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Mike standing akimbo

Message from the Chair
Greetings from UW-Eau Claire. I hope you enjoy reading the 2011 newsletter, which will bring you up to date on recent events in the chemistry department. We’re very proud of the accomplishments of our alumni and the faculty who came before us, and we’re committed to maintaining the department’s reputation for excellence in teaching and undergraduate research. After scanning these pages, I hope you’ll agree that the department remains as vibrant and productive as it was when you walked these halls or when you last visited with us. Happy reading!

Chemistry Department Highlights for 2011


Dave Lewis Receives $142,000 WiSCAP Grant
This grant will allow Dave and his students to continue their work on the synthesis of Warfarin analogues. These new compounds could serve as more effective anticoagulant drugs. The grant is funded through the Wisconsin Small Company Advancement Program (WiSCAP) and brings Dave’s total funding for this project to nearly $280,000 since 2008.


NSF-REU Research Program Concludes Third Year
The department’s summer REU program concluded its third year. The NSF-funded program paired students from two year colleges with UW-Eau Claire student mentors. The pairs worked with chemistry faculty for 10 weeks on research projects ranging from desulfurization catalysts to methanobactin to liquid crystals. A renewal proposal was submitted this summer in collaboration with the Materials Science program.

Christine Morales

Christine Morales Receives Cottrell College Award from Research Corporation
Christine received a $35,000 Cottrell College Science Award from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement. She was the only chemistry professor from Wisconsin to win the award in 2011. This grant will fund research projects on computational modeling of transition metal hydrides, which have potential as materials in hydrogen storage applications.


Bart Dahl Obtains ACS Petroleum Research Fund Grant
Bart was awarded a $50,000 grant from the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund. This grant will allow Bart and his students to continue their studies on synthesizing "smart" donor-acceptor biaryls, a class of organic molecules that could function as molecular switches in nano-scale devices.


Jim Boulter Named Campus Sustainability Fellow
Jim assumed the role of Campus Sustainability Fellow in 2011. In this role, he is responsible for tracking efforts to reduce the campus carbon footprint and he will help guide workgroups focusing on energy usage, transportation and waste/recycling efforts. He will also lead initiatives directed at meeting the university's strategic goals of stewardship and sustainability.


Kurt Wiegel Awarded $170,000 NSF Renewal Grant This grant will allow Kurt to continue his studies on the synthesis of molecules capable of forming hydrogen bonded networks that display liquid crystalline behavior. This award is a continuation of his 2008 NSF grant and brings his total NSF funding to $350,000.

Katie Klotz

Bundles and Liberal Education Reform
Liberal education reform at UW-Eau Claire includes bundling courses from various disciplines and linking them by a common “big question”. Cheryl Muller, Jim Phillips and Warren Gallagher have incorporated chemistry courses into bundles centered on “How do humans make decisions about risk?”, “Why is the climate changing and what should we do about it?” and “What influences how decisions are made about healthcare?”


New Chemistry Scholarships Established
The Chemistry Mentoring and Jack Pladziewicz Research scholarships will be awarded for the first time in 2012. The mentoring scholarship will recognize a female chemistry major and the research scholarship will reward a student who has excelled in undergraduate research. These scholarships honor the mentoring and guidance provided by former faculty Richard Duerst, Phil Chenier, Ralph Marking and Jack Pladziewicz.

50th Anniversary Gala

Blugold Commitment Funds New Faculty PositionThe Blugold Commitment differential tuition program has funded a new analytical chemistry faculty position. The search process in underway and we expect to welcome our new colleague in August 2012. The new hire will help provide additional research experiences for our chemistry majors.


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