Department of Chemistry recognizes 116 students with over $400,000 in scholarships at 2024 Awards Ceremony.

Bucky Badger congratulates a graduate student Zachary Bennett, winner of a 2024 Graduate Student Faculty Liaison Committee Mentor Award at the Department of Chemistry’s 2024 Awards ceremony.

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Undergraduate and graduate winners gather for a group photo during the reception at the Department of Chemistry’s 2024 Award Ceremony.

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 awarded $417,000 in student support and research scholarships. Individual recipients were granted between $250 and $10,000 in scholarship awards. A full listing of award winners can be found here.

Irving Shain Chair of Chemistry Clark Landis noted that these awards were made possible by donations to the Department of Chemistry. “Support for these awards does not come from state taxes – these awards exist because friends of the Department make donations,” explained Landis. “These awards enable students to know that their excellence is valued and that they are on the right track.”

Fourteen undergraduate students were awarded spring and summer scholarships, primarily to support research. Twenty-seven undergraduate students received scholarships for support during the academic year. Undergraduate research at the Department of Chemistry is a growing program and more than 100 undergraduate chemistry students participate in research each year. 

Undergraduate chemistry student Jordan Boysen explains his research while working with Prof. Xuhui Huang.
Undergraduate chemistry student Jordan Boysen explains his research while working with Prof. Xuhui Huang.

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, seven undergraduate chemistry students earned Hilldale Undergraduate/Faculty Research Fellowships and six undergraduate chemistry students earned Sophomore Research Fellowships with one student receiving an honorable mention. 

Twenty-two 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 six graduate students, two post-doctoral researchers, and three faculty/staff members. Ryan McDonnell, career development chair for the GSFLC identified the need to recognize outstanding mentorship. “Research is best done as a team. It is important to recognize the leaders on those teams who drive the excellent research we do here.”

The overall feeling at the Awards Ceremony was one of celebration. Prof. Helen Blackwell summed up the atmosphere. “The mood is joyous; the awards are numerous; the pride is obvious,” Blackwell commented. ”Recognizing the amazing contributions our students/postdocs/staff make to research, teaching, and mentoring is a fantastic way to end each spring term.”

The spring awards are coordinated by the Undergraduate Fellowships and Scholarships Committee which includes Pam Doolittle (chair), Katie McCullough, Mark Wendt, and JR Schmidt (chair of the undergraduate program) with support from reviews Jeff Bartz, Stephen Block, Thomas Brunold, Rie Takagi Fredrickson, Julia Saloni, Zoe Todd, Dylan Walsh, and Tina Wang.  The graduate awards are coordinated by the Graduate Program Oversight Committee which includes Helen Blackwell (associate chair of the graduate program), John Berry, Judith Burstyn, Etienne Garand, Robert Hamers, Song Jin, Sam Pazicni, Dan Weix, Francisca Jofre, and Erin Grunewald. Project and event support was provided by Rebecca Carlson, Kayla Driscoll, Patrick Egan, Erin Hale, Jeanne Hamers, Kimberly Hazen, Maddy Henkel, Andrew Hinz, Kathryn Koenen, Becca Moy, Laura Reade, Kayla Riese, Emma Weimerskirch, and Rosemary Wonnell.