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.


If you are in the area and want to tour the newly expanded and renovated science complex, let us know and we will arrange it.


Click here to go to the 2015-16 News Page

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Click here to go to the 2013-14 News Page

Chemistry Department News 2016-17

November 11, 2017 News Briefs

  • Jeremy Ritchie (Guthrie) received funding from the Graduate School to support his research titled Selection of Aptamer for Quantum Dot - Labeled Glycophosphate 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.

Dr. Brittany Albaugh Professor Brittany Albaugh is the Recipient of a Major Grant from the NSF

Dr. Albaugh's project, entitled Collaborative Research: Molecular and Structural Mechanism of Histone Binding by the Epigenetic Regulator UHRF2, was recently selected for funding by the National Science Foundation.  The grant is in the amount of $359,776.  Click here to read more about this research project. Posted 7/26/17.

Dr. James Grinias Jim Grinias Receives Alumni Association Award

The EMU Alumni Association has recognized Dr. James Grinias as recipient of the Outstanding Young Alumni Award at this year's awards ceremony.  Dr. Grinias received his bachelor's degree in Professional Chemistry from EMU in 2009.  He is currently an Assistant Professor at Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ.  Click here to read more about Dr. Grinias. Posted 6/30/17.

 

Professor Albaugh Gives Birth to a Baby GirlRae Albaugh

The Chemistry Department celebrates the growth of our department family via the birth of Raegan Eun "Rae" Albaugh.  Rae was born on May 8th at 9:50 pm and came in at 6 lbs, 9 oz and 21 inches.  Our congratulations go to the happy parents, Brittany and Travis.  All are doing well.  Posted 6/1/17.

54 Chemistry Students Present at the Graduate Research Conference and the Undergraduate Symposium

The 2017 EMU Graduate Research Conference was held at Brandie Yambrosicthe Student Center on Friday, March 24.  The program included 10 presentations sponsored by the Chemistry Department representing the work of 11 chemistry students.  Click here to see pictures and a listing of all of the Chemistry Department Graduate Research Conference presentations. 

Jaylen Taylor, Anna Eitel, Shane GinnardThe 37th annual undergraduate symposium was held at the Student Center on Friday, March 31.  The Chemistry Department faculty sponsored 33 of the presentations involving a total of 43 students.  Click here to see pictures and a listing of all of the Chemistry Department presentations at the Undergraduate Symposium. Updated 5/19/17.

SSRI Schedule Announced

This year's Summer Science Research Initiative (SSRI) will kick off on May 16 with a series of brief student presentations describing the work that the students will be pursuing this summer.  Follow this link to see the full schedule of SSRI events this summer.  Alternately, visit the SSRI facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/summerscienceresearchinitiative).  Posted 5/10/17.

Professor Amy Johnson Interviewed on the Importance of STEM

Dr. Amy Flanagan Johnson (Chemistry) and Dr. Katherine Ryker (Geography and Geology) were recently interviewed on WEMU.  Topics discussed included the importance of science, science funding, and the role of women in STEM fields.  Posted 4/27/17.

18th-Century Glues Analysis Published in Prestigious Book

Cover of CeramicsProfessor Ruth Ann Armitage and colleagues have been analyzing historic glue residues on ceramics excavated from Ferry Farm, the boyhood home of George Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia.  Results of this project were recently published in the well-respected and widely read book Ceramics in America as the chapter titled “Mary Washington’s Mended Ceramics: A Study of Eighteenth-Century Glues” with co-authors Mara Kaktins and Melanie Marquis of the George Washington Foundation, and Daniel Fraser of Lourdes University.  This collaborative research project will be shared with visitors to Ferry Farm through an interactive experience where living history interpreters will make glues from historic recipes and mend pottery with the public in the newly reconstructed Washington house there.  Posted 4/27/17.

April 7, 2017 News Briefs

  • Mariah Brito (Guthrie) was awarded travel funds from the Dean's Office for travel to Pittcon in Chicago, Illinois.
  • Nate Hendrickson (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.
  • Ahmed Mohamed (Albaugh) was awarded travel funds from the Honors College to attend the American Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Conference in Chicago, IL.
  • Omid Hajihassani (Vites) was awarded travel funds from the Dean's Office for travel to the American Chemical Society Meeting in San Francisco, CA.  His poster earned an award for content and presentation at the meeting.
  • Ruth Ann Armitage, Cory Emal, and Hedeel Evans received Faculty Research Fellowships for the 2017-18 academic year.
  • Amy Johnson was nominated by a student to be honored at the Celebration of Excellence Convocation of The College of Education.
  • Larry Kolopajlo received notice of the acceptance of a manuscript on green chemistry.  He was also named co-editor of a green chemistry education book series.
  • Amy Johnson, Ingo Janser, Ross Nord, and Vicki Paulissen, were all nominated by their students in the “Thank a Teacher” program.

Professor Ross Nord is selected as Honors College Distinguished Faculty of the Year.

Dr. Ross NordEach year the Honors College students identify two professors whom they would like to honor as their Distinguished Faculty of the Year.  Dr. Nord was presented with his award at the Honors College Awards Ceremony on March 28. Accepting the award, he noted that he taught his first Honors class in 1988, before most of today's students were born.  He also spoke about how it is the EMU students who continue to motivate him to be the best instructor he can be.  Posted 4/3/17.

March 3, 2017 News Briefs

  • Brittany Albaugh was was one the first-ever recipients of a James H. Brickley Award to facilitate faculty professional development and innovation.
  • Celeste Rousseau (Guthrie) was awarded travel funds from the Dean's Office for travel to Pittcon in Chicago, Illinois.
  • Larry Kolopajlo, assisted by Hexiya Yong, hosted the Dexter Winter Science Camp for 23 6th graders on February 21 to 24.

February 10, 2017 News Briefs

  • Jim Grinias was named as the recipient of this year's EMU Young Alumnus Award.
  • Ahmed Mohamed (Albaugh), Daniel Esckilsen (Evans/Heyl-Clegg), Margaret Champion (Evans/Heyl-Clegg), Tim Petzhold (Albaugh), and Adam Baraka (Evans/Heyl-Clegg) were awarded travel funds from the Dean's Office for travel to the American Society for Biochemistry Conference in Chicago, Illinois.
  • Alyssa Winkler (Albaugh) was awarded travel funds from the Graduate School for travel to the American Society for Biochemistry Conference in Chicago, Illinois.
  • Bridget Kennedy (Backues) was awarded travel funds from the Dean's Office for travel to the Keystone Autophagy Conference in Colorado.
  • Amy Johnson was awarded a Campus Dialogue Grant from Bringing Theory to Practice along with EMU colleagues John Koolage, Kate Curley, and Christine Deacons.
  • Sharon Vance was nominated for the 2016 EMU-FT Part-time Lecturers Distinguished Teaching Award.
  • Harriet Lindsay received a Summer Research Activity Award.

New Initiative for STEM Outreach to the Ypsilanti CommunityDr. Amy Johnson

EMU and the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum have formed a partnership to develop STEM activities geared toward elementary-aged children and their families.  Professor Amy Johnson is leading this new and exciting initiative to provide informal science education opportunities to the Ypsilanti community.  Click here to read the full article.  Posted 1/24/17.

January 13, 2017 News Briefs

  • Ronith Chakraborty (Backues), Alexis Marsh (Janser), and Tim Petzhold (Albaugh) received Undergraduate Research Stimulus Awards.  Only eight were awarded university-wide.
  • Alyssa Winkler (Albaugh) was awarded travel funds from the Dean's Office for travel to the American Society for Biochemistry Conference in Chicago, Illinois
  • Mishka Repaska (Armitage) was awarded travel funds from the Dean's Office for travel to the 2017 Pittcon Conference and Expo in Chicago, Illinois.
  • Bridget Kennedy (Backues) was awarded travel funds from the Graduate School for travel to the Keystone Autophagy Conference in Colorado.
  • Adam Baraka (Evans and Heyl-Clegg) and Jesse Smith (Backues) were awarded travel funds from the Honors College for travel to the ASBMB Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois.
  • Amy Johnson and Katherine Ryker were awarded a Winter 2017 FDC Program Grant entitled “Thank-a-Teacher” by the Faculty Development Center.
  • Cory Emal and Daniel Lawrence, his collaborator at the University of Michigan, were awarded a patent.
  • Larry Kolopajlo was selected as an AP reader.

December 9, 2016 News Briefs

  • Mitchell Meyer, Zachary Spearin, and Carson Zois (Backues) were awarded travel funds from the Dean's Office for travel to the American Society for Biochemistry Conference in Chicago, Illinois.
  • Hedeel Evans, Jeff Guthrie, Gavin Edwards, and Ingo Janser were awarded Provost's Research Support Awards.
  • Adam Baraka (Evans and Heyl-Clegg), Jesse Wotring (Janser), Mitchell Meyer and Jesse Smith (Backues), Mishka Repaska and David Bailey (Armitage), and Caitlin Keif (Lindsay) received Honors Undergraduate Fellowships
  • Hayley Cawthon and Carson Zois (Backues) received Honors Senior Thesis Fellowships.

Alumni Profile: Dr. Brian Cummings, a 1994 EMU graduate.

Dr. Brian CummingsDr. Cummings, who was a double major in biochemistry and toxicology at EMU (and recipient of our Toxicology Achievement Award in 1994), is currently an Associate Professor in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Georgia, where he also serves as director of the university's Interdisciplinary Toxicology program. His profile was recently featured on the University of Georgia's website. Click here to read about Dr. Cummings, his current position, and his research. Posted 11/29/16.

November 11, 2016 News Briefs

  • Hayley Cawthon (Backues) and Carson Zois (Backues) were awarded travel funds from the Honors College for travel to the Keystone Symposium "Autophagy Network Integration in Health and Disease" in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
  • Hedeel Evans had a paper accepted in Journal of Biochemistry entitled, "Activation of latent dihydroorotase from Aquifex aeolicus by pressure," based on work with EMU M.S. student Roshini Fernando and collaborators in France and at Wayne State University.
  • Nina Contis had a book chapter "Water: Global Issues, Local Solutions" published in the ACS Book Series “Chemistry without Borders: Careers, Research, and Entrepreneurship.”
  • Amy Johnson, along with Nichole Wright from the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, received a Partnership Champions: SENCER-ISE and Professional Development Through Mentoring to Enhance Learning Environments sub-award, funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and The National Center for Science and Civic Engagement (NCSCE).
  • Dave Nickell was chosen as an MVP (Most Valued Professor) by the EMU Volleyball Team.

Professor Steven Backues Receives Major NSF Grant

Dr. Steven BackuesDr. Steven Backues, assistant professor of Chemistry, is the principal investigator on a recently awarded $297,384 RUI grant from the National Science Foundation.  His proposal was entitled “Scaffold or Assembly Line: How Does Atg11 Organize its Binding Partners for the Initiation of Selective Autophagy?” The work performed under this grant has the dual purpose of enhancing undergraduate education in the department and advancing humanity’s fundamental understanding of the medically relevant process of Autophagy.  Click here to read more. Posted 10/24/16.

October 7, 2016 News Briefs

  • Don Snyder received funding from the CAS Dean’s Office for travel to his upcoming conference in Portugal.
  • Cory Emal was elected by Faculty Senate to the Transferable Technology Committee for a 3-year term.
  • Beka Buzrukov (Janser) and Asil Zayed (Janser) were awarded travel funds from the CAS Dean’s Office for travel to the ACS National Meeting in Philadelphia.
  • Ruth Ann Armitage had a conference paper published in Textile Specialty Group Postprints.

Professor Johnson Facilitates the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at EMU

Dr. Amy JohnsonAs part of a Faculty and Development Center initiative to engage more faculty and lecturers in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL), Amy Flanagan Johnson (Chemistry) and Katherine Ryker (Geography and Geology) will be leading a SoTL group this academic year. The group will meet every three weeks or so to support each other in designing and carrying out a SoTL study, the results of which could be presented on campus, at a conference, or via publication in a professional journal. Posted 9/12/16.

September 9, 2016 News Briefs

  • Amy Johnson was promoted to full professor.
  • Steven Backues was awarded a three-year research grant from NSF-RUI for his project entitled "Scaffold or Assembly Line: How Does Atg11 Organize its Binding Partners for the Initiation of Selective Autophagy?"
  • Larry Kolopajlo had a manuscript "Green Chemistry Pedagogy" accepted for publication as a chapter in the upcoming book "Sustainable Green Chemistry" and in the Physical Sciences Reviews journal.
  • Amy Johnson was selected to attend the 2016 Project Kaleidoscope Summer Leadership Institute.
  • Steven Backues received a Provost's Research Support Award.
  • Mariah Brito (Guthrie), Daniel Esckilsen (Evans), Omid Hajihassani (Vites), Murali Jujjavarapu (Guthrie), Margaret Macknick Champion (Heyl-Clegg), Justin Powers (Vites), and Celeste Rousseau (Guthrie) were awarded travel money from the CAS Dean’s Office at attend the ACS Central Regional Meeting in Covington, KY.
  • Diamond Jones (Milletti) was awarded travel money from the CAS Dean’s Office at attend the ACS National Meeting in San Diego, CA.
  • Amy Markowitz (Janser) received travel funds from the CAS Dean’s Office for travel to the Graduate Student Symposium in Buffalo, NY.
  • Alyssa Winkler (Albaugh) received travel funds from the CAS Dean’s Office and the Grad School for travel to the Midwest Epigenetics & Chromatin Meeting in Grand Rapids, MI.
  • Mitchell Meyer (Backues), Damien Sheppard (Backues), Jesse Smith (Backues), and Jesse Wotring (Janser) received Fall 2016 Honors Undergraduate Fellowships.
  • Ruth Ann Armitage, Steven Backues, Heather Holmes, Ingo Janser, Harriet Lindsay, Debbie Heyl-Clegg and Hedeel Evans who were all nominated by their research students for the William Fennel Symposium Faculty Mentor Award.
  • Corissa Lamphear-Gilmer gave birth to her son, Bennett, born on May 29.

 

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