A Message from the Chair
As I write this message, Cornell University and the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology have just finished celebrating the graduating Class of 2022. While this past academic year has had a more “normal” feel, our students continue to adapt to the impacts of post-pandemic life. These challenges continue to test their resilience and strength. We all continue to develop strategies to adapt to the world that now surrounds us. Maybe I should say that, over the course of the the past year, the “New Normal” has begun to take shape and thankfully, despite having to navigate these unchartered waters, our students, researchers, faculty and staff continue to rise to these challenges and surpass our expectations.
Welcome to the sixth edition of C&CB News, the Newsletter for the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology. Here we will focus on the incredible successes of our students, both graduates and undergraduates, who have been recognized for their many accomplishments during their time at Cornell University. Please read on to learn more about these outstanding achievements.
Beyond that, we will also highlight some of the exciting research being conducted in the Department. In previous editions, we have examined research related to the pandemic, medicine, and drug development. In this edition, I would like to turn our attention towards the research that could benefit the environment. I am thrilled to share with you the cutting edge and impactful research our faculty and students have conducted in this area.
I would also like to congratulate Jeremy Baskin on his recent promotion from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor with tenure. Additionally, I would like to offer my congratulations to Kyle Lancaster who was recently promoted from Associate Professor to Full Professor. The Department’s recommendations for their promotions were recently approved by Cornell’s Board of Trustees. Jeremy and Kyle have made important contributions to their fields, and each demonstrates a level of scholarship that is generally rare but typical of our top-tier department. We are privileged to have both of them on our faculty.
As in past years, our faculty and the research they lead has garnered international accolades. Todd Hyster won the prestigious 2021 Buck Whitney Award of the Eastern NY ACS as the well as the Mitsui Chemicals Catalysis Science Award. Nozomi Ando was named the Protein Society’s Young Investigator Awardee. Recent CCB joint faculty member and Chemistry graduate field member Pamela Chang received a Sloan Research fellowship. In addition to the science, our faculty have also been recognized for their educational efforts. Kyle Lancaster received the 2022 Morgan Chia-Wen Sze and Bobbi Josephine Hernandez Distinguished Teaching Prize from the College of Arts and Sciences and Song Lin was awarded the 2022 Russell Distinguished Teaching Award. These teaching awards are supported by nominations and letters of recommendation from our undergraduate students and reflect the appreciation of the student body, which is some of the highest praise our faculty can receive.
This past year was not without loss. Professor Fred McLafferty, Emeritus, passed away towards the end of the year. Fred was an exceptional colleague and brilliant scientist. His pioneering work in mass spectrometry includes: the development of the first Gas Chromatograph/Mass Spectrometer (GC/MS) along with Roland Gohlke; the description of the complex chemical rearrangement, now referred to as the “McLafferty Rearrangement”; and many other contributions to modern Chemistry. Long-time Chemistry Finance Manager, Kevin Ashman, also passed away earlier this year. Kevin was a devoted and important member of our administrative team. His skills and expertise were vital to us as we engaged in the many financial activities of a large teaching and research department. Both Fred and Kevin will be missed.
In closing, I am happy to report that the College of Arts and Sciences was able to identify funding for the CHAMPS Program for the Summer 2022. In past newsletters, we have shared many stories about this important and impactful teaching and research program. I am thrilled that the value of the program has been appreciated and that it will continue in the near term. Our ultimate goal is to sustain the program indefinitely.
As always, I hope that you enjoy this newsletter, and I look forward to your feedback.