Department News

Chemistry Awards 2020

January 26, 2021

awards2020.jpgWe are happy to share the recipients of several Chemistry Department awards and fellowships in recognition of outstanding performance, research, service, and teaching by undergraduate and graduate students during the 2019-2020 academic year. 


abraham.brittany.jpg2020 Outstanding Graduate Award

Brittany Abraham (Nilsson Group)

The Outstanding Graduate Award was established in 2016 at the request of an alumnus who wanted to recognize excellence in research, leadership, and service by a senior graduate student. Winners show not only a passion for learning and a steadfast diligence in the research lab, but also a dedication to teaching and mentoring, and a commitment to helping his/her community. The award consists of a medal, a cash prize and the winner's name on a plaque to be placed in the Chemistry Department Office. 

"The award is not intended for someone who just excels at research; rather, this award is intended for a senior graduate student who helps make the chemistry community at UR and in Rochester a better place. The intent of the anonymous donor who provided financial support for the award is that the award winner will serve as a positive example for all graduate students in the Chemistry Department to emulate during the remainder of their career. Congratulations to Brittany!"
 ~ Professor Todd Kraus, Professor of Chemistry and Chair

2020 W.D. Walters Teaching Awards

Melissa Koch (Knowles Group), Eric Schreiber (Matson Group) and Francine Yanchik (Nilsson Group)

The W.D. Walters Teaching Award recognizes outstanding undergraduate teaching by graduate teaching assistants. This award memorializes the late Professor W.D. Walters and the standards of excellence and achievement exemplified by him. It also recognizes our appreciation for the commitment and achievements of the awardees and consists of a certificate and cash prize.

Melissa Koch
Eric Schreiber
Francine Yanchik



Esther M. Conwell Graduate Fellowship 

Alex Fertig (Matson Group), Arkajit Mandal (Huo Group)

Alex Fertig
Arkajit Mandal

Dr. Conwell, a former faculty member of the Rochester Chemistry Department, first came to the University of Rochester in 1942 to pursue a Ph.D. in physics. She was a pioneering scientist who is most famous for her studies of the properties of semiconductors and organic conductors.  Among her many honors, Dr. Conwell received the National Medal of Honor in 2010 for "her broad contributions to understanding electron and hole transport in semiconducting materials, which helped to enable commercial applications of semiconductor and organic electronic devices, and for extending her analysis to studying the electronic properties of DNA."  The Conwell fellowship is intended to honor the contributions of graduate students in physical chemistry who have excelled in their graduate careers.


Moses Passer Fellowship

Emily Edwards (Bren Group)

Emily Edwards

 This endowed fellowship fund was established by Mrs. Dorothy Rosenberg-Passer in 2009 in memory of her husband, Dr. Moses Passer, who received his bachelor of science degree in chemistry from the University of Rochester in 1945 and his doctorate in organic chemistry from Cornell in 1948.  After a distinguished career as professor of chemistry at the University of Minnesota Duluth, Dr. Passer became an executive at the American Chemical Society in Washington, DC, and served as director of education at the ACS for more than two decades.


Arnold Weissberger Fellowship

Yu Gu (Fasan Group), Jackson Hernandez (Frontier Group), Eric Schreiber (Matson Group), and Jakub Vaith (Paradine Group)

The purpose of the Weissberger Fellowship in Chemistry is to reward and encourage outstanding promise for productive scientific careers by advanced PhD students.  Each Fellow receives a substantial supplement for basic support and funds to travel to a major scientific meeting to report the results of his or her research.  The fellowship is awarded on the basis of outstanding research achievement and potential for continued growth, ideals which Arnold Weissberger exemplified during his lifetime and which he recognized and encouraged in others.

Yu Gu
Jackson Hernandez
Eric Schreiber
Jakub Vaith


Robert and Marian Flaherty DeRight Fellowship

Jose Alvarez-Hernandez (Bren Group), Joshua DeMuth (Neidig Group), and Albert Nam (Fasan Group)

Albert Nam
Joshua DeMuth
Jose Alvarez-Hernandez

Dr. and Mrs. DeRight received their bachelor’s degrees from the University of Rochester in 1931, in chemistry and romance languages, respectively. Dr.DeRight continued his studies at the University to earn a master of science in Physical Chemistry in 1932 as well as his PhD in 1935 in Physical Chemistry with subordinate subjects in Mathematics and Physics. He was a valued member of the American Chemical Society, and both he and his wife were active in alumni affairs at the University of Rochester. This fellowship was established in 1984 by Mrs. DeRight as a memorial to her husband. It provides a graduate fellowship in the Department of Chemistry for a term of one year.

Samuel A. & Ellen F. Lattimore Fellowship

Maria Aguilera (Neidig Group), Melissa Jagrosse (Nilsson Group), and Karla Rosalia Sanchez Lievanos (Knowles Group)

Karla R. Sanchez-Lievanos
Karla Lievanos
Melissa Jagrosse
Maria Aguilera

The Samuel A. & Ellen F. Lattimore Fellowship honors Professor Samuel A. Lattimore and his wife, benefactors of the University of Rochester from its earliest days.  The fellowship was established by a gift from the estate of Eleanor Larrebee Lattimore.  Professor Lattimore was associated with the University of Rochester for more than 40 years and began his career at Rochester teaching chemistry, being his chief concern, but also geology, zoology, and physics.  He was chair of the Department of Chemistry from 1867-1908.  The fellowship is designed to support outstanding graduate students in the Department of Chemistry and gives special consideration to women applicants.

Isaac Sherman Clarke Fellowship

Aleksa Milosavljevic (Frontier Group), Alison Salamatian (Bren Group), Xinxian Chen (Franco Group), and Shilpa Bhatia (Neidig Group) 

The Sherman-Clarke Fellowship is a merit fellowship awarded to graduate levels students based on coursework and Teaching Assistant performance.

Aleksa Milosavljevic
Alison Salamatian
Xinxian Chen
Shilpa Bhatia


Elliot and Laura Richman Fellowship

Jacob Shelton

Jacob Shelton  (Knowles Group) 

The Richman Fellowship was established to honor excellence among graduate level chemistry students at the University of Rochester.


2020 Junior Scholar Awards

Justine Drappeau, Dalton Hanaway, Caleb Prus, Joshua Rosario, Jacob Schmidt & Zhiwei (William) Wang   

The Junior Scholar Award recognizes undergraduate students who are now seniors, and in their junior year showed outstanding accomplishment and promise for a professional career in chemistry. Recipients receive a certificate and cash prize.

Justine Drappeau
Dalton Hanaway
Caleb Prus
Jacob Schmidt
Zhiwei (William) Wang

 Congratulations to all!