Eastern Michigan University

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A Special Message for Alumni

We are very interested in hearing from you and in keeping in touch with you.  If you send us your address or email address, we will be sure to keep you on our mailing list for the newsletter and the annual departmental banquet.

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Chemistry Department News 2017-18

EMU Student Wins Poster Award at International Conference 

Jenn Campos Ayala ISA PosterThe Society for Archaeological Sciences selected EMU graduate student Jennifer Campos Ayala for one of two R. E. Taylor Poster Awards at the 42 nd  International Symposium on Archaeometry in Mérida, Mexico.  Jenn is a student in Dr. Ruth Ann Armitage’s lab; her poster, “Purple Dyes from the Carlos Museum Pre-Columbian Textiles Collection: Direct Mass Spectrometry and HPLC Analyses”, includes work that is part of an ongoing collaboration with conservators and art historians at the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University. Read the full story  here .  Published 6/13/18

Emeritus Professor Ted Compere Passes Away

Dr. Ted Compere We were sorry to learn of the passing of Emeritus Professor, Edward L. "Ted" Compere this past winter.  Dr. Compere joined the EMU faculty in 1964 and retired in 1992, after 28 years.  Professor Compere's specialty was polymer chemistry and he maintained an active research program, often in collaboration with our colleagues in the Polymers & Coatings program.  He helped transform the research culture in the Chemistry Department.  Among his many interests outside of Chemistry, he was an avid and accomplished tennis player.  The department is very grateful for his contributions to the education of so many students.  Posted 5/10/18.

Seven Chemistry Department MS Students Present at Graduate Research Conference

Jeremy RitcheyThe Graduate Research Conference was held on March 16,2018. Follow this link to a video showing the seven Chemistry students who presented at it.  Posted 4/13/18.

April 13, 2018 News Briefs

  • Jennifer Campos-Ayala (Armitage) received funding from the CAS Dean's Office to attend the International Symposium on Archaeometry in Merido, Mexico. 
  • Tyler Cooley (Friebe) received funding from the CAS Dean's Office to attend the National ACS meeting in New Orleans.
  • Jeremy Ritchey (Guthrie) received funding from the CAS Dean’s Office for his travel to the Canadian Society for Chemistry Conference in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
  • Maria Milletti and Don Snyder were awarded Faculty Research Fellowships for next year.
  • Tim Brewer was awarded a sabbatical leave (and an Faculty Research Fellowship, which he will decline) for next year.
  • Patreice Maier (Brewer), Kristine Platt (Milletti), Guadalupe Vazquez-Perez (Emal) and Marisa Gilliam (Albaugh) were awarded summer Undergraduate Research Stimulus Program (URSP) awards.  The Chemistry Department received 4 of the 16 awarded in the university.
  • Jocelyn Marsack (Edwards) was featured on EMU Today in a story highlighting some of the Undergraduate Symposium presentations.
  • Ruth Ann Armitage was invited to give the keynote talk at an ACS Local Section event in Cleveland.
  • Jeff Guthrie received funding from the CAS Dean’s Office for his travel to the Canadian Society for Chemistry Conference in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
  • Ruth Ann Armitage received funding from the CAS Dean's Office to attend the International Symposium on Archaeometry in Merido, Mexico.

Provost Kinney, President Smith, Professor Kolopajlo

Larry Kolopajlo has work featured at the Faculty Showcase for Scholarly and Creative Activity

This year's Faculty Showcase was held on March 15, 2018.  The Faculty Showcase celebrates faculty and their recently disseminated research, scholarly and creative activities from 2017.  One of the faculty members featured was Professor Larry Kolopajlo.  Here he is shown signing a copy of a book to which he contributed a chapter entitled "Green chemistry education in the Middle East."  The book is Green Chemical Processing, Volume 2: Developments in Research and Education, Benvenuto, Ed,; De Gruyter, Berlin, 2017.

Sharon Vance wins PTL Distinguished Teaching Award

Sharon VanceSharon Vance was a 2018 recipient of EMU's Distinguished Teaching Awards for Part-time Lecturers.  Sharon has been a member of the EMU Chemistry family for nearly 30 years as an undergraduate, graduate student, and lecturer.  Read more about her accomplishments and contributions by following this link.  Posted 3/28/18

March 16, 2018 News Briefs

  • Margaret Champion (Evans/Heyl-Clegg) received the Best Abstract/Proposal
    Award in the sciences at this year's Graduate Research Fair.
  • Robert Muterspaugh (Evans/Heyl-Clegg) was awarded $750 for his research entitled "Regulation of Extracellular IGFBP-3 by Humaninin A549 Cells."
  • Heather Holmes was selected for the Chemistry GRE exam committee.

 February 14, 2018 News Briefs

  • Cory Emal received a Provost's Research Support Award for his project, " Equipment to increase capacity and generate standard wort for Fermentation Science research projects. "
  • Jesse Smith (Backues), Ahmed Mohamed (Albaugh), and Maira Shoukat (Nord) each received an Honors Senior Thesis Research Award.
  • Ronith Chakraborty and Jacquelyn Roberts (Backues), Alexis Marsh and Terence Stahl (Milletti), Zeineb El-Mohri and Marisa Gilliam (Albaugh), and Ifrah Skoukat (Nord) each received an Honors Undergraduate Research Fellowship for winter term.
  • Jasmine Winzeler (Backues) was awarded travel funds from the CAS Dean's Office for the April trip to the Keystone Conference on Selective Autophagy in Kyoto, Japan.
  • Robert Muterspaugh (Evans/Heyl-Clegg) was awarded a Graduate Travel Award through ASBMB (American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) for travel to the annual meeting in San Diego, CA in April.
  • Cory Emal was interviewed by EMU Today TV about the Fermentation Science program.  The program is on YouTube.
  • Cory Emal also was awarded a Summer Research/Creative Activity Award for 2018.

Dr. Amy Johnson

Professor Amy Johnson Co-Leads Pop-Up Learning Community

Professor Amy Johnson was one of the organizers and leaders of a pop-up learning community on climate change.  Primary focuses included learning how to establish a productive dialogue and how to identify and deal with misinformation.  The community involved an interdisciplinary team and over 150 students participated.  Follow this link to read more.  Posted 1/24/18.

EMU's ACS Student Chapter receives Honorable Mention for 2016-2017 activities

The ACS Committee on Education selects student chapters for distinguished programs and activities.  Last year's EMU student chapter received Honorable Mention for its activities.  Officers were Justin Powers and Natalia Anaya; chapter advisers were Tim Friebe and Jose Vites.  The ACS student chapter meets in conjunction with the Chemistry Club.  Posted 1/08/18.

December 8, 2017 News Briefs

  • Amy Johnson received an eFellows award for “Integrating Early Engineering Experiences for Pre-service Integrated Science Teachers."

Alla Pope, Dr. Brittany Albaugh, Shane Ginnard

Chemistry Undergrad Research Highlighted

Undergraduate research in the Chemistry Department was highlighted on the EMU website with a feature article about the work being done by Professors Brittany Albaugh and Steven Backues and their students.  Follow this link to read the complete story.  Posted 11/29/17. 

November 11, 2017 News Briefs

  • Jeremy Ritchey (Guthrie) received funding from the Graduate School to support his research titled Selection of Aptamer for Quantum Dot - Labeled Glyphosate via Capillary Electrophoresis – SELEX.
  • Jeff Guthrie received a Provost's Research Support Award.
  • Jennifer Campos Ayala (Armitage) received funding from the Graduate School to support her research titled High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) Analysis of Ancient Textile Dyes from South America.
  • Cory Emal received a James H. Brickley Award to support Cicerone Certification: Faculty Preparation for a New Curriculum .
  • Steven Backues received funding from the CAS Dean’s Office for travel to the Keystone Conference on Selective Autophagy in Kyoto, Japan.
  • Larry Kolopajlo published a chapter for the ACS Symposium Series entitled Analytical Methodologies for Arsenic, Selenium, and Mercury: A Historical Perspective.

 October 6, 2017 News Briefs

  • Gavin Edwards received funding from the CAS Dean’s Office for travel to the CPI Polyurethanes Conference in New Orleans.
  • Nina Contis was an invited keynote speaker at the International Conference on Pure and Applied Sciences in Lahore, Pakistan.
  • Tim Brewer became a grandfather.  His daughter Katherine gave birth to a baby girl, Mia.
  • Ruth Ann Armitage had a conference paper published in Textile Specialty Group Postprints.

Dr. Steven Backues

Professor Steven Backues Receives Faculty Mentor Award

Professor Steven Backues was the 2017 recipient of the William Fennel Symposium Faculty Mentor Award.  This award recognizes extraordinary leadership and guidance to undergraduate students and their research experience that includes presentation at the Undergraduate Symposium.  Follow this link to read more about Professor Backues and his award.  Posted 9/20/17.

Dr. Nina Contis

Professor Nina Contis's Views on Global Engagement Featured in Chemical & Engineering News

Dr. Contis recently had an article entitled "Global engagement:  A competitive advantage in the practice of chemistry" featured in Chemical & Engineering News.  Dr. Contis is the chair of the ACS Committee on International Activities.  Follow this link to access the article and learn how the ACS is moving forward in this important area.  Posted 9/12/17.

September 8, 2017 News Briefs

  • Terry Stahl (Milletti), Jaylen Taylor (Heyl-Clegg), Justin Powers (Emal), and Maira Shoukat (Nord) received URSP (Undergraduate Research Stimulus Program) awards for summer.  Chemistry Department students received 4 out of the 14 awarded by the university.
  • Adam Baraka (Evans), Carson Zois (Backues), Brianna Sohl (Holmes), and Hayley Cawthon (Backues) completed Honors theses.
  • Jeff Guthrie was named a MVP (most valuable professor) by a student softball player and was honored at a game in April.
  • Amy Johnson, along with Katherine Ryker (Geography and Geology), was interviewed on NPR to publicize support for the importance of science, science funding, and the important role of women in STEM fields
  • Anna Eitel (Heyl-Clegg/Evans) was awarded travel funds from the Dean’s Office to attend the American Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Conference in Chicago, IL, last April.
  • Maira Shoukat (Nord) and Terrance Stahl (Milletti) received Honors Undergraduate Fellowships for Summer and Fall 2017.
  • Steven Backues was the recipient of this year's William Fennel Symposium Faculty Mentor Award.  Hedeel Evans, Heather Holmes, and Ross Nord were also nominated.
  • Hedeel Evans, Jeff Guthrie, and Debbie Heyl-Clegg, with students Murali Jujjavarapu, Nathan Hendrickson, Anna Eitel, Yeji Park, Jennifer Garvey, Rebecca Newman, and Daniel Esckilsen had a paper accepted in Peptide and Protein Letters.
  • Cory Emal and Gregg Wilmes received a check for $2500 to the Fermentation Science Program from Brothers from the Arm of Honor Alumni Association.  Their cider (served at the department banquet) also won an award.
  • Cory Emal was issued a patent, Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor-1 Inhibitors And Methods Of Use Thereof.
  • Hedeel Evans was awarded a Provost's Research Support Award.



The Department of Chemistry is part of the College of Arts & Sciences, 214 Pray-Harrold