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2015 Chemistry Graduation Ceremony

On Thursday, May 21, 2015, the Department of Chemistry held their graduation ceremony in the Mayo Concert Hall to celebrate and recognize the achievements of their students. At noon, Dr. Stephanie Sen began the Chemistry Department ceremony with opening remarks, which was followed by faculty remarks from Dr. Abby O’Connor and a speech from TCNJ Chemistry alumna, Jenna Bowe. After presentation of student awards and a class address by chemistry graduate Michael Giordano, faculty provided the traditional “words of reflection” for each graduate. The ceremony was followed by refreshments at Science Complex Chemistry.

We wish to extend our congratulations to the following students and wish them the best of luck as they embark on their post-TCNJ careers.

Shelby Allen graduates with a B.S. in Chemistry, ACS-Certified (Marketing Minor) and is the recipient of the following positions, honors and awards while at TCNJ: Gamma Sigma Epsilon (2013, Vice President 2014-2015); National Residence Hall Honorary (2014, Treasurer 2014-2015); Dean’s List (Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, and Fall 2014); Division of Organic Chemistry from ACS Undergraduate Award (Spring 2015), and TCNJ Residence Life Community Advisor (2013-2015). Shelby conducted Chemistry Independent Research with Dr. Bradley (Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, and Spring 2015). She will pursue a Ph.D in Chemistry at Johns Hopkins University.

Benjamin Askin graduates with a B.S. in Chemistry, ACS-Certified (Psychology Double Major) and is the recipient of the following positions, honors and awards while at TCNJ: member, LearningRx, Alternative Break Club, and Neuroscience Journal Club. Benjamin plans to work for two years as a research assistant at NIH or University level in neuroscience lab after which plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Neuroscience.

Kimberly Benitez graduates with a B.S. in Chemistry and is the recipient of the following positions, honors and awards while at TCNJ: Loreal internship (June 2013- June 2014). Kimberly conducted Chemistry Independent Research with Dr. Huang (Spring 2014, Fall 2014). She plans to pursue a second degree in nursing.

Jessica Bocanegra graduates with a B.S. in Chemistry, ACS-Certified and is the recipient of the following positions, honors and awards while at TCNJ: Summer Internship at Sherwin-Williams (2014), Semester Internship at Bristol-Myers Squibb (Fall 2014, Spring 2015). Kappa Delta Sorority (2013-2015, Assistant Panhellenic Representative 2013-2014), Sisterhood Enrichment Team (2014-2015), TCNJ Student Chemist Association (2011-2015), SCA Semiformal Chair (2014). Jessica conducted Chemistry Independent Research with Dr. Hunt (Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015). She will pursue a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at The University of Vermont.

Ryan Boyne graduates with a B.S. in Chemistry, ACS-Certified and is the recipient of the following positions, honors and awards while at TCNJ: Excellence in Chemistry Award (2015), Gamma Sigma Epsilon (2014), Omicron Delta Kappa (2014), TCNJ Student Affairs, Dean’s List (Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015), TCNJ Club Ice Hockey (Fall 2011 – Spring 2013), TCNJ Student Government: Senator of Science (Fall 2012 – Spring 2013), TCNJ Board of Trustees: Alternate Student Trustee (Fall 2013 – Fall 2014), TCNJ Board of Trustees: Student Trustee (Fall 2014 – Fall 2015), TCNJ Delta Tau Delta Founding Father (Fall 2014), TCNJ Ambassador (Spring 2013 – Spring 2015), TCNJ 2014 Homecoming King. Ryan conducted Chemistry Independent Research with Dr. Abourahma (Spring 2014, Fall 2014, and Spring 2015) and completed a Maymester Study Abroad course in Italy (A Gendered History of Food, Spring 2013). Ryan plans to pursue a career in medicine.

David Caceres graduates with a B.S. in Chemistry and is the recipient of the following positions, honors and awards while at TCNJ: Hartcourt Scholar (2010-2014), TCNJ Club Bowling (2010-2013, Co-Captain 2013), Head Senator for the School of Engineering of Student Government (2010-2011), Secretary for Union Latina (2011-2012), Latino Awareness Chair for Union Latina (2012-2013), Founding Brother of Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity, Incorporated Theta Epsilon Chapter (Spring 2013-A Life Time), Vice President for Sigma Lambda Beta (Fall 2013-Spring 2015), Unified Greek Council President (Spring 2014-Fall 2014), Student Manager of Residential Operations (2013-2015), and Program Assistant for the Educational Opportunity Fund Summer Program (Summer 2012, Summer 2013, Summer 2014). David has accepted a Teach for America Teaching Position in North New Jersey.

Timothy Castor graduates with a B.S. in Chemistry, ACS-Certified and is the recipient of the following positions, honors and awards while at TCNJ: Mabel Hores Award in Forensic Chemistry (from the Ngai Family) (2015), Golden Key Honor Society (2012), Dean’s List (Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014), and Gamma Sigma Epsilon Honor Society
(2014). Timothy conducted Chemistry Independent Research with Dr. Allison (Fall 2014, Spring 2015). He will pursue a Ph.D. in Chemistry at Penn State University

Margaret Chen graduates with a B.S. in Chemistry, ACS-Certified and is the recipient of the following positions, honors and awards while at TCNJ: Excellence in Chemistry Award (2015), Honors Program (2011-2015), MEDLIFE (2012-2014, Vice President, Spring 2013 – Fall 2014, Tutoring Center tutor (Fall 2014, Spring 2015), Chemistry Department Stockroom Assistant (Fall 2014, Spring 2015). Margaret conducted Chemistry Independent Research with Dr. Jinmo Huang (Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015). She will be starting a full time position as an analytical chemist at inVentive Health Clinical.

Ryan Chin graduates with a B.S. in Chemistry, ACS-Certified (Management Minor) and is the recipient of the following positions, honors and awards while at TCNJ: Summer MUSE (2014), Animal Benefits Club (2012-2015, Vice President 2014-2015), and Ewing Township Animal Shelter volunteer (2012- 2015). Ryan conducted Chemistry Independent Research with Dr. Bunagan (Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015). He plans to pursue a career in Biophysical Chemistry.

Thomas Foster graduates with a B.S. in Chemistry, ACS-Certified and is the recipient of the following positions, honors and awards while at TCNJ: Dean’s List (Fall 2011), TCNJ Student Chemist Association (2012- 2014). Thomas plans to pursue a career in dentistry.

Brian Garsh graduates with a B.S. in Chemistry Secondary Education (December 2015) and is the recipient of the following positions, honors and awards while at TCNJ: Dean’s List (Fall 2013); Summer MUSE (with Dr. Connolly, EASE Department, 2014), Student Government, Class of 2015 President (2011- 2015), Cabinet of Student Advisers (2012-2015), All-College Academic Integrity Board (2012-2015), Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity, (2012-2015), Sigma Alpha Epsilon Judicial Board (2012-2015), Sigma Alpha Epsilon Parliamentarian (2012-2013), and Sigma Alpha Epsilon Member Educator (2014). Brian attended a Maymester Study Abroad course in Spain (2015). He plans to pursue a graduate degree in Higher Education Administration with a concentration in Student Affairs.

Michael Giordano graduates with a B.S. in Chemistry, ACS-Certified and is the recipient of the following positions, honors and awards while at TCNJ: Honors program (2011-2015), Dean’s List 4 semesters, former member delta lambda phi social fraternity, PRISM, organic chemistry tutor, and TCNJ Open House volunteer. Michael conducted Chemistry Independent Research with Dr. Bunagan and completed a Maymester Study Abroad course in London (2013). He plans to pursue a Ph.D. in pharmacology.

Luisa Gonzalez graduates with a B.S. in Chemistry with Forensics Specialization (Spanish minor) and is the recipient of the following positions, honors and awards while at TCNJ: Bonner Institute for Civic and Community Engagement (2011-2015). She conducted Chemistry Independent Research with Dr. Allison (Spring 2015). Luisa plans to work for a year before deciding to go to graduate school.

Lourdes Guerra graduates with a B.S. in Chemistry and is the recipient of the following positions, honors and awards while at TCNJ: Summer Internship at Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission (2 years), Res-Life (CA for 3 years). Lourdes will be starting a full time position at Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission.

Taylor Horsfield graduates with a B.S. in Chemistry, ACS-Certified and is the recipient of the following positions, honors and awards while at TCNJ: Summer MUSE (2014), Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity (2012-2015). Taylor conducted Chemistry Independent Research with Dr. Sen (Spring 2014, Fall 2014, and Spring 2015). He plans to work for a year before applying to Law School.

Selina Iqbal graduates with a B.S. in Chemistry and is the recipient of the following positions, honors and awards while at TCNJ: The National Society of Leadership and Success (2014); Summer Research at NJMS (2013); WTSR Dayside DJ (2012-2014); worked at TCNJ Records and Registration (2012-2015), volunteered in Morocco to teach English (Summer 2014). Selina plans to work in the healthcare field and then apply to a post-baccalaureate program to pursue a career in medicine.

Elizabeth Johnson graduates with a B.S. in Chemistry, ACS-Certified (Psychology Minor) and is the recipient of the following positions, honors and awards while at TCNJ: Philip Dumas Memorial Award for Top Overall Senior (2015), Phi Beta Kappa (2014-2015), Omicron Delta Kappa (2014), Gamma Sigma Epsilon, (2013), Outstanding Sophomore in Chemistry Award by TCNJ Chemistry Department (2013), Golden Key International Honour Society (2013), Dean’s List (2011-2015), TCNJ Athletic Department Certificate of Academic Honor (2012-2014), Outstanding Freshman in Chemistry Award by TCNJ Chemistry Department (2012), All-Academic Women’s Indoor Track and Field Team (2012), Summer Research Position at Princeton University (with Professor Paul Chirik), Summer MUSE (2014), TCNJ Women’s Varsity Cross Country (2011-2015), TCNJ Women’s Varsity Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field (2011-2015), Student-Athlete Advisory Committee representative (Fall 2014-Spring 2015), Gamma Sigma Epsilon Secretary (Fall 2014-Spring 2015), French Club Member (Fall 2012-Spring 2015), Student Chemist Association member (Fall 2011-Spring 2015), Athletes Intervarsity (Fall 2011-
Fall 2013), Serve Leader and Organizer Fall 2012- Fall 2013), Math/Science Tutor at the Tutoring Center (Fall 2014-Spring 2015), and PERSIST Tutor (Fall 2014-Spring 2015). Liz conducted Chemistry Independent Research with Dr. Abourahma (Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015). She will pursue a Ph.D. in Chemistry at Harvard University, specializing in inorganic and organometallic chemistry.

Alexis Y. Jones graduates with a B.S. in Chemistry, ACS-Certified and is the recipient of the following positions, honors and awards while at TCNJ: Excellence in Chemistry Award (2015), Dean’s List (Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013); Summer MUSE (2014), Phi Sigma Sigma (2013-2015, Special Events Chair 2014, Community Service Chair 2014-2015, Parliamentarian 2014-2015), TCNJ Student Chemist Association (2011- 2015), Volunteer at the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen. Alexis conducted Chemistry Independent Research with Dr. Sen Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015) and attended a Maymester Study Abroad course (Exploring London through Art and Chemistry-London, England, 2013). She plans to work for a year as a STEM tutor and teacher while preparing for graduate school.

Justine Kasztelan graduates with a B.S. in Chemistry Secondary Education and is the recipient of the following positions, honors and awards while at TCNJ: Northeastern Chemical Association Inc. Scholarship (2014-2015), Education Independent Research With Dr. Peel (Spring 2015), Student Teaching at Ewing High School (Fall 2014); Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority (2012-2015), Special Olympics volunteer (2012-2015). Justine plans to begin a career as a newly certified teacher and after a few years will pursue a Masters degree in Education.

Christopher J. Kirby graduates with a B.S. in Chemistry, ACS-Certified and is the recipient of the following positions, honors and awards while at TCNJ: Howard Nechamkin Award for Excellence in Chemistry (2015), TCNJ Honors Program (2011-2015), Gamma Sigma Epsilon Chemistry Honors Society (2013-2015), Dean’s List (2011-2015); Chemistry, Research in Science and Engineering (RiSE) Program (Summer 2014), TCNJ Student Chemist Association (2011-2015, Webmaster 2014-2015), Gamma Sigma Epsilon (2013-2015, President 2014- 2015), and Intramural Sports(2013-2015). Chris conducted Chemistry Independent Research with Dr. Bradley (Fall 2013, Spring 2014) and Dr. O’Connor (Fall 2014, Spring 2015), and he attended a Maymester Study Abroad in London (Art through the Eyes of Chemistry, 2013). He will pursue a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Mia Kunitomo graduates with a B.S. in Chemistry, ACS-Certified (Public Health Minor) and is the recipient of the following positions, honors and awards while at TCNJ: CRC Award (2015), Phi Beta Kappa (2015), Phi Kappa Phi (2015), International Golden Key Honor Society (2012), Outstanding Freshman Chemist (2012), Dean’s List (all semesters), MUSE (Summer 2014), Research at Columbia University (Summer 2013); MEDLIFE (2011-2015, Fundraising and Publicity Chair 2013- 2015), DREAMS Tutor (2011-2012); Tutoring Center Math/Science Tutor (2012-2015), Childlife volunteer (NY Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, Summer 2012), KIDS International School Assistant teacher (2010- 2015), medical brigade volunteer (Lima, Peru, Summer 2013). Mia conducted Chemistry Independent Research with Dr. O’Connor (Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015) and completed a winter Study Abroad course (Germany, Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina-Great Cities: A Journey to Post-Communism, 2013). She will volunteer and backpack in South America after graduation while applying to medical school.

Taylor Maney graduates with a B.S. in Chemistry, ACS-Certified (Spanish Minor) and is the recipient of the following positions, honors and awards while at TCNJ: Excellence in Chemistry Award (2015), Deans List (all semesters), Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Delta Pi, Gamma Sigma Epsilon, Outstanding Freshman in Chemistry, Trenton ACS Junior in Chemistry Award, CENTC REU (2013), SCA (2011-2015) President (2013-2015), MEDLIFE Member (2013-2015), Animal Benefits Club volunteer (2011-2013); PERSIST mentor, TCNJ tutor, RWJ volunteer, RWJ premed observer, and CHOP international medicine intern. Taylor conducted Chemistry Independent Research with Dr. Hunt (Fall 2013-Spring 2015). She will attend medical school.

William McDermott graduates with a B.S. in Chemistry, ACS-Certified (Mathematics Minor) and is the recipient of the following positions, honors and awards while at TCNJ: American Institute of Chemists Award (2015), Phi Beta Kappa (2014), Phi Kappa Phi (2015), Dean’s List (Fall 2011- Fall-2015), 2014 ACS Undergraduate Award in Inorganic Chemistry, Top Outstanding Junior in Chemistry (2013-2014), Gamma Sigma Epsilon (2014), summer MUSE (2014), TCNJ Crew (2014-2015); Community Advisor (2013-2014, 2014-2015), Desk Assistant (Fall 2011-Spring 2015). William conducted Chemistry Independent Research with Dr. Chan (Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015). He will pursue a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry at University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Danielle Miller graduates with a B.S. in Chemistry, ACS-Certified with Forensics Specialization and is the recipient of the following positions, honors and awards while at TCNJ: Intramural Volleyball (Fall 2011). Danielle conducted Chemistry Independent Research with Dr. Allison (Fall 2014, Spring 2015). She plans to pursue employment in industry and consider possible choices of further education.

Matthew Morel graduates with a B.S. in Chemistry, ACS-Certified and is the recipient of the following positions, honors and awards while at TCNJ: Dean’s list (Spring 2012-2015), Gamma Sigma Epsilon (2015), TCNJ Student Chemist Association (2013-2015), TCNJ Maymester (2014). Matthew plans to pursue a career in chemistry.

Mark Norbury graduates with a B.S. in Chemistry, ACS-Certified and is the recipient of the following positions, honors and awards while at TCNJ: TCNJ Honors Program (2011-2015). Mark conducted Chemistry Independent Research with Dr. Baker (Fall 2014, and Spring 2015). He plans to pursue a career in laboratory research.

Cristian Ochoa graduates with a B.S. in Chemistry, ACS-Certified and is the recipient of the following positions, honors and awards while at TCNJ: Excellence in Chemistry Award (2015), Dean’s List (Spring 2012 – Fall 2014), Summer REU (Portland State University, 2013), Summer REU (Princeton University, 2014), Winter REU (Institute of Nanobiology and Structural Biology, 2014), TCNJ Student Chemist Association (2011-2014, webmaster 2012-2013, treasurer 2013-2014), organic chemistry tutor (Spring 2013 – Spring 2015). Cris conducted Chemistry Independent Research with Dr. Bradley (Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, and Spring 2015). He will pursue a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at University of Pennsylvania.

Lea Palacios graduates with a B.S. in Chemistry, ACS-Certified and is the recipient of the following positions, honors and awards while at TCNJ: Dr. Jerry Goodkin Award for Physical Chemistry (2015), Phi Beta Kappa (2015), Phi Kappa Phi (2015), Gamma Sigma Epsilon (2013-2015), Golden Key International Honour Society (2012-2015), Summer MUSE (2014), TCNJ Peer Mentor (2014-2015), and TCNJ Peer Tutor (2012-2013). Lea conducted Chemistry Independent Research with Dr. Chan (Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, and Spring 2015). She will pursue a Ph.D. in physical chemistry at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Sarah Patterson graduates December 2015 with a B.S. in Chemistry, ACS-Certified (Biology Minor) and is the recipient of the following positions, honors and awards while at TCNJ: Deans List (Fall 2013, Spring 2014), Internship at Bristol-Myers Squibb (Spring 2015); TCNJ Student Chemist Association, member (Spring 2014, Fall 2014), Alternative Breaks Club, member (Fall 2013). Sarah plans to work for a year or two and explore the possibility of doing research in the biochemical or biomedical field.

Patrick Pauls graduates with a B.S. in Chemistry, ACS-Certified and is the recipient of the following positions, honors and awards while at TCNJ: TCNJ Student Chemist Association (2011-2014). Patrick conducted Chemistry Independent Research with Dr. Chan (Fall 2014 and Spring 2015). He will pursue a PharmD at Thomas Jefferson University.

Hussnain Sajjad graduates with a B.S. in Chemistry, ACS-Certified and is the recipient of the following positions, honors and awards while at TCNJ: Excellence in Chemistry Award (2015), Summer MUSE (2014), TCNJ Rock Climbing Club (2014-2015), TCNJ Student Chemist Association (2011-2015, Webmaster 2013-2014, Treasurer 2014-2015), and TCNJ Tutor (2012-2015). Hussnai conducted independent research with Dr. Laviska and Dr. O’Connor. He will pursue a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry at The University of Minnesota.

Amy Elizabeth Solinski graduates with a B.S. in Chemistry, ACS-Certified (Spanish Minor) and is the recipient of the following positions, honors and awards while at TCNJ: Dean’s List (Fall 2011, Fall 2014), Merit Scholarship Award (Fall 2011- Spring 2015), Summer Internship Merck (2014), TCNJ Women’s Club Volleyball (Fall 2011-Fall 2013); Sigma Kappa (Spring 2012-Spring 2015) Vice President of New Member Education (Spring 2014-Fall 2014), TCNJ Student Chemist Association, TCNJ Student Tutor (Fall 2012-Fall 2013). Amy conducted Chemistry Independent Research with Dr. Hunt (Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015) and attended a Summer Study Abroad in Madrid Spain (July 2012). She will pursue a Ph.D in Chemistry at Temple University.

Michael Vermeuel graduates with a B.S. in Chemistry, ACS-Certified and is the recipient of the following positions, honors and awards while at TCNJ: NJIC Award (2015), TCNJ Honors Program (2011-2015), Dean’s List (Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015), Phi Beta Kappa (2015); Summer REU (University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2014), WTSR Music Review Staff (2011-2013), TCNJ Stockroom Assistant (2013-2015), TCNJ Chemistry Instrumentation Assistant (2014-2015). Michael conducted Chemistry Independent Research with Dr. Bunagan (Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015) and Physics Independent Research with Dr. McGee (Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015). He will pursue a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry at University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Kyle Webb graduates with a B.S. in Chemistry, ACS-Certified and is the recipient of the following positions, honors and awards while at TCNJ: Excellence in Chemistry Award (2015), Gamma Sigma Epsilon (2014), Dean’s List (Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Fall 2014), TCNJ Club Swim (2011-2015), TCNJ Student Chemist Association (2011-2015), and Founding Father of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity (2014-2015). Kyle condudcted Chemistry Independent Research with Dr. Huang (Fall 2014, Spring 2015). He will pursue a Ph.D in Chemistry at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Ammar Zia graduates with a B.S. in Chemistry and is the recipient of the following positions, honors and awards while at TCNJ: TCNJ Water Watch (2011-2014), TCNJ Circle K (2011-2012); Overlook Medical Center volunteer (2008-2013), Ewing Township Animal Shelter volunteer (2013). Ammar plans to work and finish pre-requisites for pharmacy school and apply the following year.

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Another Great ACS Meeting!

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