behavior and commerce, globally).

Overall, this has been a challenging year for a whole variety of reasons. I look forward to some certainty in the future, even though I know it might take a while to get there, and that it will look different from what I am used to. Take care, everyone! We all need to.

Gretchen E. Hofmeister, 2002-, Professor. B.A., Carleton College; Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley.

William E. Hollingsworth, 1986-, Professor. B.S., B.A., University of Texas, Austin; M.S., Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley.

I taught Chem 128 (environmental chemistry) in the fall and quantum chemistry and spectroscopy lab in the winter. I enjoyed working throughout the year with the two Focus cohorts and getting to know them.

This very unusual year was quite unique at both ends of the year! In the fall, we were finally able to take up residence in Anderson Hall and teach our first round of classes and labs in the new space. My Chem 128 students and I will forever be known as the first group to use the new introductory chemistry lab space. The space works quite well, is bright, spacious, and efficiently designed. In the winter I taught the spectroscopy lab with Trish in the new advanced lab room, and that worked quite well too. It is well designed for our modular spectroscopy experiments and it is terrific to have access to many other instruments just outside the door in the ‘Hall of Instruments.’ Anderson Hall already feels like home!

Just as the winter term was ending, the impending pandemic started in earnest and we all had to bid a hasty retreat from Anderson Hall after having just moved in. We all scrambled to arrange remote teaching of our classes and have a new reality with so many zoom meetings. We will all see what the fall will bring. Enough said.

Julie Karg, 1988-, Chemistry Technician. B.S., Mankato State University.

Academic year 2019-2020 was our first year occupying our new spaces in Anderson Hall.  Much time was spent unpacking and organizing these spaces in time for the beginning of fall term.  There were unexpected setbacks along the way, but the department used its creativity and ingenuity to develop temporary solutions until more permanent fixes could be implemented.  Due to the covid-19 pandemic, our department will undoubtedly be putting our creative juices to work again.  I look forward to the day when it is safe to work alongside students again. 

Daniela Kohen, 2002-, Professor. B.A., Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina; Ph.D., University of Notre Dame.

What a year!

As I said in the introduction this was my first year as a chair of the department. Our move to Evelyn M. Anderson dominated my fall. As you can imagine, everyone in the department worked super hard to make the fabulous (and I am not exaggerating!) new space ours. Special thanks to Steve Drew — our moving Czar, and to Julie and Lanhao! There is still some work to do, although the pandemic has put our worries (Do all the locks work? How do we decorate the Chemistry computer room so it is welcoming?) in perspective.

COVID has presented us with many challenges. Supporting our students, maintaining a sense of community and conducting labs online made the spring very hard. We have spent much of the summer planning for the fall, keeping in mind our need to be creative and flexible to accommodate the pandemic. I am incredibly grateful to the team spirit that characterizes faculty and staff in the department. Our students have also been amazing at partnering with us. I am sure things are not going to be easy in the near future, but I do know that I can trust that we are all doing our best for our students.

The murder of George Floyd and the reckoning that has followed and is still unfolding is also in my mind as I think of my duties as chair. It is our responsibility to think hard about what our next steps should be and act accordingly. I look forward to the work ahead, bringing about meaningful and long-lasting change that will result in a department that is welcoming and supporting for everyone, but especially to those have been systematically denied equal access.

Teaching was much so much less challenging! In the fall Joe and I co-taught kinetics. It was pretty good. (If you are curious read Joe’s bit about it in his blurb). In the spring, I taught intro to computational chemistry. I do love to teach that class and to see the students grow comfortable with and knowledgeable about the advanced material while also putting at work much of the chemistry they had already learned. Teaching online was less joyous than usual but, given the circumstances, it was pretty great.

Doing research over the summer with undergraduate collaborators has also been a pleasure (even if on Zoom). Christof Zweifel (’21) joined my group to study cation motion within zeolites (molecular sieves). The goal of these studies is to provide a basic understanding of the processes that underlie the use of molecular sieves as filters to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. In some of these materials, cations act as selective trapdoors, allowing carbon dioxide but no other gases to diffuse through. Computer simulations are allowing us to gather microscopic insight into this interesting behavior.

I also continue to directly collaborate with experimentalists as I venture into the world of quantum chemistry. Zach Dinardo (’21) and Irene Stoutland (’21) used computational methods to investigate mechanism and reactivity in the systems that the Whited group studies, while Lauren Way (’22) contributed to the Hofmeister/Alberg project on using Transition State Analogs to predict enantioselectivity. In addition, I was as a member of NSF’s CHE Committee of Visitors — an external audit for all of their programs that occurs once every four years, and was an external advisor to the Louisiana State University’s Louis Stokes Center for Promotion of Academic Careers through Motivational Opportunities to Develop Emerging Leaders in STEM (an NSF founded initiative). Meanwhile at Carleton, I continue to co-chair the Advisory committee on Student Life; which as you might suspect has been quite a task in these COVID times.

On a very a sad personal note, my Dad died in Israel in early June. He was a great father. He had Alzheimer’s and his decline was particularly fast since COVID started. (He was moved to a different facility and my Mom couldn’t visit every day as she had been doing until then.) His passing was peaceful, and he was with my mother and brother. It is quite surreal — in normal circumstances I would have gotten on a plane when I learned he had been taken to the hospital, and as it is, I am not sure when I will be able to visit my Mom.

On a positive side, life at home is pretty good — which is sometimes disconcerting given the circumstances we are all facing. Margo (18) and Sofia (16) have been able to be flexible and to somehow adapt to this strange new reality. The four of us are able to enjoy each other quite a lot, which is so nice!

Tamara Little, 2016 — ; administrative assistant for Chemistry and Geology. 1996-2016 administrative assistant for AMST/ENTS/LING adding WGST (2007-2016).

In the summer of 2016, I was excited and a little apprehensive to take on the new role as administrative assistant for the Chemistry & Geology departments. I knew it might take a bit to acquaint myself working in this role and I knew the departments were in for changes moving in and out of buildings for the next 3 years. Little did I know that even after 4 years, I’m still awaiting the experience of what a normal year in the departments might be. With the pandemic, it appears this might not happen until 2021 or…

I am still the compiler of content for The Weekly Beaker and the Annual Report and manage the department’s website along with the usual office duties. With great appreciation for all members in the Chemistry and Geology departments, I thank you for your patience and support this past year. Many helped behind the scene to make sure loose ends were at least tucked in. Thank you again to Brenda Norberg, Talia Kottler and Alison Block for taking on the challenges.

As I type this from my office at home, I see the bookmark on my computer for remotely lowering the shades directly outside my sunny office. I haven’t spent a day in that office since March 16, 2020. My office with all the sunshine sits empty. I look forward to the day when students pass by my corner, stopping in with a quick “hi” and to grab a sweet treat. And I look forward to the time when I am again the purchaser of a steady supply of cookies for the Chemistry Seminars.

Jerry R. Mohrig, 1967-2003; Herman and Gertrude Mosier Stark Professor of the Natural Sciences, Emeritus, 2003-. B.S., University of Michigan; Ph.D., University of Colorado.

This was a year with two parts — the first part was normal and the second part was on lockdown due to Covid-19. The fall saw me again teaching my CVEC course on the history and chemistry of cooking. It will probably be my last teaching, but I continue to serve on the CVEC committee for the outreach to Faribault. Then came the coronavirus. At the start, we couldn’t do anything except go outside. We stopped all group activities, used social distancing, and allowed only residents and staff inside. Anything else was forbidden, which meant a fourteen day quarantine in our apartments. At least we have escaped the virus with no known infections. We have slowly changed to doing everything at Millstream Commons except going to stores and banks, etc. I go outside for long drives on my three-wheel electric scooter, all the way to Dundas on one occasion at four miles/hour on the path along the East side of the Cannon River. I have mastered the art of zooming and regularly talk to my two children in Texas, attend church, and talk to friends. I talk to Bill Child each week.

We can’t really predict when the lockdown will end. I originally thought it would be in August or September. Now sometime in the new year is more likely when we have a coherent national policy and a vaccine available. During the first weeks of the lockdown I strongly felt the loss of control in my life, but then I realized that much of the time while I was teaching I only had the illusion of control.

Richard W. Ramette, 1954-1990; Laurence M. Gould Professor of the Natural Sciences, Emeritus, 1990-. B.A., Wesleyan University; Ph.D., University of Minnesota.

Matthew T. Whited, 2010-, Associate Professor. B.A., Davidson College; Ph.D., California Institute of Technology.

Although it is hard remember any time before the pandemic, the past year provided lots of wonderful things to enjoy and celebrate before we got to March. I had a somewhat lighter teaching load than usual, working with a number of Chemistry majors in Spec Char (CHEM 306) and Inorganic Chemistry (CHEM 351/352). Teaching during the crazy spring term, when students were mostly away from campus and everything was online, not to mention having a Kindergartener and Second-Grader of my own at home, and I think we were all just doing what we could to keep our heads above water. However, I was able to do some neat stuff with the CHEM 352 lab, introducing a new experiment (nickel-catalyzed oxidation of alcohols) and a more detailed X-ray crystallography module. In spite of how difficult things were, I have to say that interactions with the students were totally the highlight of my spring term, and they made me yearn for the time when we’ll be able to get back to something a bit more normal here. I was also fortunate to lead a fantastic comps group studying the synthetic inorganic work of Prof. Jonas Peters (Caltech), and even though Jonas could not come to campus in the spring, we were fortunate to be able to have some quality Zoom time with him in April and the students did a good job of throwing some tough questions his way.

Outside of class, I continued to work with the STEM Board and served on a search committee for our new Director of Academic Technology. I also ran a session through Carleton’s Learning & Teaching Center with Prof. Susannah Ottaway and SERC collaborators on “Feedback and assessment in collaborative projects with students.” This session led to some really useful insights on how we can leverage cross-departmental conversations to better support our students who are conducting research as part of classes or during the summer, and I’m eager to continue these conversations. I was also super excited that in January we were finally able to get a single-crystal X-ray diffractometer installed at Carleton (supported by Dreyfus and Carleton funds). I spent quite a bit of time during Winter term using a targeted opportunity course release to learn more about how to use the equipment and write up operating procedures. I have been super excited to bring this instrument into our department, and now that it’s here it is even better than I anticipated! We were able to utilize X-ray diffraction quite a bit in CHEM 352, and I hope we can do so even more during this summer and next year. Finally, I was able to do some travel during the fall to give seminars at Princeton, MIT, and Yale. I got to see several Carleton alumni during my travels, which is always awesome! Next year I will be taking on some new responsibilities as a fellow of the Learning and Teaching Center, helping with various faculty development initiatives and trying to be flexible as our teaching situation continues to evolve.

In the research sphere, this past year has been a little slow because most of my time was spent setting up the lab and getting stuff running. Just as we were getting into a groove, the students were forced off campus. However, I would be remiss not to note Joseph Luther, Anna Conley, Luke Westawker, and Claire Shugart, who have worked with me on and off for the past two years and have been great lab members. I have a large cohort of students this summer, most of whom will be working remotely on computations or doing background work and prep for in-person work as soon as everyone can get back in lab. I’ll be in the lab myself with one student this summer, so I am looking forward to getting my hands dirty again and hopefully making some more progress on stalled projects. We did get a few great papers published this past year (3 papers with 8 undergraduate co-authors), and I’m really excited to follow up on some of our early results from last year as we look to publish the next couple of papers.

Family stuff continues to go well as our boys (James (8) and Andrew (6)) get older and even more fun. Charlotte started a new position this year as Assistant Director of the Grants Office at Carleton (actually beginning March 1, so the transition was a little weird), which is a great fit for her skills. Like so many others, we are anxiously waiting to hear what next year will look like, especially for the kids who are really suffering from missing school and their friends. At this point, we’re just keeping our fingers crossed, but as always we count ourselves fortunate to be at Carleton and in Northfield!

Lanhao Yang, 2013-, Laboratory Manager. B.S., Henan Normal University; M.S., Wuhan University; Ph.D., The Ohio State University.

It is been a year since chemistry department moved into Anderson Hall. This past school year has been unique in many ways.

While in Mudd Hall, the department space was very compact: all teaching labs and the stockroom were on the same floor as my office; the offices and research labs were on two floors. Currently, chemistry department occupies three floors of Anderson Hall: stockroom on the first floor; office and labs (i.e., intro, advanced, and research labs) on the second; more offices and labs (i.e., organic, synthetic, and research labs) on the third. In addition, in Anderson Hall we have more rooms (e.g., prep rooms and write-up space on both the second and third floors, and six rooms plus closets for material management). Given the spread of the departmental space, it took me several months to figure out how to distribute lab supplies effectively — besides the stockroom on the first floor, both the second and third floors need a mini-stockroom. It was truly an accomplishment to have hundreds of boxes unpacked and all supplies organized. Many thanks to my student workers who helped me tremendously. Special thanks to Alison Block, who arrived on campus one week early in the fall term to help. I am also grateful for the patience and understanding of the department while I was figuring out things.

As moving into a new house, purchases are often unavoidable. Due to the tight schedule and logistics, a few supplies (e.g., fridges, freezers, water polishers, and an ice maker) were not available when the department moved into Anderson Hall. Many thanks to Steve Drew for his help to straighten out communications with various parties so that the supplies were ordered in late summer and delivered before it was too late! 

As aforementioned, given the compactness in Mudd Hall people usually found me easily. Currently, due to the spread of the department it was challenging. Therefore, multiple approaches I tried: leaving a note on my office door of my whereabouts; making an appointment with those who wanted to meet; carrying my cell phones. These approaches seem to work effectively.    

Despite the challenges aforementioned, I am grateful for our current space. My office is spacious and has a large window. Many days I moved constantly from place to place to fulfil my responsibilities. By end of the day, I walked tens of thousands of steps and did not feel the need of going to the gym!

As I write this report, Carleton College is in the process of flushing out details for next school year. Though it will be different in many aspects, I look forward to meeting students in person and being part of their learning and growing.

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Faculty Bibliography

Publications

Anstey, M. R.; Bost, J. L.; Grumman, A. S.; Kennedy, N. D.; Whited, M. T. “Crystal Structures of trans-Acetyldicarbonyl(η5-cyclopentadienyl)(1,3,5-triaza-7-phosphaadamantane)molybdenum(II) and trans-Acetyldicarbonyl(η5-cyclopentadienyl)(3,7-diacetyl-1,3,7-triaza-5-phosphabicyclo[3.3.1]nonane)molybdenum(II)” Acta Crystallogr., Sect. E: Crystallogr. Commun. 2020, 76, 547 — 551.

Kuhle, B.; Chihade, J.; Schimel, P. “Relaxed Sequence Constraints Favor Mutational Freedom in Idiosyncratic Metazoan Mitochondrial tRNAs” Nature Communications, 2020, 11, 969.  DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-14725-y.

Whited, M. T.; Zhang, J.; Donnell, T. M.; Eng, V. H.; Peterson, P. O.; Trenerry, M. J.; Janzen, D. E.; Taylor, B. L. H. “Cooperative CO2 Scission by Anomalous Insertion into a Rh — Si Bond” Organometallics 2019, 38, 4420 — 4432.

Whited, M. T.; Taylor, B. L. H. “Metal/Organosilicon Complexes: Structure, Reactivity, and Considerations for Catalysis” Comm. Inorg. Chem. (Invited Contribution) 2020, DOI: 10.1080/02603594.2020.1737026.

Conference Presentations (* indicates presenting author):

Drew, S.*; Concepts of Chemistry: A Chemistry Course for Non-Science Majors at Carleton College. Abstract accepted to the 2020 Biennial Conference on Chemical Education, Corvallis, OR. Canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Gross, D. S.*, Walser-Kuntz, D., Hofmeister, G., Iverson, I “Success Of Low-Income, Academically-Talented Students In Carleton’s ‘Broader Focus’ Project” Poster Presentation, September 2019, American Association for the Advancement of Science 2019 S-STEM Symposium, Washington, DC.

Invited Seminars:

Drew, S* .(undergraduate co-authors:  all research students since 2015); Renewable Energy Storage: Applications of Electrochemistry Grinnell College, Department of Chemistry, October 31, 2019.

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Gifts and Grants

The Chemistry Department is pleased to announce that a group of alumni have recently organized a special fundraising effort to honor Professor Emeritus Jerry Mohrig. Because of the outstanding effort of these alumni, and in recognition of Jerry’s legacy of teaching and mentorship, the Department would like to inform you of the creation of the Professor Jerry Mohrig Endowed Fund for Student-Faculty Research. This endowed fund will provide a permanent source of support for the mentored, undergraduate research that Jerry championed, and it is our pleasure to announce that more than $170,000 has already been raised for this endowment from over 70 donors. We now hope to be able to reach $200,000, which will fully support two student research positions each summer. If you are interested in joining this effort, please contact Peter McGarraugh in the Carleton development office at (507) 222 — 4859 or pmcgarraugh@carleton.edu.

National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) grant for the proposal “MRI: Acquisition of a Variable Pressure Scanning Electron Microscope at Carleton College,” PI: Cameron Davidson, co-PI’s: Steven Drew and Anne Gothmann (St. Olaf College).  $437,589.

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Seminars

Matt Bush ’03, University of Washington-Seattle: New Mass Spectrometry Based Technologies for Biophysics and Structural Biology

Leah Witus, Macalester: Catalytic peptides and peptidomimetics by design and discovery

Valeria Kleiman, University of Florida: Polynuclear Ru-based Metal Complexes for Energy and Electron Transfer

Summer Research Poster Session

Marisha Kamunde-Devonish, Grinnell: Inspired by Nature: The Synthesis of 1st Row Transition Metal Complexes for Catalytic Transformations

Sam Lemonick ’08, Chemical & Engineering News:  Space for Everyone: Rocket Chemistry and Science Writing

Luisa Whittaker-Brooks, University of Utah: The many facets of organometal halide perovskites: challenges and opportunities

Summer Research Info Session, Chemistry faculty:Off Campus Opportunities

Summer Research Info Session, Chemistry faculty:On Campus Opportunities

AJ Boydston, University of Wisconsin-Madison: Metal-Free Ring-Opening Metathesis Polymerization

David Clark, LANL: Plutonium Chemistry and the Battlefields of the Cold War

Munira Khalil, University of Washington-Seattle: Chemistry in Multicolor: Using Light to Capture Fast Molecular Motion

Kevin Freeman-Cook, Pfizer: The discovery of PF-06873600, a cell cycle inhibitor for the treatment of cancer

Daniel Bon, Colorado Dept of Public Health and Environment: Mobile Lab Monitoring of VOCs near suburban Oil Drilling Sites in Colorado

Jenny Martinez, Yale: Exploiting the Reactivity of Dienes via Electrophilic Addition with Anionic and Radical Intermediates

Larry Schlesinger, Texas Biomedical: Challenges in tuberculosis therapy: from basic science to a new host-directed therapeutic approach

John Choiniere ’07 and Michael McClellan ’13: Team Chemistry: What Chemists Can Do for MLB Teams

Alex Lai (’13), Weizmann Institute of Science: What PM2.5 chemical composition tells us about air pollution sources and exposures (and my path in research after Carleton)

Alex Kosanovich (’14), Dow Chemical: From Organometallics to Polymers: Journeys into a Career in Chemical R&D

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Senior Comps Talks

Funto Akindona, Maya Costales, Sarah Finstuen-Magro, Morgan Mayer, Matthew Pan, Will Pangburn, Andrew Sauer, Tess Sevetson and Stuart Yi / Blackwell group; Learning to Speak Bacteria:  Using a novel chemical approach to understand and manipulate bacterial communication

David Byun, Jack Dalluge, Sam Darwish, Jesse Gates, Joseph Luther and Jenna Tom / Brodbelt group; Ultraviolet Photodissociation (UVPD) for Mass Spectrometry in Proteomics

Anna Conley, Karen Ehrhardt, Spencer Hamilton, Madi Ho, Isabel Ledsky, Duncan Peterson, Claire Shugart, Shelsea St. Hillien and Luke Westawker / Peters group; Nitrogen Fixation Using Tris(phosphine) Ligand Scaffolds

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The Class of 2010

Claire E. Brookmeyer completed her medical degree at the University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis in 2016, then matched to Johns Hopkins for her residency in Diagnostic Radiology.  She is in her final year of residency, currently serving as a chief resident.  Claire’s Carleton chemistry foundation has been immensely helpful for her field of work because of the chemistry and physics that she needed to understand for diagnostic radiology. She lives with her partner Eamon Flynn (Carleton Chemistry ’09) and their dog Mason (2.5 years old) in Baltimore MD.

Grant T. Buckingham received a PhD in Chemical Physics from University of Colorado Boulder in 2016 and started a company to develop a research instrument he invented during his postdoc. The instrument uses IR spectroscopy to characterize chemical reactions occurring at interfaces e.g. rechargeable battery electrode surfaces. In 2020 he started working at a patent law firm writing and defending patents on recent scientific discoveries. Grant lives in Boulder, CO.

Adrian K. Chow * lives in Daly City, CA.

Christopher R. Clark * lives in Tacoma, WA.

Samuel C. Cross-Knorr * lives in Philadelphia, PA.

Adam P. Fagin * lives in Portland, OR.

Alfredo Guzman * lives in Irvine, CA.

Ross M. Hamilton  received hisMedical Degree from the University of Rochester in 2014 and finished residency in Adult Neurology at the University of Rochester in 2018. He taught neurology at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland and ran a 50 mile race around Lake Canandaigua in upstate NY. Ross is a Staff Neurologist at the Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton and lives with his spouse Jolene Walter (’12) in Carlsbad, CA.

Henry M. Heitzer received his PhD in Theoretical Chemistry from Northwestern University in 2015. He has traveled a lot to Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Brazil, Western Europe and India. Henry works for Boston Consulting Group and lives with his dog in Chicago, IL.

Jessica A. Jauw * lives in San Francisco, CA.

Emily K. Kobernik graduated with a Master of Science in Health Infrastructure and Learning Systems in 2019 and is a third-year PhD Candidate at the University of Michigan, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Research Area Specialist Senior. Emily lives in Ypsilanti, MI.

Greta M. Kringle received a Masters in the Art of Teaching from National Louis University in 2013, received the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2019 and the Friends of the Chicago River Educator of the Year 2019. Greta is a Chemistry and AP Environmental Science teacher and the Head Girls Soccer Coach at Solorio Academy HS. She recently married Jacob Caplan on August 7th and lives in Chicago, IL.

Jingjing Ling * lives in Shapingba Chongqing 400038 People’s Republic of China.

Michael S. Lysonski * lives in Albuquerque, NM.

Lindsey R. Madison, * lives in Waterville, ME.

Sicelo S. Masango received his PhD in Physical Chemistry at Northwestern University in 2015. Then moved out West to start a job at Intel Corporation. As a Yield Systems Engineer, he develops automated data analysis systems yield customers can use to monitor key metrics they care about and take action based on the data. In 2018, he and two friends participated in a bike ride event from Seattle to Portland. It’s a 200 mile journey. It was challenging to do but they had fun doing it. Sicelo lives in Chandler, AZ.

Anna J. Mork received her PhD from MIT in 2016 and is a data scientist and manager with JPMorgan Chase. She finished her PhD in physical chemistry doing Raman spectroscopy on nanoparticles at MIT and moved to NYC to do the Insight Data Science program that helps people with STEM PhDs find jobs as data scientists. She enjoys traveling to historical sites including Machu Picchu in Peru, the Giza Pyramids in Egypt, and Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Jolene lives in with her partner Jose Cordero Dallas TX.

Kevin L. Pollock received his PhD in Chemistry from UC Berkeley in 2016. He is an Optical Engineer at Aeva Inc. Aeva is a startup developing sensors for autonomous driving. On April 18th, 2020, he married Kim Elson ’10 in a pandemic ceremony. They live in Santa Clara, CA with their adopted german shepherd.

Bryan R. Rosett * lives in Rogers, MN.

Colin R. Russell * lives in Gurnee, IL.

Laura E. Sofen * lives in Berkeley, CA.

Leng S. Sok * lives in Minnetonka, MN.

Karen E. Spettel receive her PhD in Physical Chemistry at UC, Boulder and is a Chemist at Sporian Microsystems.She has traveled to Iceland, England, and France and taught herself intro computer programming and data structures. Karen lives with her spouse Henry Keiter and their daughter Jayne (10 months) in Lafayette, CO.

Christopher J. Staral * lives in New York, NY.

Musetta A. Steinbach * lives in Madison, WI.

Laura Sugerman * lives in New Orleans, LA.

Katherine C. Turnage * lives in Seattle, WA.

Lisa J. Wang * lives in San Jose, CA.

Kristina F. Warren * lives in Arlington, VA.

Amelia M. Zutz received her PhD in Chemical Physics from the University of Colorado, Boulder and is an Thin Film Engineer at Research-Electro Optics/Excelitas. Amelia lives in Boulder, CO.

*Information may not be current. Do email tlittle@carleton.edu if you would like your information to be updated.

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