Department of Chemistry holds 2023 Student Awards Ceremony

Undergraduate, graduate, and staff winners gather for a group photo during the award reception.

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The University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Department of Chemistry held its annual Student Awards Ceremony on Friday, April 21, 2023, celebrating more than 100 undergraduate and graduate students. Because of generous donations from many benefactors, the Department of Chemistry was able to award nearly $390,000 in student support and research scholarships. Each individual recipient was granted between $300 and $12,000 in scholarship awards. A full listing of award winners can be found here.

Twelve undergraduate students were awarded summer scholarships, primarily to support summer research. Thirty-five undergraduate students received scholarships for support during the academic year. During the spring 2023 semester, more than 100 undergraduate chemistry students were involved in research. 

“It is not accidental that awards supporting undergraduate research figure prominently in our event,” remarks Department Chair Clark Landis. “The educational and career paths of many of our donors were shaped by the thrill and reward of their first research experiences.”

Graduate student Patrick Sullivan (Feng group) receives the Gary B. and Janice L. Aspelin Excellence in Research Award-Materials.

Additional undergraduate awards granted include the Alpha Chi Sigma Alumni Endowed Scholarship intended to support undergraduate students in chemistry, biochemistry, and chemical engineering at the UW–Madison, American Chemical Society local and national awards, The Lindsey T. Plank and Richard H. Putze Memorial Scholarship for students involved in chemical demonstrations, and the Stephen D. Morton Research Award for mentorship. At the campus level, eleven undergraduate chemistry students earned Hilldale Undergraduate/Faculty Research Fellowships and three undergraduate chemistry students earned Sophomore Research Fellowships.

Natalia Badillo is congratulated by Dr. Pam Doolittle and Chair Clark Landis for receiving the Lindsey T. Plank and Richard H. Putze Memorial Scholarship.

Twenty-five Department of Chemistry graduate students were awarded fellowships or scholarships for student support or research and seven graduate students earned Graduate Research Excellence Awards funded by the generous support of Gary B. and Janice L. Aspelin and Charles P. and Martha L. Casey. 

The 13 fall 2022 Pei Wang Fellowship recipients were also recognized at the spring event, along with the Charles P. and Martha L. Casey Award for Inorganic Recruits and awardees of the Belle Crowe Fellowship. 

The Graduate Student Faculty Liaison Committee (GSFLC) named the winners of their GSFLC Mentor Award. This award was given to three graduate students, two post-doctoral researchers, and three faculty/staff members. 

Dr. Pam Doolittle congratulates Dr. Amanda Buchberger, winner of the 2023 Departmental Excellence Award for Academic Staff.

Each year the Department of Chemistry also recognizes an academic staff member who has gone above and beyond in contributions to the department. At the spring awards ceremony, Department Chair Clark Landis recognized Amanda Buchberger as the 2023 winner and Dr. Bob Shanks as the 2022 winner. “Dr. Buchberger is Associate Laboratory Director for Analytical Chemistry and is being recognized for her extraordinary effort in maintaining analytical lab functions while covering for the unexpected leave of colleague Pam Doolittle,” states Chair Landis. Bob Shanks is a Senior Instrumentation Scientist in the Chemistry Instrumentation Center.  According to Chair Landis, “For twenty years Bob has worked under the radar, making our most valuable instrumentation so reliable that his work receives too little attention.  Bob is one of the unsung heroes of the Department.”

The spring awards are coordinated by the Undergraduate Fellowships and Scholarships Work Group which includes Pam Doolittle and Jen Shomaker (co-chairs), Cheri Barta, Katie McCullough, and Mark Wendt with administrative support from Ned Sibert (undergraduate program chair), Andrew Hinz, Pat Egan, Rosemary Wonnell, and Jeanne Hamers. The graduate awards are coordinated by the Graduate Program Oversight Committee which includes Helen Blackwell (associate chair of the graduate program), Shannon Stahl, John Berry, Song Jin, Sam Pazicni, Sam Gellman, JR Schmidt, Robert Hamers, Francisca Jofre, and Erin Grunewald.