2022 Chemistry Annual Report Cover Image


Welcome to the Chemistry Annual Report.

We hope that as you peruse the report you get a sense of what has happened in our department, learn a bit about our graduating seniors, and also get an update from many of our alums.

You might recall that traditionally this report reaches you early fall term. It has become clear that sending out the report in late fall works better for departmental staff, so in the future you can expect to hear from us around this time of the year. I hope that this delay only makes hearing from us more welcome.

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

Dani Kohen, Chair
November 2022

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Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Respect (DIER) in Chemistry

We continue to work on making the Chemistry Department a place where everyone feels valued. We want to affirm our commitment to supporting you all whenever and however we can. We continue to explore 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, and we count you as important partners in our efforts to identify and address these issues.

Our values statement and departmental action items can be found in our webpage. Please do not hesitate to reach out to any member of the Chemistry Department if you have any questions or want to discuss DEIR issues further.

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

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The Class of 2022

Awurama A. Akyianu – Accra, Ghana

Tonny M. Aton – Nairobi, Kenya

Polycarpe Bagereka – Houston, TX

Bella Bettner – Dekalb, IL – Bella did research at HCMC in Minneapolis with Dr. David Darrow during the 2019 and 2020 summer on Epidural-Stimulation After Neurologic Damage and she hopes to be a doctor some day. Besides majoring in chemistry, she also received a minor in Spanish.

Alison Block – Eagle, UT – Allison has been accepted to graduate school and will be matriculating this fall. Her research projects included working with Joe Chihade from winter 2020 to Fall 2021 on aminoacyl tRNA synthetase gene predictions, the summer of 2021 at Boise State University with Rick Ubic on dielectric ceramics and the summer of 2019 at the University of Minnesota with Timothy Lodge on block copolymer micelles. She presented her research at the Council on Undergraduate Research REU Symposium, virtual, October 2021, “Room-Temperature Fabrication of Dielectric Ceramics” and at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Annual Meeting, virtual, April 2021, “Improving Prediction of Helminth Aminoacyl-tRNA Synthetases through Manual Analysis of Genomic Data”.

Jp Braun – Saint Paul, MN

Ben Brewster – Evanston, IL – Ben has been accepted to the University of Wisconsin for a Chemistry PhD and will be matriculating this fall. During the summer of 2021, he worked in Matt Whited’s group studying C-H activation in group 9 pincer complexes. Ben presented at the American Chemical Society’s conference in San Diego this past spring break. Besides majoring in chemistry, he also received a minor in History.

Isabel Cannell – San Jose, CA – Isabel has been accepted to the University of Wisconsin for a Chemistry PhD and will be matriculating this fall. She did virtual summer research at Carleton in 2020 and summer research at Virginia in 2021 funded by the Kolenkow-Reitz Fellowship.

Sarah Cauthorn – Jamaica Plain, MA – Sarah’s plan is to work at Boston Children’s Hospital doing biomedical research for a year or two then apply to a health professional school. Over the summer of 2021, she worked in Chris Calderone’s lab. She presented her work at the EB2022 conference in Philadelphia, her presentation title was “Probing a Proposed Hydroxylation in the Biosynthesis of Bleomycin in Streptomyces verticillus”. Besides majoring in chemistry, she also received a minor in Biochemistry.

Zach DiNardo – Boston, MA – Zach will be working at Ginkgo Bioworks beginning this summer and then he intends to apply to graduate schools in chemistry/biochemistry for the fall of ’24. He did research with Layla Oesper (CS Dept) Spring 18 – Spring 19 and Dani Kohen/Matt Whited Summer 20 – Spring 22. He presented in RECOMB-CCB (2019) “Distance Measures for Tumor Evolutionary Trees” and in MU3C (2020) “Computational Exploration of Silicon-Directed C-H Activation at Group 9 Metals”. Besides majoring in chemistry, he also received a minor in Biochemistry.

Neil Givens – Santa Cruz, CA – Neils plans to work for a year or two then apply to graduate school. Besides majoring in chemistry, he also received a minor in Archaeology.

Max Gjertson – Deforest, WI – Max plans to work for a year or two then apply to graduate school. He did research with Joe Chihade during the Summer 2020-Spring 2022. The topic was aminoacyl tRNA synthetases; he presented his work in Philadelphia, PA Spring 2022 at the ASBMB conference.

Molly Kammann – Brooklyn, NY

Colby King – Wilson, WY – Colby plans to work for a year or two then apply to graduate school.

Miah Kline – Horizon City, TX– Miah plans to work for a year or two then apply to a health professional school. She did research on diabetes at Texas Tech Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences with Dr. Munmun Chattopadhyay from the Summer 2021-Present. Besides majoring in chemistry, she also received a minor in Biochemistry.

Tali Kottler – Park City, UT – Tali is planning to work in a bakery and save money to someday open her own bakery.

Stephen Lavey – Cedar Grove, WI – Stephen plans to work for a year or two then apply to a health professional school. He did microbiology research at Marquette University on antimicrobial resistance the summer 2020 and has continued remotely since and presented at ASM Microbe 2022 on STI resistance trends in college students. Besides majoring in chemistry, he also received a minor in Biochemistry.

Chloe Lipinski – Saint Paul, MN – Chloe has been accepted to graduate school and will be matriculating this fall. Besides majoring in chemistry, she also received a minor in Biochemistry and in Math.

Elie Mer – Rochester, MN – Elie will be attending graduate school in the fall at the University of Pennsylvania to complete a PhD in biochemistry and molecular biophysics. He worked at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory last summer with Dr. Artem Lyubimov. There he contributed to the evaluation of a new microfluidic chip-based technology for determining protein 3D structures from diffraction data obtained using an X-ray free-electron laser (XFEL). Besides majoring in chemistry, he also received a minor in Biochemistry.

Tan Premrasmi – Allston, MA

Samihat Rahman – Scarborough, ON – Samihat has been accepted to graduate school and will be matriculating this fall. She is planning on completing her PhD and then either going into the job market or doing a PostDoc. She did research with Dr. Patanjali Kambhampati (’92) at McGill University. There she worked on characterization of CsPbX3 perovskites during the summer of 2021. Besides majoring in chemistry, she also received a minor in Arabic.

Diana Rodriguez – Wichita, KS – Diana will work for a year or two for Bio Techne as a sales support specialist then apply to graduate school. She was a research assistant to Deborah Gross Summer 2020-Summer 2022, and presented a poster at SACNAS fall 2021. Besides majoring in chemistry, she also received a minor in Biochemistry.

Ananya Shah– Maple Grove, MN – Ananya has been accepted to a health professional school and will be matriculating this fall. In the Summer 2020, she worked at the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation under Dr. Jay Traverse on a project related to microvascular obstruction after a ST Elevated Myocardial Infarction (heart attack). In the Summer 2021 she continued research at MHIF under Dr. Santiago Garcia in women’s heart health focusing on Myocardial Infarction with No Obstructive Coronary Arteries (MINOCA). Ananya presented virtually at the American College of Cardiology, Myocardial on April 2-4, 2022 on “Nonobstructive Coronary Arteries (MINOCA) Mimickers in ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction and Outcomes of Myocardial Infarction With Nonobstructive Coronary Arteries (MINOCA) Patients Presenting With ST-Segment Elevation”. Besides majoring in chemistry, she also majored in Sociology/Anthropology and received a minor in Biochemistry.

Inger Shelton – San Diego, CA – Inger has two pre-vet related internships lined up for her gap year and will be applying to veterinary school this summer. Besides majoring in chemistry, she also received a minor in Biochemistry.

Renée Smith – Minneapolis, MN

Leah Snidman – Saint Louis, MO – Leah plans to move to Seattle and work as a medical scribe for the next year. She has been working on her medical school applications with the intent to matriculate next fall. She did research in Chris Calderone’s enzymology lab at Carleton last summer and during this past school year. She also participated in research at the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House in St.Louis, MO during the summer of 2020. She worked under Tad Yankoski and her research was focused on chemical defenses of insects. She presented her research at the ASBMB conference in Philadelphia in March 2022. Her presentation title was “Examining Differences in the Binding Sites of Succinyl Transferases DapD and TabB”. Besides majoring in chemistry, she also received a major in Biology.

Annabella Strathman – Minneapolis, MN – Annabella plans to work for a year or two then apply to a health professional school. She did research projects at Northwestern (after first year), Farha Lab, Carleton College (sophomore-senior years), Wolff Lab, Mayo Clinic (summer after Junior year, and returning next year), Kaufmann lab, Stanford School of Medicine (junior year, virtual), Cannon Project. She presented research at the American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting in Seattle, April 2022, “Assessing the Impact of COVID-19 on Clinical Trials within Neurology”. Besides majoring in chemistry, she also received a minor in Biochemistry and Latin American Studies.

Katie M. Taylor – Arlington, WA

Lauren Way – Ithaca, NY – Lauren plans to enter the work force and is not planning additional schooling at this time. She did computational chemistry research with Dani Kohen summer 2020 and 2021 with a poster presentation at ACS in San Diego 2022, entitled “Can transition state analogs be used to predict enantioselectivity?”

David Wilson – Bethesda, MD – David will do a two-year NIH postbac, then probably apply to MD/PhD programs (though he has not ruled out doing just a PhD). He worked with Joe Chihade for two years (summer 2020 through present) and presented at the ASBMB meeting in Philadelphia (“Expression and Characterization of Helminthic Aminoacyl-tRNA Synthetases”) – also presented virtually at the ASBMB in 2021. Besides majoring in chemistry, he also received a minor in Biochemistry and Neuroscience.

Emma Wrigley – Anchorage, AK – Emma plans to work for a year or two then apply to a health professional school. She did research at the University of Chicago with Tara Henderson during the summer 2021 on Pediatric Survivorship in different oncology clinical trials. Besides majoring in chemistry, she also received a minor in Biochemistry.

Anna Zheng – Cold Spring, MN – Anna plans to work for a year or two and then apply to a health professional school. Her summer research during her junior summer was at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. She worked as a research assistant in Dr. Aaron Johnson’s neuroimmunology lab. Her senior year at Carleton she worked with Professor Gisel Flores-Montoya in her research lab looking at neuroinflammation markers following chronic low levels of lead exposure. At the Mayo Clinic Annual Artificial Intelligence Symposium she presented “Screening Malignant Glioma Using Electrical Differential Spectrometer, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning”, Rochester, MN. May 2019, “Examining the Effectiveness of Apigenin for Mitigating the Detrimental Effects of Chronic Low-Level Lead Exposure in the Brain of Young C57BL/6j Mice”, Minnesota Undergraduate Psychology Conference, St. Paul, MN, April 2022. Besides majoring in chemistry, she also received a minor in neuroscience.

Contact Tami Little if you would like your information to be updated.

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Student Honors and Awards


Ethan Li ’23


Gavin Hazen ’23


Ella I. Hein


Benjamin A. Brewster


Helen J. Jin-Lee ’23


Samihat Rahman


Ananya A. Shah


Summa Cum Laude – Ananya A. Shah

Magna Cum Laude – Alison H. Block, Stephen C. Lavey, Annabella R. Strathman, Katherine M. Taylor, David G. Wilson

Cum Laude – John Paul R Braun, Isabelle Cannell, Zachary M. DiNardo, Molly Kammann, Samihat Rahman, Katherine M. Taylor, Lauren Way, Emma Wrigley


Stephen C. Lavey


Zachary M. DiNardo, Lauren Way


Annabella R. Strathman


Maxwell T. Gjertson


Annabella R. Strathman


Alison H. Block, Isabelle Cannell, Zachary M. DiNardo, Molly Kammann, Samihat Rahman, Katherine M. Taylor, Lauren Way, Emma Wrigley


Alison H. Block, Isabelle Cannell, Zach DiNardo, Molly Kammann, Miah Kline, Samihat Rahman, Inger Shelton, Katherine M. Taylor, Lauren Way, Emma Wrigley


Samihat Rahman, Katherine M. Taylor


David G. Wilson


Ananya A. Shah


Alison H. Block


Alison H. Block


Alison H. Block, Isabel D. Cannell, Stephen C. Lavey, Ananya A. Shah, Annabella R. Strathman, Katherine M. Taylor, David G. Wilson


Isabel D. Cannell, Katherine M. Taylor, Lauren Way


Awurama A. Akyianu, Polycarpe Bagereka, Benjamin A. Brewster, Sarah M. Cauthorn, Stephen C. Lavey, Elie B. Mer, Samihat Rahman, Leah R. Snidman, Annabella R. Strathman, David G. Wilson

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Off-Campus Student Research Presentations

Benjamin A. Brewster
Wenlai Han ’23
Gavin S. Hazen ’23
Ethan Li ’23
Lauren E. Way

Eledon S. Beyene ’23
Sarah M. Cauthorn
Max T. Gjertson
Tatiana A. Jimenez ’23
Molly G. Kammann
Lora Randa ’23
Leah R. Snidman
David G. Wilson

Sean C. Boyce ’23
Zach Dinardo
Katherine Geist ’24
Emma I. Watson ’23

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Fall 2021

122, Introduction to Chemistry29Bakker-Arkema
123, Principles of Chemistry & Lab45Drew
224, Principles of Chemistry II & Lab33Radmilovic
233-1, Organic Chemistry I & Lab32Alberg
233-2, Organic Chemistry I & Lab20Whited
301, Chemical Kinetics Laboratory40Bakker-Arkema, Gross
343, Chemical Thermodynamics40Kohen
360, Chemical Biology10Calderone
394, Student-Faculty Research20Staff
395, Research Experience Seminar in Chemistry2Deel
400, Integrative Exercise8Staff

Winter 2022

123-1, Principles of Chemistry I & Lab45Calderone
123-2, Principles of Chemistry I w/ Problem Solving22Kohen
224, Principles Chemistry II & Lab26Radmilovic
233, Organic Chemistry I & Lab37Alberg
234, Organic Chemistry II & Lab40Chihade
302, Quantum Spectroscopy Laboratory19Hollingsworth
330,331, Instrumental Chemical Analysis21Bakker-Arkema
344, Quantum Chemistry19Hollingsworth
394, Student-Faculty Research17Staff
400, Integrative Exercise33Staff

Spring 2022

123, Principles of Chemistry I & Lab44Bakker-Arkema
224, Principles Chemistry II & Lab41Gross
234, Organic Chemistry II & Lab44Chihade
292, Independent Research6Staff
306, Spctrmtrc Char of Chem Componds17Alberg
320, Biological Chemistry42Calderone
321, Biological Chemistry Laboratory23Calderone
351, Inorganic Chemistry22Radmilovic
352, Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory12Radmilovic
363, Materials Chemistry for a Sustainable Energy Economy29Allendorf
394, Student-Faculty Research20Staff
400, Integrative Exercise24Staff

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Faculty and Staff Activities

Mark Allendorf, 2022, Benedict Distinguished Visiting Professor of Chemistry

Dr. Mark Allendorf, a Senior Scientist at Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, California, was the Benedict Distinguished Visiting Professor of Chemistry during the Spring term. He taught “Materials Chemistry for a Sustainable Energy Economy,” a class he designed as an introduction to the incredibly diverse chemistry required to transition from fossil fuels to sustainable energy sources. Thirty students took the class, about half seniors and half juniors and almost all chemistry majors. The class began with an introduction to the greenhouse effect followed by lectures on solar thermochemical water splitting; batteries, fuel cells, and electrolyzers; gas storage and separations; solar cells; and nanoporous materials such as zeolites and metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). At the end of the term, the class broke into three-person teams to tackle a topic of their choosing from a list Mark provided. These were very challenging and ranged from artificial photosynthesis to oxygen evolution catalysts. Students were asked to summarize the state of the art, identify what in their view is the most promising path forward, and describe an experiment they would perform to advance the field. Each team made a short presentation to the class and submitted a three-page summary of their findings. Until this class Mark had never taught at the college level. When asked how it went, he replied “On a scale of one to ten it was an eleven. The students were incredibly bright, far more articulate than I was at their age, and just downright nice people. I am extremely grateful to the faculty, and in particular, to Prof. Dani Kohen, for providing me the opportunity to have this incredibly rewarding experience.” As a token of his esteem, he presented each student with a copy of the Linus Pauling biography Force of Nature. Mark returned to his position at Sandia, where he is co-director of the Hydrogen Materials Advanced Research Consortium (HyMARC), a team of five Dept. of Energy National Laboratories focused on overcoming the challenges impeding discovery of successful materials for hydrogen storage.

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

Covid marches on but things were a little closer to normal at Carleton this year.  My course load included Organic Chemistry I in both the fall and winter terms, and Spectrometric Characterization of Chemical Compounds in the spring.  Happily, I taught all courses (lab and classroom) in-person – livestreaming my lectures via Zoom when necessary, for students who found themselves in quarantine or isolation.  I was particularly glad to be able to meet in-person with students for office hours and other meetings.

The highlight of my year was comps.  Dani Kohen and I co-advised a group of seven delightful seniors, who studied the work of Professor Kendall Houk, the renowned computational organic chemist from the UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.  After being restricted for more than a year to virtual “visits” by our comps “subjects”, it was particularly wonderful to be able bring Professor Houk to campus for his seminar and the extensive discussions with the comps group.

As I’m sure most of you know, my wife, Gretchen Hofmeister, served as the Dean of the College this past year after working as an Associate Dean for five years.  She did a fantastic job and was a highly effective Dean (no, I’m not biased!), but the job is very demanding, with long workdays, including weekends.  Gretchen handed over the reins to our new Provost, Michelle Mattson, on July 15 and I’m happy to have my wife back!  We have since escaped from the college for a few weeks of rest and relaxation.

Stay healthy and keep up to date on your vaccinations.

Julia G. Bakker-Arkema, 2020-2022, Visiting Assistant Professor. B.A., Carleton College; Ph.D., University of Colorado at Boulder.

This year was memorable in many ways as I finished out my visiting position in the Chemistry Department at Carleton. The fall was absolutely beautiful and made me almost forget about Minnesota winters. I taught Introduction to Chemistry and co-taught Chemical Kinetics with Deborah Gross. Both classes were tons of fun in completely different ways. In Introduction to Chemistry, I had a super lively group of students. The lack of labs and the extra long Tuesday/Thursday class periods gave us plenty of time to get to know each other, and I especially enjoyed afternoon problem solving sessions in Anderson 225. In Chemical Kinetics, we had a large group – 40 students! – and I thought everyone’s partner research projects were exceptionally successful. I loved seeing the directions that everyone took their work over the course of 10 weeks, and it was lovely teaching alongside my former advisor, Deborah 🙂

In the winter, Deborah and Steve were kind enough to let me rotate into their bi-yearly cycle to teach my specialty, analytical chemistry, in Instrumental Chemical Analysis. For the first time, we expanded the class to accommodate 24 students, and everyone was very patient as we worked through the growing pains with limited time on all the many instruments that the department has to offer. In the end we made it through a full cycle of really exciting experiments, and I’m feel very lucky to have gotten to know my group of 330/331 students so well. They each brought so much to the course, and their smiles and excitement helped me make it through the frigid winter term!  

I finished out my final spring term with Principles of Chemistry I, and almost made it through the entire year without COVID until the last week of classes. Sadly, I had to give my final lecture on Zoom, and I was really sad to miss the end of the year Chemistry Department picnic. But I recovered in time to give the final exam in person (maybe to my students’ dismay?) They were a lovely group, and the class was a nice enjoyable way to conclude my two years at Carleton.

After graduation, my husband and I packed up our house in Northfield and moved to New York City, where I’m now conducting research in preventive art conservation at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. It’s hard to imagine a place more different than Northfield, and the move was somewhat chaotic, but we are settling in and getting used to the city life. If you’re ever in town and would like to swing by The Met, I would love to show you around!

I am so grateful to all the faculty, staff, and students I worked with and met over the last two years in Northfield. I miss you all! Thank you to the Chemistry Department for everything. I am looking forward to coming back to visit! Please keep in touch!

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

Things finally are starting to feel like they are getting back to normal post-pandemic—no more figuring out how to organize a lab section split between two different labs simultaneously or how to maintain a class discussion where half the class is in the room and the other half is on Zoom.

My teaching schedule included Principles of Chemistry (CHEM123) and a return to Biological Chemistry (CHEM320) after a couple years’ hiatus, but I was particularly excited to be able to teach Chemical Biology (CHEM360) for the second time.  It’s always a highlight to be able to teach a course in a seminar format, but the topics we discussed in this course seemed to really strike a chord for me.  Back in the day, I did my Ph.D. work in the field of chemical biology, and it was great to be able to introduce the students in the course to some of the ideas that I spent (and spend) a good chunk of my time thinking about.  As usual, comps was a blast as well—my comps group hosted Sam Gellman from the University of Wisconsin and had a great time meeting with him (unfortunately virtually).  One particular highlight was the return of in-person reunions.  I forgot how nice it was to see former students and hear all about their accomplishmen.  Seeing former comps and research students just a few weeks ago was such a treat.

I’m also settling in to my new role as program director for Biochemistry.  Next year we’re going to be implementing a new structure for the minor that we hope is going to serve the students better and make for a more valuable minor experience.  Without getting too far into the weeds, the key change is to replace the two courses CHEM320 (“Chem-biochem”) and BIOL380 (“Bio-biochem”) with a new, two-course sequence BIOC301 Survey of Biochemistry and BIOC331 Current Topics in Biochemistry, complete with new BIOC course designations (finally, biochemistry gets its own courses!)

Finally, I just got back from a Griswoldian road trip to San Diego with my family (Beth, Simon [12] and Frances [9]), during which Simon surfed for the first time and Frances discovered fish tacos.

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.

Chuck is still zooming about in his wheelchair, now both are getting a bit decrepit. A Mayo specialist has prescribed a much more extravagant machine and Chuck is working out three days a week with a coach. He treasures emails from alums. 

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

The opening of the 2021-22 academic year started quietly.  I spent the fall continuing to be in isolation with Steve and our dogs, Ada and Jenny, in the woods of New Hampshire.  It has been a nearly perfect place to live during this pandemic, with lots of trails for walking and skiing and plenty of books to read.  Life changed dramatically, when I began teaching on January 3, 2002 at Dartmouth College.  I taught the Winter Term offering of Inorganic Chemistry to a class of 22 undergraduate and graduate students.  It was the term that Dartmouth returned to in-person teaching.  We were all fully masked during lectures and lab, with plenty of technological support for Zoom office hours with supplemental document cameras, taped lectures and online resources. I thoroughly enjoyed teaching again. I continue to love inorganic chemistry, creating visualizations about molecular processes, and I loved interacting with the students.

In early May, my husband and I departed for Qaanaaq Greenland; a remote village north of the Arctic Circle.  Steve and I worked with Mary Albert (Thayer Engineering School at Dartmouth) and a group of her graduate students on an NSF Grant funded by a Program, “Navigating the New Arctic”, to address some of the issues that northern areas will face as a function of climate change. Our particular grant focuses on helping the villages of Qaanaaq, Siorapaluk and Qeqertat, populated by native hunters/fishers of the Inughuit people, to reduce their dependency on imported diesel as an energy source.  Some members of our team are investigating ways to support the local fisheries.  My husband Steve (Senior Advisor at the Irving Institute for Energy and Society at Dartmouth and supporting PI on this grant) and I were most closely associated with examining the opportunities for alternative energy and energy efficiency measures in the housing stock of the town.  The time in Greenland has been fascinating.   The travel to get here is heroic (a military cargo transport plane to Thule Airforce base followed by a helicopter ride to the remote villages.). Travel delays, cancelations and rerouting are common.  The interactions with the people have been wonderful. Working with our translator and local team members, Toku Oshima and Kim Peterson, we carried out blower door tests and energy audits on several houses, we visited the power generating stations, and water melting facilities, and set up systems to measure wind, solar and overall energy use.  We were invited to a local celebration with a spread of raw fish, seal, walrus, narwal and fermented little auks (and I note some of us were more adventurous eaters than others).  We have seen some wildlife; Arctic foxes, muskox,  Arctic hares, beluga whales and seals but no polar bears (mostly outside of Thule; most animals avoid a town of hunters and sled dogs).  In May we walked out on the frozen ice of the fjord and experienced 24 hours of sunlight every day with temperatures ranging between 0 and 35oF.  There are “modern conveniences” in the town, like heat, water and a grocery store, but no restaurants, no flush toilets, and few cars, etc.  The fjord, icebergs, thousand foot hills, ice and sky are all strikingly beautiful.  It is a stark, dry, austere, yet magnificent landscape with no trees and a town of about 600 people and 2000 Greenlandic sled dogs.  One can only have awe for how people survived here before any of our modern conveniences were imported. We returned in mid-August (where I am now as I write this) to collect more data and visit the town of Siorapaluk before coming back to Qaanaaq.  The ice is gone from the fjord but will begin to reform in a few weeks and temperatures are a bit warmer (0 to 45oF or so).  When we return to NH in a week, our work will focus on sizing alternative energy options and drafting design features for new buildings as well as design features for effective energy retrofits for existing buildings.

When in New Hampshire, I also continue to interact with Dean Wilcox’s research group at Dartmouth College.  I have worked with Dean’s research students to construct interactive web images to help visualize the active sites of the metalloproteins they study.  This spring I worked with undergraduate student Teddy Press who is studying the conformational changes in superoxide dismutase (a copper/zinc protein).  I also worked on my individual project about creating a visualization to highlight the similarities and differences in the reduced and oxidized forms of azurin, a beautiful blue copper electron transport protein.

Best wishes to you all!  I miss Carleton and all of you greatly and think of you often!

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

As the COVID pandemic has continued, it’s been another challenging year, but things have been returning to normal in fits and starts. There was plenty of travel again this year, some of it even on airplanes, and much more time in the same physical space with students and colleagues, some of it even without wearing masks. So (fingers crossed) things are looking up.

My teaching this year was in the Winter and Spring terms. I taught Organic Chemistry II in both terms, bringing the entirely POGIL (process oriented, guided inquiry learning) style of teaching that I have been working on for the past few years to that course. Although at least one person was Zooming into the classroom from COVID isolation most class days, it was a joy to see how much better group work can go when people are in the same physical space and when I have the opportunity to pull the whole class back together for a mini-lecture without closing and opening breakout rooms. It turns out that blackboards are also phenomenally useful writing surfaces, too! This winter I also facilitated a comps group that studied the work of Karin Musier-Forsyth from Ohio State University. We focused on her examination of the numerous protein-RNA interactions that play a role the lifecycle of HIV, spending the most time on the nucleocapsid (NC) protein, an “RNA chaperone” that catalyzes RNA refolding, among other roles. The group learned a lot about virology, RNA biochemistry, and the process of doing collaborative science.

My research continues to focus mostly on aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (ARS). Work in the lab returned to being 100% in person last summer. My group of seven students worked on three different projects. Two, David Wilson and Molly Kamman, worked on assembling long pieces of DNA that we purchased from Twist Biosciences (The box that the DNA came in says “Writing the future”.) as a first step towards characterizing ARS enzymes from parasitic worms. Eledon Bayene, Max Gjertson, and Lora Randa pushed forward with understanding mutants of the human mitochondrial alanyl-tRNA synthetase, while Leo Qi and Augustus Williams worked on improving a non-radioactive method for following ARS activity. All seven students traveled to Philadelphia with me in March to attend the ASBMB national meeting and present their results. Eledon is back in the lab this summer, along with four newcomers, who continue to push these projects forward.

At home, much of the year was spent transitioning towards the empty nest. Margo had a great first year at Haverford, and Sofia will be going to Skidmore in September. Planning around one college calendar was already complicated, so we’re a bit overwhelmed by juggling three. We stil got in plenty of downhill skiing over the winter and are continued to more gear-centric activities this summer with the acquisition of inflatable kayaks and a fancy bike rack. Looking forward to seeing more of all of you soon, in two or in three dimensions.

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

During the last year trips to Winona for the Shakespeare Festival, to Minneapolis for the Minnesota Orchestra and the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and to Lutsen and Beaver Bay for the North Shore environment substitute for the more far-reaching travels of the past.  Nancy and I still reside at Village on the Cannon in Northfield, where we enjoy the companionship of other residents.  I try to remain active as a photographer and recently exhibited a few photos along with those of other members of the local photography club.

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

This past year I took a partial break from teaching.  After teaching Principles of Chemistry I in the fall, I took two sabbatical terms winter and spring.  The pandemic continues to make teaching challenging and I was starting to feel worn thin.  A little time away from teaching turned out to be just what I needed.  After resting for a few weeks (sleeping in, reading, exercising, etc.) I worked on a few projects.  I wrote a manuscript describing an experiment I developed for Instrumental Chemical Analysis that has students make an electrochemical glucose sensor for the analysis of soft drinks.  I made some contacts with local industries to see if we could set up some mutually beneficial relationship where we work on analytical chemistry problems in Instrumental Chemical Analysis that would be helpful to them.  Both Aurora Pharmaceutical and Loon Liquors have projects that may lead to useful laboratory student experiences in coming years.  Deborah and I worked with the department to expand our fleet of instrumentation for Instrumental Chemistry Analysis to accommodate the larger enrollment the course is attracting.  This involved the purchase of a second HPLC, new potentiostats, and a new microwave plasma atomic emission spectrometer (Deborah provided the leadership to make this happen).  These instruments will be arriving over the coming months and will be in student hands beginning in January.  I have also revived my course on computers and electronics for chemists for the fall of 2022 and have worked on some updates.  This required rethinking some hardware needs for the course, as well as making room to introduce applications of Arduino in chemistry.  I’m looking forward to being back to teaching this coming year.

During the summer of 2022 I was fortunate to work with two great students: Gavin Hazen and Ethan Li, both class of 2023.  They were able to get my research restarted examining different methods for making thin films of an iron-chromium-aluminum mixed metal oxide semiconductor that has potential in photoelectrochemical water splitting.  They tuned up our 2D photocurrent scanning station LabVIEW software and hardware and began to take advantage of our new SEM-EDS that was installed in 2019.  They answered some important questions on the effectiveness and reproducibility of our evaporative deposition technique and presented their work at the ACS meeting in San Diego in March.  Luckily, they have returned to my research lab this summer and are investigating electrochemical deposition techniques to see if they can obtain more consistent photoelectrochemical properties.  Their work looks promising so far and we are seeing some evidence that our films may have crystalline properties.  Therefore, they will soon be trying some XRD experiments to add more characterization data.  Needless to say, research with undergraduates remains fun, interesting, and intellectually challenging.

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

This has been a year of full sabbatical, my first since 2008. My Anderson office was used by Visiting Professor Andjela Radmilovic so she could be close to the chemists for support. I have been at home in Northfield and still pretty constrained due to autoimmune diseases with two household members (one severe). I am excited to get back to on-campus teaching in fall 2022!

I focused this year on two projects – both related to science and environmental studies. The first involves a 2-week module on the Flint MI water crisis that I developed for Chem 122 (Fall ’20). I have revised/expanded it into something others can adapt and plan to post it soon on the SERC website. The module wraps aqueous chemistry topics with context on urban water treatment, public health, and systemic racism. Attempting to expand on this approach, I tried to find enough material online to develop other similar modules for use in introductory chemistry. After an exhaustive search, I found very little. Reflecting on this, I looked back to the decade starting in 1995, when I worked with dozens of faculty from around the US on an NSF-funded systemic change initiative. We ended up, after $6 million and 6-7 years, developing a dozen context-rich modules filled with inquiry-based and active learning activities – each 2-3 weeks in length.  I was reminded (ha!) that this work is not easy. The content I hoped for online either does not exist and/or it is not easily translatable into science-rich curricular material. I now believe it will take time, money, and larger collaborative efforts to develop more modules like the Flint one. Obviously, many are thinking about this sort thing. I have started to connect to like-minded faculty and am thinking about next steps.

My other project involves looking forward to retirement in several years. I would like to write/publish at the intersection of science, nature, wild places, environmental studies, climate change, and social justice. I took a stimulating online nature writing course to help with this transition.  I wrote a lot in a number of new genres, experimenting with different forms of science-rich nature writing.  I got intense feedback from the instructor and my peers – all helpful and heartening. I was reminded again about the importance of community and collaboration; I have deeply missed both for the last 2+ years. I am now developing a longer piece with underlying themes on the values of wild spaces, homestead life in remote areas, and deeper connections to animals. I am playing around with the rich idea of “rewilding” – land, people, and animals.  This work is centered on our broken relationships with nature and ways to reconnect.  Two book groups I joined this year – on Braiding Sweetgrass and The Night Watchman – have opened up powerful insights from indigenous cultures.

At home, I spent fun times gardening/preserving and learning several fiber arts. I am trying lean into slow work and art – aiming for creative, healthy, generative, sustainable activity. As always, I am running, biking, walking, and doing yoga. I have traveled several times to Colorado to visit my elderly mother and two brothers. Gerard’s 20-something daughter (2nd grader teacher, visual artist) recently moved into our basement apartment; I spent many days renovating , prepping, and painting it for her. In addition to the 6 animals at our  house now (3 cats, 3 dogs), we have transformed our front and side yards into prairie grass and wildflowers. Maybe we are starting to rewild the homestead.

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 felt a lot more “normal” than did the previous two. Classes and labs were in person, students were on campus, and we could gather in person when it made sense. At the same time, though, there were continuous disruptions that kept individuals isolated, caused events to be canceled, and kept us all on edge – it was never entirely predictable what tomorrow would hold. And yet, it was a pretty good year and I think that students accomplished a tremendous amount!

On paper, it all sounds quite normal. Last summer, I had the pleasure of working with two research students (Ella Hein ’23 and Alek Rabago ’23). In the fall, I co-taught the Kinetics lab (CHEM 301) with Visiting Assistant Professor Julia Bakker-Arkema (and I can still remember her as a student in CHEM 301 back in the day, so that was quite a treat!). We had a great time working with the students on their projects and integrating some kinetic modeling with KinSim into the course. In the winter, I worked with an out-of-this-world comps group (Alison Block, Ben Brewster, Neil Givens, Colby King, Tali Kottler, Samihat Rahman, Inger Shelton, and Melissa Tan), studying the analytical instrumentation on the Mars rovers Curiosity and Perseverance, through the work of Dr. Roger Wiens (of Los Alamos National Labs, now at Purdue University). We learned a tremendous amount about Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy, measurements on other planets, the geology and the history of water on Mars, and about how to work effectively together as a group. It was a wonderful comps experience! In the spring, I taught CHEM 224, which was again a real treat. The 41 students were engaged, asked good questions, and had fun both in class and in the lab.

In addition to these courses, I worked with the first-year FOCUS cohorts, teaching their FOCUS Colloquium. In addition to other projects, I was able to get them involved in making measurements of cookstoves, as we tried to optimize performance of one model of stove. Working with the students in the FOCUS Program is always a delight, not least because I have the opportunity to work with first year students from their very first term on campus throughout the whole year (and all of their sophomore year, too!). This kind of sustained interaction is rare, especially with students who are just starting their Carleton journey.

The 2021-2022 academic year included some other professional activities that were fulfilling, as well, including getting elected to be the Chair of the Aerosol Chemistry Working Group of the American Association for Aerosol Research (AAAR). I have been learning the ropes assembling conference sessions this summer before being in charge of this part of the conference next year! I had the opportunity to travel (!) to carry out a review of a Chemistry Department at another institution as well as getting to interact with the review team that visited our department this year. Both were informative – it’s helpful to have others’ eyes on what we do and also to see how other departments with comparable missions and goals do what they do. Over this past year, I enjoyed adding some limited travel back into our lives. We visited Markus’s hometown in Switzerland and stayed with his sister and brother-in-law, as well as exploring a beautiful valley for a few days of hiking and adventure. We also visited my family in California twice. Our garden is still flourishing and we are looking forward to the annual over-abundance of vegetables.

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 344 (Quantum Chemistry) and Chem 302 (Advanced Spectroscopy Lab) in the winter, which was the only term that I taught this year in order to use some sabbatical credit. Both the class and lab are smaller now that neither is required for the major. It was fun adapting the lab to a much more manageable size. Since less time was needed to cycle through experiments, we could spend more time during the lab periods discussing patterns in the data
and developing strategies for analysis. I was very ably assisted in lab by TAs Tony Qiang and Samihat Rahman.

Over the last few years I have worked with Tami Little on the ever-changing landscape of assigning student workers for the Chemistry Department. We have been buffeted by all sorts of factors, including adapting to Anderson Hall and of course responding to the special pandemic challenges by implementing sometimes coexisting in-person and remote strategies for students, classes, and student-work positions. At least we now have in place some useful models that have been tested and are ready for new challenges that may emerge.

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

The Covid-19 pandemic continued to play an active role in Chemistry laboratory experiences in academic year 2021-2022, though best practices were less restrictive and laboratory course sections were allowed to go back to their pre-pandemic enrollments. The extensive effort, creativity and ingenuity that went into reorganizing laboratory classrooms and procedures the prior year yielded many great ideas, methods and classroom arrangements that proved to be more efficient practices and are continued today.

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

Last year I got to teach thermo, intro chem and comps. What a pleasure! I have taught all of these many times in my career, but I never tire of introducing Carleton students to “the wonders of chemistry” in its many aspects. Teaching this collection of classes allows me to see students very early (intro), starting their chem major (thermo) and then as they work in their “culminating” experience (comps). I really appreciate the chance to see how our students grow and mature in their time at Carleton, in addition to learning chemistry content, of course.

Comps was particularly inspiring because of how its topic related to research done in my group. Dave and I co-supervised a “Comps” group that studied the work of Ken Houk, from the University of California, who is a superb computational chemist. The group learned how the Houk’s group uses quantum chemistry to increase our understanding of reactivity in organic chemistry. It was very cool to learn about his work with Dave, who as you can imagine, given the topic, was instrumental in our learning, and a phenomenal group of students.

Research over the summer was a special pleasure as Ellie Vandel (’23) and Emma Watson (’23) implemented techniques I have learned during comps as we continue to investigate mechanism and reactivity in the systems that the Whited group studies. In addition, Katherine Geist (’24) and Sean Boyce (’23) continued to work on studying 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.

In addition, I continue to be 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 be the chair of the department and to co-chair the Advisory committee on Student Life. I am also involved in conversations and initiatives within the department and in the college regarding our next steps bringing about meaningful and long-lasting change that will result in an environment that is welcoming and supporting for everyone, but especially to those have been systematically denied equal access.

On the “home” front, Joe and I are starting our “empty nesters” time as Margo continues at Haverford and, Sofia starts at Skidmore. We are so looking forward to seeing them grow, now far from home, and to figuring out how to enjoy this new stage of our family life.

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

With the end of the academic year, I always feel a bit sad knowing that I will not see so many of the students who have stopped by my office throughout the year. Alison Block and Talia Kottler have worked with me in the office all of their four years on campus. I will miss them and many others when the term starts up again.

I still compile content for The Weekly Beaker and for this Annual Report, I manage the department’s website while continuing to learn more about WordPress along with my usual office duties. The steady supply of cookies for the Chemistry Seminars was not so steady but hope it returns to normal next fall. I look forward to the time when students will again stop by and find me in my office in Anderson. Hopefully without masks.

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.

There is not much to say this year, except for the wonderful party last October that former students gave me at the time of the dedication of the marvelous new science building. The space dedicated to my teaching was full to overflowing with people from far and near. I was deeply touched by the speeches, the number of former students who came, and the great conversations we had.

I am the convenor of the Community Conversations group at Millstream Commons, dealing with issues like ‘What age would you be if you could be any age. Why?’, and chair the Resident Council here at Millstream. I take my electric scooter out along the Cannon River trail. I’m trying to build up my leg strength and stamina on the stationary bike in order to travel to Massachusetts to see my wife Adrienne, who is there with her daughter. After my stroke, I couldn’t care for her; she fell last Fall and moved in February. We converse on Alexa and sing together. Usually, I am invited to reunion dinners and meet regularly with friends. Last week I led a discussion on friendship at the UCC men’s group.

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

As my Americiumith birthday nears I think wistfully about my start at Carleton in 1954, when the Chem Dept didn’t have telephones and PCs were,30 years ahead. Nevertheless, it seemed like the best possible world, when profs wore jackets and ties. After 32 years of retirement, my thoughts about chemistry are limited to the large periodic table in my small living room, and the weekly appearance of C&E News which features an evolving science I barely recognize. My chief interest over the past four years has been an earnest attempt to improve my writing of tankas, (in English) based on an ancient Japanese poetry form: 5 lines. with syllable counts of 5-7-5-7-7. For example, When my clock says “Five” my first thought is “I’m still here!” Then, during my pee, I ponder good starting words for my daily Wordle game. Coffee and cookies seem to help my puzzled brain see the shrinking alphabet, Typically, by guess four, the warm pleasure of success. email rwramette@gmail.com 

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

Hello from North Carolina! I am writing in the middle of a sabbatical that lasts through December, so I’ll keep it shorter than usual. Last year I taught Organic Chemistry I (CHEM 233) for the first time, which ended up being super fun and was a great opportunity to learn from Dave Alberg before his retirement next year (yikes!) since we taught at the same time. It was really wonderful to be back for completely in-person instruction, and we even had a week or two without masks! After fall term, I officially started a year-long sabbatical. I spent winter term in Northfield with my family, then moved to North Carolina in March, where I am currently doing research in the laboratory of Prof. Alex Miller, learning lots more electrochemistry and electrocatalysis and having lots of fun getting back in the lab on a new project. Faculty colleagues down here are fantastic, many have been friends for a while, and I have been warmly welcomed into the department. Fortunately, once my boys finished school in June, the whole family was able to join me (we’re really thankful that Charlotte’s job can be done almost 100% remotely). It is a little stressful to be away from Minnesota, and we are sad to be spending the nicest months in such a hot place, but we have enjoyed ourselves and taken some relaxing and well-deserved vacations.

My research at Carleton has continued to move along very well, and I was fortunate to have the opportunity to work with several excellent students during the past year: Wenlai Han, Jackson Cleveland, Ben Brewster, Helen Jin-Lee, Emma Watson, Zach DiNardo, and Ellie Vandel. We were especially excited to hit on some cool results last summer in Wenlai’s project that progressed quickly with awesome input from computational collaborators and led to a really wonderful paper that we co-authored with Dani Kohen in Angewandte Chemie a couple of months ago. I feel so fortunate that our chemistry was able to advance reasonably well in spite of all the construction and COVID disruptions of the past few years, and I am optimistic that we are well on our way back to normal. I am trying hard to enjoy my sabbatical, including work on a new NSF proposal to submit this year. Once I return to Carleton, I will be taking over as department chair (thanks to Dani for taking one extra term to support my sabbatical!) and as STEM Director, so I have a feeling things will ramp up very quickly. For now, we are just trying to enjoy a semblance of calm. I will be traveling to CA in the fall, giving seminars at Pomona College and UC-Riverside, so shoot me a note if you’re in the area.

At home, the boys (James (10) and Andrew (8)) continue to get older much faster than I feel comfortable with, but we are having a great time, including with their sports pursuits (swimming and soccer), even when they keep us busier than we might like. Charlotte had another banner year in the Grants Office supporting faculty grant-seeking, and next year looks to be even better! Hopefully she’ll be able to help me pull in some more $$ to support the continued awesome work of our Carleton students.

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

Another year has passed. It was the second year into the pandemic and full of moments to ponder and be grateful.

First of all, I was grateful that Carleton decided to return teaching to full capacity, which means that labs split into two rooms in the previous year were back into one room and that the stockroom did not need to make solutions in duplicates or triplicates, though social distancing and masks were required for a large part of the school year. Thanks to God that my student workers and I were all healthy throughout the school year and that none of us had to be isolated because of Covid-19.

As in the previous year, due to the pandemic many in-person activities were canceled. However, thanks to the modern technology, such as Zoom, that I was still able to meet colleagues from different parts of the campus, which added much needed communication, encouragement, and connectivity to my days.

Last year the annual NAOSMM conference was online. This summer at many people’s request the conference was held in-person, which proved to be the highlight of my school year. Not only did I learned more about scientific materials management and safety but I was award Life-time Certification of Scientific Materials Management after three years’ hard work (I received the First-time and Second-time Certification of Scientific Materials Management in 2016 and 2019, respectively.).

In a word, 2021-2022 was another year of perseverance and gratitude. Many thanks to the department, colleagues, and students who generously supported me.

Crochet a Flask for Chemistry!

crochet a flask

In fall 2020, Professor Deborah Gross and Katherine Mateos (’21) spearheaded a crochet-a-flask project for all chemists! Although it began as a pandemic bonding project for the department, we hope to continue having students, staff, faculty, and alums crochet Erlenmeyer flasks to display in the Chemistry Common Room in our new building. Kits of yarn, hook, thread, needle, stuffing, a pattern, and crochet tutorials were provided for socially distanced crocheting. We would love to have more contributions, so if you are (or want to be) skilled with yarn, please make a flask and send it to the department! We will add it to the display and acknowledge your contribution. Any other chemistry-themed yarn projects would be welcomed, as well!

Click here for a link to the erlenmeyer flask pattern. Contact Deborah Gross (dgross@carleton.edu) if you have any questions.

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Faculty Bibliography


“A 360˚ View of COVID-19. Nikolaos Tsotakos”, Victoria Del Gaizo Moore, Lisa Z. Scheifele, Michael J. Wolyniak, Joseph W. Chihade, Joseph J. Provost, Jennifer A. Roecklein-Canfield, CourseSource, https://doi.org/10.24918/cs.2021.41 (2020)

“Crystal Structures of Phosphine-Supported (η5-cyclopentadienyl)molybdenum(II) Propionyl Complexes”, Whited, M. T.; Ball, M. A.; Block, A.; Brewster, B. A.; Ferrer, L.; Jin-Lee, H. J.; King, C. J.; North, J. D.; Shelton, I. L.; Wilson, D. G. “ Acta Crystallogr., Sect. E: Crystallogr. Commun. 2021, 77, 912–918.

“Pincer-Supported Metal/Main-Group Bonds as Platforms for Cooperative Transformations”, Whited, M. T.  Dalton Trans. 202150, 16443–16450.

Cobalt Silylenes as Platforms for Catalytic Nitrene-Group Transfer by Metal-Ligand Cooperation”, Whited, M. T.; Han, W.; Jin-Lee H.; DiNardo, Z.; Watson, E.; Zhang, J.; Kohen, D. Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 202261, https://doi.org/10.1002/anie.202205748.

Conference Presentations (* indicates presenting author):

“Examining Differences in the Binding Sites of Succinyl Transferases DapD and TabB”. Jimenez, T.; Snidman, L.; Calderone, C.T.. Poster presented at 2022 American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, April 2-5, 2022.

“Probing a Proposed Hydroxylation in the Biosynthesis of Bleomycin by Streptomyces verticillus” Cauthorn, S.; Calderone, C.T.. Poster presented at 2022 American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, April 2-5, 2022.

“Creating cheaper mixed metal oxide films for photoelectrochemical production of renewable hydrogen.” Gavin Hazen and Ethan Li and Steve Drew. Poster presented at National American Chemical Society Meeting, San Diego, CA, March 21, 2022,

“Metal-Silicon Cooperative Conversion of Alkyl Azide to Isocyanate Enabled by a Labile Si–OTf Interaction”. Han, W.*; Whited, M. T.  263rd ACS National Meeting, March 2022 (Poster Presentation, DIC Best Undergraduate Poster Award)

“Probing C–H Activation by Rodium Silyl Pincer-Type Complexes”. Brewster, B. A.*; Whited, M. T.  263rd ACS National Meeting, March 2022 (Poster Presentation)

“Towards Bacterial Expression of Unstable Mutants of a Mitochondrial Enzyme”, Lora Randa, Eledon Bayene, Max Gjertson, and Joseph Chihade. American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology annual meeting, April 2022.

“Expression and Characterization of Helminthic Aminoacyl-tRNA Synthetases”, David Wilson, Molly Kammann, Leo Qi, Augustus Williams, and Joseph Chihade. American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology annual meeting, April 2022.

“How to Develop Successful Peer-to-Peer Learning Opportunities in S-STEM Programs”. Gross, D. S.*, Angell, D.*, Glampe, K.*, Iverson, E.R.*, Trujillo, N.* AAAS S-STEM Fall Forum, October 2021, Virtual.

“Can Transition State Analogues be Used to Predict Enantioselectivity? Lauren Way*, G. Hofmeister, and D. Kohen.  Poster. ACS. San Diego, March 2022.

“Molecular Insight into Cation Behavior within Zeolites”. D. Kohen, S. Boyce* and K. Geist*.  Thirty-seven Midwest Undergraduate Computational Chemistry Conference. Talk. Hosted virtually by Chicago University, July 2021.

“Can Transition State Analogues be Used to Predict Enantioselectivity?” Lauren Way*, G. Hofmeister, and D. Kohen.  Thirty-seven Midwest Undergraduate Computational Chemistry Conference. Talk. Hosted virtually by Chicago University, July 2021.

“Computational Exploration of Silicon-Directed C-H Activation at Group 9 Metals” Emma Watson* and Zach Dinardo*, M. Whited and D. Kohen. Thirty-seven Midwest Undergraduate Computational Chemistry Conference. Talk. Hosted virtually by Chicago University, July 2021.

Invited Seminar

Steve Drew; Macalester College, Department of Chemistry, October 6, 2021, “Renewable Energy Storage: Applications of Electrochemistry.” Undergraduate co-authors: all research students since 2015.

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Gifts and Grants

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.

Matt Whited received continued support from a CAREER award for $400k from the National Science Foundation for the project, “CAREER: SusChEM: Cooperative Small-Molecule Activation by Ambiphilic Pincer-Type Complexes Feature Metal/Main-Group Bonds.” The CAREER is the NSF’s premier award program for junior faculty, and the grant has supported research during 2016–2023.

Matt Whited received a Research Opportunity Award (ROA) for $43k from the National Science Foundation to support sabbatical research during 2022 at University of North Carolina in the laboratory of Prof. Alex Miller.

“Acquisition of a High Performance Computing Cluster for Undergraduate Chemistry Research and Teaching by the Midwest Undergraduate Computational Chemistry Consortium (MU3C)” Granted by NSF-MRI. August 2019-2024. $400,400 received by Daniela Kohen and MU3C colleagues.

“RUI: Molecular Insight into Cation Motion within Zeolites”. Granted by NSF. May 2019-2022. $183,416 received by Daniela Kohen.

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Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Respect in Chemistry Seminar

So you might want to go to grad school? Seminar

Adrian Hegeman, U of MN:  Plant Metabolomics: Overview, Methodology and Use of Stable Isotopes.

CCCE, Career Center, and Fellowships Seminar

Undergraduate Student Research and Internship Symposium

Christine Nowakowski, General Mills, Inc:  Better Food Through Enabling Technologies.

Emily Balskus, Harvard University:  Chemical discovery in the microbial world.

Research Info Session, Off Campus Opportunities

Research Info Session, On Campus Opportunities

Sam H. Gellman, University of Wisconsin at Madison – The Jerry and Jean Mohrig Lecture:  Foldamers: Extrapolating from Proteins.

Jon Lai, Albert Einstein College of Medicine:  Structure-based design of broad flavivirus immunogens based on glycoprotein E domain III (EDIII).

Erin McDuffie ’13, EPA:  Atmospheric Chemistry: the key to improving air quality, saving lives, and solving the climate crisis.

Isaiah Speight, PostDoc @ the University of California-Irvine, Inorganic and the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) West Regional Chair:  A Tale of Two Chemists: Mechanochemistry and Macrocycles.

Margaret Lumley, ChloBis Water:  Development of Desalination Batteries for Energy-Efficient Seawater Desalination and Selective Chloride Removal.

Dr. Roger Wiens, Professor, Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Science, Purdue University, Senior Fellow of Los Alamos National Laboratory, Principal Investigator, SuperCam Team – The Frank G. and Jean M. Chesley Lectureship in Chemistry:  Exploring Mars with Curiosity and Perseverance.

Ken Houk, University of California, Los Angeles – The Dr. James D. (’30) and Julia P. Morrison Lectureship:  Pericyclic Reactions: Theory, Mechanisms, Dynamics, and Role in Biology.

Karin Musier-Forsyth, The Ohio State University – The Jerry and Jean Mohrig Lecture:  How a two-nucleotide difference in a 9.4 kilobase genome dictates HIV-1 genomic RNA packaging.

Diversity, Inclusivity, Equity, and Respect Discussion with students, faculty, staff

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Senior Comps Talks

Polycarpe Bagereka, JP Braun, Isabel Cannell, Sarah Cauthorn,  Chloe Lipinski, Tan Premrasmi, Leah Snidman, Katie Taylor / Gellman group: Unnatural Peptides with Beta Residues

Alison Block, Ben Brewster, Neil Givens, Colby King, Tali Kottler, Samihat Rahman, Inger Shelton, Melissa Tan / Wiens group:  Past habitability of Mars: Probing an Ancient Martian Lake using ChemCam on the Curiosity Rover

Tonny Aton, Zach DiNardo, Lauren Way, Annabella Strathman, Anna Zheng, Molly Kammann  / Houk Group:  Chemistry in silico:  Modeling Complex Bio-organic Synthesis Using Computational Chemistry

Awurama Akyianu, Bella Bettner, Max Gjertson, Miah Kline, Stephen Lavey, Diana Rodriguez, Ananya Shah, David Wilson, Emma Wrigley / Musier-Forsyth Group:  A Journey Through the HIV Lifecycle: Understanding the Vital RNA-Protein Interactions

Individual Paper Comps Presentation: 
Elie Mer: Serial femtosecond X-ray crystallography as a tool for the characterization of protein structure and dynamics

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The Class of 2012

Ryan Cammarota – Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Alison (Smyth) Davys – Eagan, MN – Alison’s family just moved back to Minnesota after spending a year and a half in the Bay Area and are excited to settle into their house and reconnect with friends and family here. She continues to run – a big event was competing in the Dublin Marathon in 2018. She has also learned to rug hook, an art practiced by her grandmother.

Kathryn Deeg – Barcelona

Owen Demke – Park Ridge, IL

Peter Dunn – Portland, OR

Cody Finke – Oakland, CA – He co-founded a company (Brimstone) with the goal of decarbonizing the global cement industry and have raised over $60M towards this goal from folks like Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures and others. They are the only company which can make an identical material to what is on the market today but with a carbon negative attribute. Cody plans to continue to build Brimstone with the goal of decarbonizing cement.

Katherine France – Philadelphia, PA – Katherine was so glad to finally host her wedding after 2 pandemic delays and in so doing create a mini Carleton chemistry (and general Carleton) reunion. She is still keeping the very classic pandemic hobby of sourdough baking alive in their relatively recently purchased home, hoping to expand into grilling soon enough. Professionally, her career as an academic dentist feels like it’s truly started and she particularly likes teaching students and residents, especially clinically. She plan to continue to see the highs, lows, and flats world with her favorite Carls, eat good food, and the rest remains unwritten!

Brian Kempers – Vancouver, WA – A few personal highlights in recent years include completing her anesthesiology residency and becoming board-certified.

Ernesto Llano – Dallas, TX – Ernesto celebrated a 10-year wedding anniversary to a fellow Carleton grad last year. He also transitioned from clinical training to molecular biology training and hopes to discover something awesome.

Kenneth Lum

Katherine McCauley – Arlington, MA

Chelsea Modlin – Baltimore MD – As an Infectious disease physician, her plan is to work on her first early career grant application on improving equity within HIV/AIDS international research partnerships.

James Morrissey – Woodside, NY

Erik Olson – New Albany, OH – Erik passed the bar; had another child; moved to our new house. His plan for the future is to make partner one day and continue enjoying time with his family.

Puja Patel – Chicago, IL – Puja recently ran her first half marathon and completed a residency in ocular disease! She lived in 4 different cities in the last 6 years and have finally moved back to Chicago. She is looking forward to owning her first condo in Chicago!

Jonathan Raberg – Boulder, CO

Sean Roberts – Eastsound, WA

Karen Robinson – Seattle, WA – Karen is working in the ICU with the goal of becoming a flight nurse. Highlights were backpacking and hiking around the PNW. She hopes to continue to explore and enjoy the outdoors.

Mark Skoglund – Monmouth, OR

Diane Walters – Beaverton, OR

Erika Warrick – Redwood City, CA

Alfred Yeung – Forest Hills, NY – Coach, Technical Designer Men’s Bags and Small Leather Goods

Others follow

Will Kemper ’93 – Boise, ID – Still playing old man soccer. As he stopped coaching his own kids in soccer and running, he started coaching track and cross country at his old Junior High. Will plans to coach more, work less. Run slower, but hopefully continue to run 🙂 He has been self employed in Real Estate ventures from 1999 to present. Had great years working closely with Carls Ryan Neff and Tonya Hennen.

Ali Khaki ’07- Palo Alto, CA – A few personal highlights in recent years include completing his medical training, getting a Master’s degree in Epidemiology, and the birth of Idrees.

Will Myers ’02– Oxford, UK – Highlights are 4 Science and 2 Nature papers; Getting back into cycling (thanks Covid). Will hopes to find a promotion to a better job title, financial position and home ownership. He needs to take more family vacations.

Alex Ruthenburg ’99– Woodlawn Ave, Chicago

David H Shapiro ’74 – Romney, WV – Highlights were 1) published 3 papers in peer reviewed journals (Journal of Traumatic Stress and Psychological Reports) showing that Congolese war refugees and South African students with PTSD came out of PTSD within 1 month for refugees and 3 months for students using Transcendental Meditation technique without needing to face the traumas. These are 3 of 14 published scientific papers, all showing statistically large positive effect of reducing PTSD with Transcendental Meditation technique. As Founding President of Alliance for PTSD Recovery (aptsdr.org) they have helped reduce war trauma across Armenia in hundreds of people, suffering from recent 2020 war with Azerbaijan. 2) As Founding President of Alliance for PTSD Recovery (aptsdr.org) they have helped reduce war trauma across Armenia in hundreds of people, suffering from recent 2020 war with Azerbaijan. 3) recent video documentary launched: “ending the war within” by award-winning film director Tigran Nersisian. https://youtu.be/-35gQqhfiB0. David plans to expand their projects using this new gold standard PTSD recovery program to help in Pakistan, war and trauma torn areas around the world.

* Information may not be current. Email Tami Little if you would like your information to be updated.

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