This April, students gathered in person in a chemistry seminar room to receive awards from the Department of Chemistry and celebrate their accomplishments. John Wolfe, associate chair for undergraduate studies, calls the presentation of the awards one of his favorite duties.

Following are the awards and the names of the students who received them.

First Year Awards

 Alpha Chi Sigma (ΑΧΣ) Outstanding First Year Student Award

This award is presented to a first-year chemistry student who has demonstrated an interest in chemistry, shown outstanding academic potential as judged by instructors, and has demonstrated leadership with fellow students.     

Jonathan Li

Alumni First Year Achievement Awards

This award is presented to students in their first-year chemistry program who have demonstrated exceptional performance in their laboratory and lecture work.  The award is based on the recommendations of instructors, graduate student instructors and undergraduate advisors.

Katie Chang, Anna Comstock, Rachel Scissors, Bridget McCann, Nate Meier, Anna VanKampen,  Alyssa Wu, Matthew Yacoub

1st Year Chemistry Leadership Award

This award is given to three first year undergraduate students who are taking courses in the Department of Chemistry, and have demonstrated exceptional leadership in their laboratory and lecture courses. The award is based on the recommendations of instructors, graduate student instructors, and undergraduate advisors.

Lily Haghpassand, James Mackinder, George Nunu


CRC Outstanding Achievement Award

Each year the Departments of Chemistry recognizes a student taking introductory chemistry who has demonstrated exceptional performance in laboratory and lecture work.  The CRC Award is one of the top honors for an early-career student.

Andrew Meyer


Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) Awards 

Funding for the SURP awards come from several different endowments. 

Fund   Student Name Major PI
James E. Harris Scholarship   Nicholas Wiesner Chemical Science Adam J. Matzger
Albert Hinsdale Memorial Endowment   Max Hrigora Biochemistry Alison Narayan
Albert Hinsdale Memorial Endowment   Emma Sollner Chemistry Anne McNeil
Albert Hinsdale Memorial Endowment   Grace Clinger Chemistry Charles McCrory
William Smeaton Memorial Award   Kara Greene Chemistry Corey Stephenson
Margaret & Herman Sokol Award   Yulia Rakova Biochemistry Corey Stephenson
Margaret & Herman Sokol Award   Jasen Chen Chemistry Ginger Shultz
Margaret & Herman Sokol Award   Garret Hanks Biochemistry John Wolfe
Margaret & Herman Sokol Award   Anaise Thomas Biochemistry John Wolfe
Margaret & Herman Sokol Award   Ellis Mason Chemistry Joshua Buss
May-Walt Summer Research Scholarship   Dale Hendershot Chemistry Joshua Buss
May-Walt Summer Research Scholarship   Vyom Grover Biomolecular Science Julie Biteen
May-Walt Summer Research Scholarship   Abigail Bojanowski Biochemistry Kristin Koutmou
May-Walt Summer Research Scholarship   Shayna Brotzman Biochemistry Markos Koutmos
May-Walt Summer Research Scholarship   Suada Leskaj Biochemistry Markos Koutmos
May-Walt Summer Research Scholarship   Nicholas Finn Biochemistry Matthew Soellner
May-Walt Summer Research Scholarship   Trey Henderson Chemistry Nate Szymczak
May-Walt Summer Research Scholarship   Hannah Palomino Biochemistry- ADP Nicolai Lehnert
May-Walt Summer Research Scholarship   Alexey Kovalenko Biochemistry Nils Walter
May-Walt Summer Research Scholarship   Hongdi Wu Chemistry Pavel Nagorny
May-Walt Summer Research Scholarship   Samantha Edgcombe Biochemistry Ryan Bailey
May-Walt Summer Research Scholarship   Navi Singh Chemistry Stephen Maldonado
Walter Yates Award   Gwendolyn Shingles Chemistry Wenjing Wang
Walter Yates Award   Wei Wei Wan Chemistry Wenjing Wang
Walter Yates Award   Tianle Wang Chemistry Zhan Chen


Alumni Outstanding Awards

The undergraduate awards committee established three awards in 1991.  These awards recognize academic excellence and leadership potential of second year, third year, and senior Chemistry, Biochemistry and Biomolecular Science, Chemical Science and Interdisciplinary Chemical Sciences majors.

2nd year: Katherine Morrissey is a Chemistry major who is currently during research in the Barlett group working on a project on the mediated electrochemical and photocatalytic oxidation of small alcohols. Katherine enjoys reading and Irish Step Dancing. She plans to attend graduate school before going into research in industry.

 3rd year: Alexey Kovalenko is a Biochemisry major who is working in the Walter lab in the Department of Chemistry. As an undergraduate student he has yet to figure out what interests him the most. Every area seems rather interesting and worth delving into. However, he thinks biochemistry intrigues him the most out of all the sciences because it allows us to better understand how life works. Specifically, he is curious about studying RNA because it allows to control the expression of genes. Understanding how this fundamental machinery operates might become a stepping stone to other research as well as inspiration to new kinds of therapy and treatments.

Alexey has always been curious about everything. He would ask a question, and upon receiving an answer, follow up with another question, driving his parents crazy. When his dad noticed this, he started teaching and explaining physics, math, and finally showing him how to use a soldering iron and create circuits. He could spend hours trying to make a radio, a tesla coil, or even trying to fix his broken Christmas lights. This joy of working on a project and having hands on experience made Alexey realize that he wants to become a part of a research lab in the future.

Senior year: Felix Griffin is a Biomolecular Science major who enjoys playing tennis, going to the gym, building PCs, and gaming. He is a research assistant at the Institute for Social Research in the Kitayama Culture and Cognition Lab under Irene Melani, where they study the neural differences in cognitive processing styles between Westerners, who engage in a more analytic style, and Easterners, who engage in a more holistic style. After graduating, Felix will be attending medical school in Ohio.


American Chemical Society Analytical Chemistry Award

This award is presented on behalf of the American Chemical Society to recognize an outstanding undergraduate chemistry major who has excelled in the area of Analytical Chemistry.

Tianle Wang is an international student from China, currently working as a research assistant in the Chen Lab. Tianle has received extensive help from Professor Chen, John Andre, and Yuchen Wu in the research group, and is currently working on a project studying PVDF interface and a project about PP-PU interface. His hobbies include reading about history and philosophy. Tianle’s future plan is to attend graduate school after graduation.

Hannah Bartels is a Chemistry honors major working in the Maldonado lab. Her research focuses the deposition of crystalline germanium on insulating substrates through an electrochemical-liquid phase epitaxy method where a thin liquid metal film simultaneously electrochemically reduces a germanium precursor and facilitates direct heterogeneous nucleation at an underlying substrate of interest.

She is a second soprano in the University of Michigan Women’s Glee Club, a committee member for the Undergraduate Research Symposium, and a volunteer with the University of Michigan Girl Scouts.

Hannah’s future plans are to attend Stanford University to pursue a PhD in Chemistry.

Joseph Keating is from Saginaw Michigan and is graduating with a degree in chemistry. Outside of class, he likes to play soccer and exercise at the gym. He also plays video games as a way to maintain contact with his two older brothers who are living out of state (they also graduated with a degree in chemistry from Michigan)!

Joseph has been working in the Ruotolo lab for 2 years, and his current project involves membrane proteins. Membrane proteins currently represent ~60% of current pharmaceutical products. Membrane proteins are notoriously difficult to analyze by traditional mass spectrometry techniques because they aren't soluble. His work has been geared towards improving the sequence coverage of membrane proteins using top-down proteomics.

Joseph will be attending graduate school at Purdue University for analytical chemistry.


American Chemical Society Inorganic Chemistry Award

This award is presented on behalf of the American Chemical Society to recognize outstanding undergraduate students who are conducting research in the field of inorganic chemistry.

Abigail Brackey is a rising senior in the Lehnert lab working to understand second coordination sphere effects in non-heme diiron complexes and how they bind and reduce nitric oxide. She plans to pursue a PhD in Chemistry after graduation.

Hannah Palomin is a senior majoring in Biochemistry and has been participating in research in the Lehnert Lab for the past 3 years. Currently, she is working with the biocatalytic protein YfeX for carbene insertion reactions and will be continuing this research for another year through the Chemistry Master’s Program. Hannah would then would like to pursue a PhD. In her free time, she enjoys running, weight lifting and traveling.

Lucy Yu is a senior studying Biochemistry and BCN and has been working in the Szymczak lab. Lucy was introduced to inorganic chemistry with her fluoroalkylation project with Ph.D candidate Michael Wade Wolfe. Her time in the Szymczak lab has been the most fulfilling experience at UofM and she is so grateful for all the chemistry she has learned with the people she has met. After graduation, Lucy is continuing to expand her research experience at Massachusetts General Hospital, before attending medical school.


American Chemical Society Organic Chemistry Award

This award is presented on behalf of the American Chemical Society to recognize outstanding undergraduate students who are conducting research in the field of organic chemistry.

Yulia Rakova is a biochemistry major who is participating research in the Stephenson lab, under the mentorship of graduate student Cheng Yang. Her research project involves working on lignin depolymerization. Yulia’s hobbies include tutoring for Chem 215 at the SLC and she enjoys playing volleyball at the CCRB

Kara Greene is a junior majoring in chemistry and is currently working in the Stephenson lab alongside Dr. Alex Davies to study the olefin-isomerization capabilities of a ruthenium catalyst in collaboration with the Szymczak lab. Specifically, she is looking at the applications of light-enhanced reactivity and ligand scaffold modifications to these transformations. Outside of the lab, Kara loves working out and reading whatever books are currently trending. After graduating, she plans on getting her Ph.D in chemistry, while hopefully continuing to study photochemistry and/or organometallics.

Paige Carpenter is a chemistry major with minors in English and German. She started research in the Wolfe lab in May of 2019. Her research in the lab involves performing regiodivergent alkene difunctionalization reactions using a palladium catalyst and an exogenous nucleophile. Paige’s hobbies include cooking and writing, and is hoping to get back to traveling soon. Her future plans are to attend dental school and possibly go into dental research.


American Chemical Society Physical Chemistry Award

This award is presented on behalf of the American Chemical Society to recognize outstanding undergraduate students who are conducting research in the field of physical chemistry.

Taewon Chung is a rising chemistry junior who participates in research in the Sension lab. Taewon enjoyed working with lasers and xrays.

Grace Clinger is from Grand Rapids, Michigan and is a chemistry major. She is a member of the McCrory lab, where her research includes the electrochemical properties of self-assembled monolayers on gold surfaces for future tethering to CO2-reducing catalysts. Outside of the classroom, Grace enjoys spending time in the sunshine, rock climbing, and wake surfing. She hopes to attend some graduate school and pursue a career in fighting for more environmental legislation.


Huron Valley Section Outstanding Student Leadership Award

Each year, the Huron Valley Section is pleased to recognize outstanding achievement in professional citizenship demonstrated by an undergraduate student.

Dale Hendershot is a senior Chemistry major in the department, who over the past four years, has been involved in the campus community in a variety of ways. Most notable is his work in the instructional sector of the department, working in a variety of capacities to support undergraduate laboratory classes. Recently, Dale began studying C-H bond oxygenation via dinuclear-nickel catalysts in the Buss group. While returning to UM in the fall to complete one final year of undergraduate studies, he hopes to ultimately be involved in Chemistry education at the secondary or post-secondary level. Outside of school, Dale enjoys playing in the orchestra for high-school and Community Theater, outdoor activities and learning about history.

Izabel Powers is a senior studying Biomolecular Science and Spanish. After graduating in May she plans to take a gap before apply to medical school. In this gap year Izabel will be looking to work in the chemistry field, as well as do some traveling and exploring.  In her free time she loves doing yoga, meandering through nature parks, and doing water color painting. Izabel is thankful to be a part of the Chemistry department here at the University of Michigan.


American Institute of Chemists Award

The American Institute of Chemists Awards are given by the recommendation of the awards committee based on a student’s excellent record of ability, character, and academic achievement.

Biochemistry- Isabella Panse is a senior graduating with a major in biochemistry. She has worked for the past three years in Dr. Adam Helms' inherited cardiomyopathy research lab. Her honors thesis project is focused on studying transcription factors involved in cardiomyocyte maturation and lineage specification. In her gap year, she will continue to work in Dr. Helms’ lab as a research assistant. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her two dogs, reading, and playing clarinet in the Michigan Pops Orchestra. This summer, she will be applying to medical school and is hoping to pursue a career as a physician scientist.  

Chemistry- Al Vicente Riano Lisboa is a senior studying Honors chemistry who is involved in C–H functionalization research in the lab of Professor Melanie Sanford. In particular, his project focuses on the photochemical C(sp2)–H amination of arenes using electron donor-acceptor complexes. Outside of lab, Al enjoys volunteering in student organizations: He is currently a graphic designer of the U-M Honors Student Socials Team and a former publicity vice-chair of the UP Association of Chemistry Majors and Enthusiasts. In his free time, Al loves watching TV comedies, reality shows, and musicals, and he also likes reading fiction novels and horror stories. This fall, he will be continuing his education at U-M as a master's student.


Honors College Vanko Award

Named for Roger B. Vanko, an Honors College student who passed away during his junior year.  In Roger’s honor and memory, his parents, teachers, and friends established this memorial award to encourage outstanding young women and men in the field of Chemistry/Biochemistry.

Solomon Song Jr is a Biochemistry major who has been working in the Nagorny lab since Fall 2019. His research focus has been on investigating SPIROL ligands and their uses in asymmetric catalysis. Solomon has enjoyed tutoring in the SLC and teaching within the Chemistry department. Some of his hobbies include running and playing video games in his free time. After graduation, Solomon would like to pursue an MD-PhD.

Jack Toor is a Biochemistry honors major and is originally from Saline, MI. Jack has been in Dr. Nan Hatch's lab at the School of Dentistry for three years. His thesis investigates the cellular behavior of the membrane protein FGFR2 and the mutations in the protein that give rise to Crouzon syndrome, a genetic condition characterized by misshapen craniofacial structure.

Outside of academics, Jack is the President of UM Club Triathlon, and spends most of his free time swimming, biking, and running with friends. He just competed at club triathlon collegiate nationals last weekend, and is running in the Bayshore Marathon in May. In the future, Jack plans to attend medical school and work as a scientific physician. Though he is uncertain of specialty at the moment, he knows that he would like to work closely with patients and build relationships with each of them.


Kathleen Haller Ryan Scholarship

The Kathleen Haller Ryan Scholarship is presented to a student who has shown outstanding achievement in the field of Chemistry or Biochemistry.

Daniel Liu is a musician who plays the piano and cello. Additionally, he enjoys playing video games and is part of the StarCraft II team at Michigan. He is currently working with Dr. Melanie Sanford on investigating C–H activation methodology development, experimentally and computationally. Daniel plans to pursue a Ph.D. in either chemistry or computer science.

Katherine Mudge is a Biochemistry and Informatics double major and is extremely passionate about genetics. Kat currently works in the Walter lab in the Chemistry Department with research that focuses on genetics from a micro and macro perspectives. She works with Karen Montoya on miRNA detection in vitro and in situ using fluorescent nanoprobes. In her free time, Kat likes to eat Korean BBQ with her friends, plays DND, and skateboards. In the future, Kat plans on applying to medical school and is looking towards a specialty in medical genetics or emergency medicine. 

Royal Society of Chemistry Award

The Royal Society of Chemistry provides the University of Michigan Chemistry Department with awards each year to be given to an outstanding graduating senior.

Zackariah Farah is graduating with majors in both German and Biochemistry. He is motivated in his studies by a deep curiosity of our world and a drive to improve the lives of others. Zackariah will be serving as a city commissioner on the Ann Arbor Renters' Commission and will be conducting cancer research during his gap year. He ultimately intends on pursuing a medical degree.


Seyhan N. Ege—WISE Award

Seyhan N. Ege was one of the founders of the University of Michigan’s Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Program. Each year, the Program recognizes outstanding achievement by an undergraduate student from a group that is traditionally underrepresented in the chemical sciences.

Katiya Barkho

Beyond the walls of the classroom, Katiya participate in hobbies such as weight lifting, hiking, and trying new recipes in the kitchen. Katiya participates in research under Professor Ginger Shultz, studying the progression - undergraduate to graduate - of organic chemistry students' translation between reaction mechanisms and reaction coordinate diagrams. Her future goals involve going to medical school to hopefully enter the field of surgery one day.


The Department of Chemistry Isabella Karle Memorial Award

This award is presented to a top graduating senior, and is named in honor of Dr. Isabella Karle, who earned her BS, MS, and Ph.D. degrees in Chemistry at the University of Michigan. Her contributions to science include her work on the Manhattan Project, where she developed techniques used for the extraction of plutonium chloride. She was also a pioneer in the field of X-ray crystallography, and received numerous honors including being elected to the National Academy of Sciences, and receiving the National Medal of Science.

Julia Fu is a senior studying chemistry and has been involved in research with the Paulus Lab at Kellogg Eye Center for 4 years. Her project focuses on the treatment of pathological microvasculature in retinal diseases such as diabetic retinopathy and wet macular degeneration. Outside of research, Julia enjoys volunteering as a clinical research assistant at Hope Clinic and as a patient support volunteer at Arbor Hospice. Julia also enjoys playing the piano and guitar, painting, and spending time with friends and family. She will be starting medical school at Yale University in the fall.


Walter Yates Award

The Walter Yates Award is one of the top honors given to recognize excellence and scholarly achievement by a senior undergraduate chemistry or biochemistry major.

Drew Tarnopol is an honors Chemistry major who participates in research in the McCrory lab. His project focuses on mitigating greenhouse gas emissions through the development of cobalt complexes for electrochemical CO2 reduction. He is interested in the intersections of organic/inorganic and electrochemistry for promoting sustainability. Alongside Chemistry, Drew enjoys studying the Middle East through literature and other cultural media. Next year he will be pursuing a PhD in Chemistry with the goal of becoming a research faculty at an academic institution.


Speaker for the ceremony was Brianna Chamberlin, who earned her B.S. degree in Biochemistry in 2013 and then went on to earn a lawr degree from the University of Iowa, College of Law. She is now an Associate with the law firm of Fish and Richardson.