UF |UNIVERSITY of
Department of Chemistry
PO Box 117200
Gainesville FL 32611-7200
Chemistry Staff Recognition
On April 1, 2009, the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences held a ceremony and recep-
tion to honor staff who have attained between 5 and 30 years of continuous service
to the University of Florida. Twelve staff members from the Department of Chemis-
try were recognized for having achieved one of these milestones. Sara Klossner (5),
Antoinette Knight (5), Joey Lott (5), Christy Nguyen (5), Melinda Olszak (10),
Lawrence Hartley (15), Beverly Lisk (20), Joe Shalosky (20), Glennis Brown
(25), Maribel Lisk (25), Gwen McCann (25), and Steven Miles (30). Congratula-
tions and thank you for your dedicated service to our department.
O We want to hear from you! Send your update to: Maribel Lisk, PO
Box 117200, Gainesville, FL 32611-7200. Please include your degree
* (BS, MS, PhD, etc.), graduation date, and e-mail address if you have
one. Photos are welcome, too! You can also e-mail your update to
Q) firstname.lastname@example.org. To make online contributions to the
" department, go to https://www.uff.ufl.edu/OnlineGiving/CLAS.asp.
Select "Chemistry 001401" and continue through the prompts.
You might recognize this photograph (circa 1968) from page
58 of the Fall 2008 issue of"UF Today", a publication of the
Alumni Association, celebrating WUFT's 50 years "on the
air." You might not have known that the professor was John
Baxter, who came to the Department of Chemistry in 1952
to direct the first-year chemistry program. During his years
at UF, Dr. Baxter engaged in several activities using technol-
ogy to spread the word about chemistry. The scene represent-
ed in this picture was part of the filming of a series of some
hundred or so movie reels, each of which could be used by a
high-school teacher to supplement a usual class. This series
was produced by the Encyclopedia Brittanica and most of
the filming was carried out in a studio under the north end
of the west-side Florida Field stadium, specially constructed
to represent the front of a classroom as shown in this picture.
The director is standing at the right with earphones and a
technical consultant is at the left.
One of these reels was devoted to modern chemical in-
strumentation and was filmed in Leigh Hall. There was a ten-
minute portion on NMR and I (Professor Wallace S. Brey)
was the actor and narrator. It took most of an afternoon to
film this segment, with perhaps ten retakes until the director
was satisfied; my voice was dubbed in later in the stadium
studio as the picture was played on screen.
-Wallace S. Brey
Rodney J. Bartlettreceivedthe
prestigious 2008 Schr6dinger Medal of The World Association
of Theoretical and Computational Chemists. Bartlett was award-
ed the medal for the systematic development of correlated wave
function methods, especially many-body perturbation theory
and coupled cluster theory. The Schr6dinger Medal, recognizing
the world's most outstanding theoretical or computational chem-
ists, was presented at the WATOC 2008 World Congress held in
Sydney, Australia, in September 2008.
Many congratulations to our recent BS graduates
and also to our undergraduate award winners.
On the first Sunday in May, 87 students re-
ceived their bachelors' degrees, 28 in the standard
chemistry program and 59 in the biochemistry
track. This record number adds to the 28 Sum-
mer 2008 and 18 Fall 2008 graduates to give 133
new chemistry graduates over the entire academic
year. The diplomas of 69 of these graduates also
bear the words cum laude, magna cum laude, or
summa cum laude. We are all very proud of our
thriving presence in the Gator Nation.
With so many students having excellent re-
cords in both course work and undergraduate re-
search, we faced the difficult (but happy) task of
choosing the outstanding graduating senior for the
Colonel Allen R. and Margaret G. CrowAward. In
the end, the department decided to split the award
among three graduates: Nathan Strutt, Frank
(Chris) Curran, and Jennifer Mattler.
Nathan Strutt, who performed under-
graduate research under Mike Scott, is headed
to Northwestern University for graduate studies
in nanotechnology under Prof Fraser Stoddart.
Jennifer Mattler's undergraduate research advisor
was Ron Castellano. She will work on her Ph.D.
in synthetic organic chemistry at Stanford Uni-
versity under Prof Paul Wender. Chris Curran, a
major in our biochemistry track, is taking a two-
year hiatus from his academic pursuits to serve
in Teach for America. Chris worked with Lisa
McElwee-White on his undergraduate thesis, and
he eventually will seek a Ph.D. in chemistry.
Every year, the department also awards sev-
eral outstanding junior chemistry majors with
funding provided by donations from Howard
and Brenda Sheridan, Joseph P. Lafornara, and
Gordon M. and Joyce L. Smith. The 2009 win-
ners are Srinivasan Venkatesh, Travis LaJoie, Alex
Wang, and Laura Fishwick. Congratulations to
Srinivasan, Travis, Alex, Laura, and our many
other excellent undergraduates.
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A note from The Chair
We spent a lot of time watch-
ing the newspapers this year,
wondering like everyone else
about the state and national
economy. While waiting for
the economic picture to clear,
we've continued to move for-
ward. Let me update you on
some exciting developments.
You may have heard
that we have a new building
planned for the corner of
University Avenue and Buck-
man Drive (17th street). Ten-
tatively called the Chemistry/
Chemical Biology Building,
it will be the new home to
general and organic teaching
labs as well as chemical biol-
ogy and organic graduate re-
search space. The architects
are here as I write this, and
we hope to have renderings
and plans available for view-
ing very soon.
We made three success-
ful tenure track faculty offers
this spring. Professors Ste-
phen Bruner, Rebecca Butch-
er, and David Wei will be
joining us during the 2009-
2010 academic year. Steve
will be moving from Boston
College, where he is cur-
rently an Associate Professor
and Rebecca is coming from
a postdoctoral appointment
at Harvard Medical School.
Both Rebecca and Steve are
biochemists. David, currently
a Postdoc at Northwestern, is
a physical/materials chemist.
We look forward to welcom-
ing our new colleagues.
The students continue
to flock to chemistry! As
reported elsewhere in our
newsletter, we had a record
number of graduates this aca-
demic year. Along with high
numbers, the incredibly high
quality of our students is re-
ally keeping us on our toes.
We are adding several
new instruments to our re-
search and teaching labs.
Khalil Abboud along with
several other faculty col-
leagues were successful with
a major instrumentation pro-
posal to the National Science
Foundation for a new single
crystal X-ray diffractometer.
We also acquired a second
500 MHz NMR this year. In
the teaching labs, we added
two new FTIR spectrometers
for the organic labs and an
ion chromatograph to the up-
per level instrumental analy-
Incidentally, our efforts
to acquire all the new instru-
mentation this year started
with alumni donations. We
were able to use these re-
sources to leverage additional
funding through grants or
university matching to make
very significant enhance-
ments to our program.
We are grateful for con-
tinued support by our alumni
and friends, which enables us
to look forward, ever increas-
ing the quality and competi-
tiveness of our teaching and