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Seven Chemistry Department Members Celebrate Service Anniversaries

Brian Samuels Brian Samuels has been an important member of the Chemistry Department for thirty years in the role of Scientific Instrument Technician.  In this role, he has been responsible for the care of upkeep of much of the department’s invaluable instrumentation, such as the NMR.  While faithfully carrying out these expected duties, he has served as a social ambassador to our students, especially those working within the department.  These extra efforts to make the Chemistry Department a welcoming environment are part of makes Brian, and the department, special.

Joe Mason has been the Laboratory Services Supervisor for the past twenty-five years.  This demanding position is essential to the smooth operation of the department.  Joe trains and supervises a large group of student employees that is responsible for prepping almost all of the instructional laboratories.  Prior to Joe, there had been a lot of turnover in this position, and he has provided stability and organization.  Thanks to his efforts, our instructional labs are able to run smoothly and provide our students with a high quality laboratory experience.

Carol Orlowski has served as the office secretary in the Chemistry Department for a little less than half of her twenty-five years at EMU.  Prior to Chemistry, Carol had worked in a variety of offices across campus.  This broad experience has given her knowledge of the university and lots of contacts that has been very valuable to the smooth running of the department.  Carol works very hard to go the extra mile when students need assistance.  Rather than sending them off to some other office, she will pick up the phone and do whatever she can to get them the information they need.

Steven Pernecky has been a member of the Chemistry Department faculty for the past twenty years, the last three of which he has been the Department Head.  Dr. Pernecky has background in Pharmacology and has contributed to our programs in both biochemistry and toxicology.  Prior to becoming Department Head, Dr. Pernecky also served for many years as Undergraduate Advising Coordinator and for five years as Associate Chair of the department.  Despite the vast amount of time devoted to his current administrative duties, Dr. Pernecky is still very active as a student adviser.  His dedication to our students and the department is continually demonstrated by his willingness to assume so many crucial roles in the department, and perform them to the best of his ability.

Cory Emal, Hedeel Evans, and Dave Nickell are all celebrating ten year anniversaries with the Chemistry Department.  Dr. Emal is an organic/medicinal chemist with a very active program of research.  His group synthetizes potential inhibitors of proteins associated atherosclerosis, blood clots, and myocardial infarction.  These compounds are tested for biological activity by his collaborators at the University of Michigan.  Dr. Evans is a biochemist who also has a very active research program.  She is studying a protein implicated in both Alzheimer’s disease and cancer and well as a receptor complex associated with depression.  Dr. Evans has also been one the main forces behind the development of EMU’s new interdisciplinary program in Neuroscience.  Dr. David Nickell is an organic chemist who came to EMU after an extensive career in industry at Pfizer (Parke-Davis).  Demonstrating his versatility, Dr. Nickell has been responsible for teaching and updating our graduate course on Information Retrieval, teaching courses in organic chemistry and organic/biochemistry for allied health majors, and he also taught and coordinated our main general education course for several years.

The Chemistry Department greatly values and appreciates the service, contributions, and loyalty of all of its members.  In particular, we are proud to recognize these seven individuals, who have made a difference in the lives of so many students through their efforts over the past years.  We look forward to many more years of their contributions to our programming.

- Posted 4/22/15


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