As the 2023-2024 academic year comes to a close,  recognitions for our outstanding undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and staff are presented.

First year award winners received a signed copy of alum Kate "Kate the Chemist" Biberdorf's book

Undergraduate Awards

The Department of Chemistry celebrated the accomplishments of 72 students at the annual awards lunch this spring, including 30 students selected for Summer Undergraduate Research Program. . Professor John Wolfe, associate chair for undergraduate studies, calls the presentation of the awards one of his favorite duties. Alum Blane Zavesky joined us virtually to share his journey after U-M Chemistry as a grad student at the University of North Carolina and now as a research scientist at Corteva Agriscience.

Traditionally, our first year student awardees receive a book. This year’s was special—“It’s Elemental: The Hidden Chemistry in Everything,”  by Kate Biderdorf aka ”Kate, the Chemist” a U-M chem alum, who also autographed the copies.

See the complete list at 2024 Awards

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship awardees Angeliz Soto Acevedo, Sean Burns, Max Unger

Graduate Student Awards

A complete list of our awardees for 2024 is at 2024 Graduate Student Awards. These awards include predoctoral fellowships from Rackham graduate school, summer research support and special awards provided by endowments honoring retired faculty, alumni,  and friends of the department.

Among the students recognized this spring are three who received the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship. They are:

Angeliz Soto Acevedo

Angeliz is student in Wenjing Wang’s group. Her research interests lie at the intersection between chemistry and biology. Her current research efforts focus on using protein engineering methods to develop tools for detecting neurotransmitters in the brain.

Sean Burns

A member of Corinna Schindler’s group, Sean's research proposal is “Development and Novel Applications of New Desulfurization Transformations."

Max Unger

Max just finished his first year graduate student. He will be co-mentored by the Narayan and Kennedy groups, following his interest in using microfluidics coupled to mass spectrometry to perform high-throughput screening of enzymes for directed evolution. “Specifically, I am hoping to evolve biocatalysts with novel and/or improved activity.”

Melanie Sanford Named 2024 Winner of the Janssen Prize for Creativity in Organic Synthesis

Professor Sanford is lauded as a highly creative scientist and a world leader in the fields of organic synthesis and catalysis. She has made outstanding contributions in developing novel methods for C-H functionalization and fluorination, in mechanistic studies of high valent organometallic complexes, and in designing organic electrolytes for redox flow batteries as modern energy storage systems. She is the first female winner in the Prize’s 30+ year history. She will be recognized and deliver a keynote lecture at the BOSS XVIII   in Liège, Belgium, June 30 - July 5, 2024.

The prize was  established in 1986  by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, members of the academic chemistry community and the  Belgian Organic Synthesis Symposium (BOSS) to bring attention to the positive impact of organic synthesis in drug discovery. You can Learn more about the prize and Sanford's selection on the Janssen Prize posting 

Heather Hanosh receives LSA's LSA Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging award

The Department of Chemistry student services manager was selected as the 2024 recipient of the Individual Staff Award for Contributions to LSA Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging.  

This award recognizes sustained and/or particularly meaningful commitment to DEI work; for contributions that are focused on or substantially benefit the LSA community; for activities that align with and advance the Mission, Vision, and Values of LSA; and for work that extends beyond (or is outside of) the nominee’s fundamental job description (i.e., for individuals whose primary role at LSA is not 50% or more effort certification in DEI or DEI-related activities). This award does not recognize excellence in the performance of the nominee’s primary role, but values and recognizes invisible labor and service in the area of DEI that extends beyond the scope of the nominee’s primary job responsibilities. Inclusive Culture Liaisons are eligible for this award because DEI work is not their primary job responsibility.