Shenda M. Baker, 1993
B.A., Grinnell College; Ph.D., California Institute of Technology, Physical Chemistry
On Sabbatical 06/07
Robert J. Cave, 1988
B.S. Michigan State University; Ph.D., California Institute of Technology, Physical Chemistry
Very busy as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
G. William Daub, 1978, Seely W. Mudd Professor of Chemistry and Chair,
B.A., Pomona College; Ph.D., Stanford University, Organic Chemistry
After 28 years at Harvey Mudd, I never tire of the constant progression of students entering in the fall, fresh out of high school, and leaving almost four years later, with big plans for the future. The faces and names change, but the growth, excitement, and friendships do not change. Bring on the class of 2011!
During the summer of 2006, I helped Hal Van Ryswyk get ready to implement the latest set of changes to the first year laboratory. These changes include extending the service learning aspects o the Lead Project to a local elementary school and all the infrastructure that goes along with transporting a group of 24 students off-site. The fall was exciting, nerve-wracking, and quite successful in terms of truly engaging the College’s Mission Statement. We are already looking forward to next fall and “round 2” of the process. Fortunately for Hal, he will be on sabbatical next fall; unfortunately for me, Hal will be on sabbatical next fall! My children continue to move off into life. The eldest, Eric, is a third year graduate student in physics at UCSB where he is studying “complex systems.” He is progressing well in his study of the mechanics of fault movement. His passion for brewing beer grows and he has begun competing in (and occasionally winning) local contests. My second son, Brian, graduated as a physics major from Carleton College. He is currently in his first year of physics graduate school at MIT where he wants to study particle physics. He says graduate school is very difficult but satisfying.” His life is further complicated by having a girlfriend in Houston. My third son, Michael, is a junior at Williams College where he is majoring in math, plays water polo, and swims. He played in the club national water polo tournament again this past fall where Williams placed 6th. This year they played four teams from schools with enrollments of 65,000 (Minnesota), 19,000 (Cal Poly San Luis Obispo), 43,000 (University of Washington), and 38,000 (Florida International University) and beat the two biggest schools. Not bad for a school of 2,000. Mary Beth, my daughter, is a senior in high school where she plays varsity softball, golf, and water polo as well as the trombone in the marching band. What little time she has left is spent studying. She is taking AP physics and dislikes it. Yessss Yessss, maybe, she will be a chemist! She will follow two of her brothers and attend Williams College next fall where she plans to play softball.
Best wishes for a successful and happy 2007!
Karl Haushalter, 2003
B.A. Rice University, Ph.D. Harvard University, Biological Chemistry
My teaching in 2006 was largely focused on the intersection of organic chemistry, biochemistry, and structural biology. By the latest count, I teach or co-teach six of the courses that comprise the new Joint Major in Chemistry and Biology, so I was very proud to see the first cohort of graduating seniors from this new program walk across the stage in May.
Research in the my lab continues to focus on how DNA repairs proteins function in the context of DNA embedded in chromatin. In the spring, three students. Sara Hummel ‘06, Brianna Lyon-Roberts ‘06, and Yan Pu (CMC ‘06) wrapped up their senior thesis projects on aspects of DNA glycoslyase enzmology. Katie Mouzakis ‘07, who studied abroad in Greece during the spring, returned to the lab to continue her research on DNA glycoslyase polymorphisms. Matthew Hoss ’08 won a Beckman Scholarship to study the relationship between nucleosomal DNA sequence and repair. New lab members this year include Janina Moretti ‘07, Ken Loh ‘09, and Jennifer Fukuto ‘09. Janina and Jennifer are working to together to produce cross-linked nucleosome core particles and Ken has been studying the newly discovered hNth1 DNA glycosylase. This year, two students, Fang-Yuan a some and Sara, presented their results in a poster session at the National Meeting of ACS. With no official judging results available, the Haushalter lab unilaterally declared itself the winner of the first annual chemistry department Halloween lab door decorating contest for their entry titled “Scary dummy on a chair guards the entrance to the lab.”
My daughter Laura turned three years old in 2006. When she visits the chemistry department, her favorite activities are building molecules with activities my model kit and play hide-in-seek with Professor Van Ryswyk. This year also marked the fifth consecutive year that I have competed in the Dwight Crum Two Mile Pier-to-Pier ocean swim at Hermosa Beach.
David K. Hill, 2006
B.S., University of Delaware; Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park, Organic Chemistry
A major milestone for me was passed in the fall of 2006. I have now been in California for 10 years. Time passes quickly. After graduating from Maryland I worked at the University of California, Riverside as a post doc in Natural Product Synthesis. And in the past 10 years I have taught Introduction to Chemistry, General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry at a variety of colleges and universities in the Southern California area. I am still interested in initiating a research program in the areas of Organometallic Chemistry, Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Bio-Organic and Polymer Chemistry.
Since coming to Harvey Mudd, I have been teaching the General Chemistry Laboratory and some of the lectures along with Dr. Daub. As I become more familiar with the people and places at Mudd, I am truly impressed with the aptitude of the students and the dedication to teaching exuded by the faculty and staff of the chemistry department. The experience I am gaining from teaching at Harvey Mudd will definitely increase my success as a tenured faculty member.
As far activities go, I have been busy these last months grading lab manuals and lab reports along with the occasional visits for office hours by my students. I spent the winter break painting my house and working in the yard waiting for it to warm up so I can play some golf or softball. As the spring semester begins I am looking forward to teaching a Carbons laboratory section. It has been 5 years since I have taught an Organic Chemistry experiment in the lab and I am interested to see if I still have the skills.
Adam Johnson, 1999
B.A., Oberlin College; Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Inorganic Chemistry
During academic year 2005-2006, I was on sabbatical in the laboratory of John Bercaw at Caltech. The research project was to develop new analysts for olefin polymerization. Based on my own interests and experience, I prepared new bi- and tridentate ligands based on amino acids. The ligands will be screened for catalytic hydroamination reactivity at HMC later this year. A significant amount of time was devoted to writing proposals, and it paid off in late spring with an award from NSF. With the remaining time, I finished the Las Vegas marathon in 4:08, ran a few 5ks and ran a half-marathon in San Diego (1:58). I am currently training for a series of half-marathons in San Diego for 2007. Since 13.1 miles is a lot shorter than 26.2, I will probably stick with that distance for the time being. Not content to remain in Southern California for the entirety of the year, I did some traveling as well. Some of it was professional; presenting papers at the ACS meetings in Atlanta and in San Francisco. A group of inorganic chemists from undergraduate institutions met several times throughout the year as part of my Mellon Foundation award to develop inorganic chemistry curricular resources. The group has requested additional funding to support their efforts to develop a collaborative web-based inorganic chemistry resource for faculty (and students) at other undergraduate schools. Other travel included trips to San Francisco, Colorado, and a wonderful four-week jaunt through Austria with my wife and kids. This trip was an adventure! We have great memories of hiesse Chocolate mit Schlag, the water park in Innsbruck, the coldest and hottest days of the year outside St. Stevens Cathedral, riding trains, and lots of great food. My son, Natty, is now five and loving kindergarten. Natty is learning to read, loves doing homework, but his favorite part is playing “pirates” on the playground equipment. Miriam, my two-year old daughter has started preschool. She is very talkative, very opinionated, and loves clothes.
This fall I find myself back at HMC, where I truly enjoy getting back in the classroom teaching and mentoring students. I taught chemical analysis with laboratory for the first time this past fall, and so far I appear to be better than Hal at keeping fish alive (or maybe it’s the students). In the research lab, I have two senior thesis students and three sophomores “toiling” away and they are making great progress and finally finishing off the 2nd generation ligands for their hydroamination study. This spring I had grand plans for some 3rd generation ligands as well, but you will have to wait to read next year’s entry to find out what they did.
Kerry K. Karukstis, 1984
B.S., Duke University; Ph.D., Duke University
The past year has been an exhilarating one with many new projects as well as favorite activities. First a look at what I have been doing on campus. In Spring 2006 I continued to teach in the General Chemistry course with the new format that enables the professors to have small classes. No more McAlister lectures - hurray! This innovative approach involves dividing the course content each semester into three independent modules with each instructor teaching their unit three times during the course of the semester (and twice each day). Each of the sections rotates through each unit in permuted orders with all students having the same instructor for a given unit. So, students still have a chance to meet several chemistry faculty members, and yet everyone gets the same instruction on a given topic. Very clever, don’t you think? In Fall 2006 I returned to teaching PChem after a seven-year hiatus. With the department seeing much larger numbers of majors, both PChem and PChem lab were packed! Despite the cramped quarters and the usual demanding experiments, Professor Van Hecke and I observed much camaraderie and high spirits. The fall semester was even more hectic with involvement in President Klawe’s strategic planning process as a co-chair of the workshop on “Looking Outside the Box.”
Two recent National Science Foundation grants totaling $998,930 are giving me the opportunity to move in some new directions. In one new initiative I am serving as lead principal investigator on a grant that is part of the National Science Foundation’s ADVANCE Partnerships for Adaptation, Implementation, and Dissemination (PAID) program. The project “Collaborative Research for Horizontal Mentoring Alliances” aims to facilitate the advancement of senior women science faculty members at liberal arts colleges to the highest ranks of academic leadership. This award establishes alliances consisting of five senior women faculty members at different liberal arts institutions. Three of the alliances are composed of chemists and a fourth of physicists, all of whom are full professors. The National Science Foundation is interested in their exploration of how their horizontal peer mentoring strategy operates differently in liberal arts institutions compared with research- intensive institutions where funding for these activities has previously been focused. intensive Ultimately we will develop recommendations and best practices that will contribute to the national knowledge base on strategies that can enhance the academic career advancement of women in science and engineering.
The second project is a three-year Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement (CCDI) award by the NSF to the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR). This project will disseminate successful models of collaborative student-faculty undergraduate research through a series of regional workshops at host institutions throughout the country. In addition to other responsibilities on this project, I am currently serving as president-elect of CUR with my presidential year beginning in June 2007. I am very much looking forward to working with CUR members to expand the organization’s programs and services that promote the integration of research and education. In June 2006 I served as program co-chair of CUR’s national conference held at DePauw University. My latest CUR project has involved editing CUR’s newest book: “Designing and Sustaining a Research Supportive Undergraduate Curriculum: A Compendium of Successful Practices,” which will be launched with a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. in February 2007.
My dog KC continues to bring much joy. KC is the best alarm clock in the world (although you have to enjoy being an early riser!) and a great personal trainer (although we have only one mode of exercising - walking at least five miles a day!) I love traveling around the country and internationally as well as maintaining my fruit and flower gardens at home.
I wish you all the best and hopes that you will keep in touch!
Jennifer Logan, 2005
B.A. Rollins College; Ph. D., University of Florida
I have been in the chemistry department for 2 years now (since January ‘05) as a postdoctoral research assistant of Professor Shenda Baker. During this past year, I have continued work on polymer thin films. I worked with a couple of Mudders and a local high school student on polymer blends and their behavior at the air/water and air/solid interfaces. In addition, I am striving to create polymer “whiffle balls,” a project that has resulted in spending significant time down in the physics department basement at Pomona (they have a really cool scanning electron microscope (SEM).
During the spring of 2006, I had the pleasure of working with hordes of freshmen in Frosh Lab. I was pleased to observe that, similar to the freshman of 2005, this class also had endearing qualities and knew how to work hard. In addition, I had the opportunity of meeting numerous high school girls during a mini-conference hosted by SWE. I taught these students about polymers and how, exactly, to make a quality glop of slime. I spent the latter part of 2006 figuring out the rest of my life. This small task involved sending out applications for tenure-track positions as either a pchem or analytical prof at numerous undergraduate institutions. As this job hunt process is still ongoing, I expect to not decide what I will be when I grow up until 2007. Stay tuned ...
Lillian McCollum, 1997
B.S., Tuskegee University
I continue performing my prescribed duties involving budgetary maintenance, purchasing, equipment repair, chemical storage, hazardous waste management, and laboratory safety. I was most pleased to inform the department that the new and improved version of The Big Black Book is now complete and ready to use. Working on The Big Black Book proved to be a most challenging venture. All faculty members agree that it was definitely a worthwhile project, and the benefits of its completion can already be observed. Updated indexes include Supplies, Organic Chemicals, Inorganic Chemicals, and Stains/Dyes/ Indicators. I was very involved with experimental planning for the spring semester section of Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory, and also for the fall semester of the NSF-supported “Experiment Lead.”
Mitsuru Kubota, 1959–2000
B.A., University of Hawaii; Ph.D., University of Illinois (Urbana)
“You should try it, you will like it” is my response to those who ask. Surf the Web before sunrise (scan the Star Bulletin, Honolulu Advertiser, New York Times, npr.org, pbs.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, google whatever comes to mind), scan the hard copy of the L.A. Times (complete the daily sudoku), mediate and contemplate with my cymbidiums, bike as fast as I can to HMC without stopping for signs and signals, swim at the CMC pool (five days a week, except for the week between Christmas and New Years), etc.; and this is just the beginning of my day. What a delight it was to see HMC chem alums (Don Murphy, Keith Woo, Craig Barnes, Mark McCleskey, etc) at the Collman retirement festivities at Stanford and the San Francisco ACS meeting in September.
Philip Myhre, 1960–1999
B.A., Pacific Lutheran College; Ph.D., University of Washington, Organic Chemistry
An event full of joy for me this past year was the birth of Margalit Myhre Mauricio (SEE PIC) on April1, and quite a feat for my 46 year-old daughter, Karin! The photo was taken about 10 weeks later indicates that mother and grandfather are in good spirits and that Margalit is develop- developing her lung capacity, perhaps in preparation for a singing career. Karin teaches Chinese language and literature at the University of Georgia. Margalit’s father, Rodney Mauricio, is a Professor of Genetics at the same institution.
Last year, I reported on products formed by chlorination of some sterically hindered aromatic substrates “under water.” For reference, I also looked at the same chlorinations in the absence of water. Some chlorinations of hindered aromatic intro compounds occurred with a rapid development of ruby-red solutions as the chlorinating agent was added. This was followed by fading of the red color at a more measured rate. Product analysis indicated a mixture of addition-elimination and electrophic displacement products. The photographic images tell the vivid tale very simply. The major products of the reaction are those shown in the diagram. I believe that the transient red color of the solution is, owing to the rapid formation of the cyclohexadienyl cation intermediate ---and a relatively slow decay of that intermediate to the products shown. Now, to see if that conjecture can be verified. What fun to be both a grandfather and a chemist!
Gerald Van Hecke ‘61, 1970, Donald Strauss Professor of Chemistry,
B.S., Harvey Mudd College, Ph.D., Princeton University, Physical Chemistry
Academic 2005-2006 was something of a calm year filled with those events that alter and illuminate our times—a quote from the old TV show, “You Were There,” narrated by Walter Cronkite. The new three-module presentation of general chemistry was introduced in the fall and the general chemistry laboratory saw the introduction on a “large” scale of the lead project, along with several new experiments. The springs saw a return to the roots of sorts by again teaching inorganic chemistry C104 along with the laboratory C110.
Two seniors, longtime lab associates Rachel Harris ‘06 and Christine Kalcic ’06, stayed out of trouble by pursuing their research interests in disubstituted fluorenes (CK). From their year designations you can tell they graduated May 2006 and moved onto graduate school adventures in any university they wanted to as long as “state” was in the name. Rachel went to North Carolina State and Christine to Michigan State. On the way to graduation they both sojourned at the National ACS meeting in Atlanta where they, as old hands, presented posters on their thesis work. At that ACS meeting the boss was called to participate in an ACS Presidential Panel as a representative of PUI (primarily undergraduate institution – an acronym you will come to know if not known already) to discuss finding an academic job. For those of your reading this still in graduate school about to graduate and seek an academic job, be on the lookout for such panels, symposia, etc., at the national ACS meetings - they are really in formative, especially when looking for a PUI position.
While Rachel and Christine were the old hands in the laboratory, we welcomed a number of nubies to research in the spring semester. Minseok Jang ‘08, Kristen Chellis ‘08, Aurora Pribram-Jones ‘08, and Judy Hines ‘09 learned to explore aspects of liquid mixtures and liquid crystalline properties under the department’s introduction to research program. Minseok, Kristen, and Aurora stuck around during the summer to form the nucleus of the research laboratory. While the boss ducked out of town to attend various meetings, none which were this year in exotic places. The 20th International Liquid Crystal Conference was in Keystone, CO instead of Slovenia as last time. Posters of Rachel and Whitney’s work were presented at the meeting. On a more academic side were the Council for Undergraduate Research (CUR) National Conference in DePauw University in Greencastle, IN and the Biennial Chemistry Conference for Education (BCCE) also in Indiana but this time in Purdue. At the BCCE, Professor Van Hecke joined a group of faculty looking to design a comprehensive ACS examination to be administered to graduating chemistry majors and covering all aspects of chemistry. The subcommittee’s acronym is cute (?) DUCK for a diagnostic undergraduate chemical knowledge exam.
Somewhere along the way in the spring semester a new job and title were assumed: Associate Dean for Administration, Coordinator of Undergraduate Research. This means responsibility for organizing and coordinating undergraduate research campus-wide. More on this job in our next report.
Alumni Association activities continue to occupy a significant portion of “free time” by working the Board of Governors of the Alumni Association as Chair of the Admissions Committee and member of the Selections Committee. To those of you out there who helped staffing high school college nights, thank you again. The Selections Committee by the way is responsible for suggesting Honorary Alumni, Outstanding Alumni, Hall of Fame Athletes, and a new recognition Lifetime Recognition Awards. Check out the Alumni web site.
More later, cheers.
Hal Van Ryswyk, 1986
B.A., Carleton College; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, Analytical Chemistry
Hal taught Advanced Analytical Chemistry for the eighteenth time this year. Yes, everyone still writes company memo papers on instrumental techniques-the general idea is the same, but the range of technology available to answer interesting chemical questions grows each year. Papers this year ranged from remote sensing of forest fires to detection of bombs in airline luggage. The class took another field trip to Getty Art Conservation Institute laboratories at the J. Paul Getty museum, where the staff would dearly love to have HMC students work as interns. The instrumental methods laboratory ran the third (and most likely final) HMC CSI investigation. Senior Christine Kalcic ‘06 set the case and “persuaded” Steve Edwards “06 to play the part of the corpse. (This involved being drug around Sontag Hall by rope tied to an Ursula cart.) Laboratory Manager Lillian McCollum played the part of the wizened juror in the subsequent Coroner’s Inquest during presentations days, remarking, “That’s not how they do it on Law & Order.”
Hal got back to the General Chemistry course this fall after an absence of eight years, only to find that the 180-member lecture has morphed into three modules, taught six times each over the length of the semester to sections of thirty students. It was a fast-moving experience in the alpha (equilibrium) module, starting with Roald Hoffmann’s touching This I Believe segment on Equilibrium (available at NPR.com), moving through a demonstration of blood buffer chemistry featuring an homage to the old Emergency TV show (with firefighters Gauge and DeSoto in LA County Station 51), and ending with the real reason behind Gen. Ripper’s paranoia in Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove (upsetting “the purity and essence of our natural fluids” by adding fluoride to the water supply).
The Lead Project, now rechristened the Vista del Valle Elementary School/Harvey Mudd College Collaboration in Science, Mathematics, and Writing, was run successfully at Vista del Valle in south Claremont as part of Chem 25 (General Chemistry Laboratory). First-year students at HMC mentored fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students at Vista in science, mathematics, and writing. Our collaboration provided a hands-on experimental science project aligned to the grade five California state mathematics and science content standards for every Vista Student. Specifically, we measured lead in soil from vehicle emissions throughout Claremont. The Harvey Mudd students reflected on the science, engineering, and social demands that brought tetraethyl lead to the market as a gasoline additive for over sixty years. This project exemplifies the Harvey Mudd College Mission Statement and is made possible by funding from the National Science Foundation, the Ludwick Family Foundation, the Camille & Henry Dreyfus Foundation, and Harvey Mudd College. While all the technical work has been done, the essays written, and the final science reports graded, there is still fun yet to come. All 140 of our Vista partners will visit HMC this spring to get a look at college life. The highlight may well be turning all 140 Vista students loose in Hoch0- Shanahan Commons for lunch ... You can see the external world and internal view of the project, respectively, at www.hmc.edu/headline/lead_testing.htm and www.chem.hmc.edu/Vista/
Summer brought a range of research opportunities. The Cave and Van Ryswyk groups continued work on an experimental and theoretical investigation of metal coupling in metalloporphyrin dimers and trimers. (Theory may guide, but experiment dictates...) Scott Rodriquez (St. Mary’s ‘07) and Amanda Hickman ‘07 worked on the synthesis and characterization of metalloporphyrin dimers and the measurement of metal-metal coupling via near-infrared spectroscopy.
Hal continues to serve on the ACS Petroleum Research Fund Advisory Board.
At home, Lisel (21) is in her senior year of college, looking forward to a return to the west coast for graduate school in developmental neurobiology after the frigid winters of Minnesota, while little sister Claire (18) is a first year student studying dance at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland. Charlotte (age unspecified) is still the librarian at Vista del Valle and teaches in the after-school stringed music program in the Claremont schools, offering group instruction on violin, viola, and cello.
David A.Vosburg, 2005
B.A. Williams College, Ph.D. The Scripps Research Institute, Organic Chemistry
In the spring of 2006, I was handed the torch from Prof. Daub to teach the sophomore organic chemistry course. I made the class very interactive, with groups of students (selected by the roll of a die) regularly presenting solutions at the chalkboard. The die-rolling and student chalkings were both much enjoyed by all
In the fall, Professor Vosburg tweaked his advanced organic synthesis course to juxtapose pairs of related landmark syntheses that the eight students presented to their peers. The students really got into their presentations and had lively rebuttal sessions in response to peer comments and questions posted online. Professor Vosburg will be presenting a poster on these curricular endeavors at next year’s spring ACS meeting in Chicago.
I also continued to experiment with the junior-level organic laboratory, introducing carrots as an environmentally friendly reagent for agent reducing a ketone stereoselectively and proline as a simple catalyst for the stereoselective oxidation of aldehydes. Helen Fitzmaurice ’09 continued working on the proline catalysis and also vancomycin binding assays in her research for this lab course.
Other lab researchers included Kaitlyn Gray ‘06 and Paul Dossa ‘06 finishing their senior theses on bimimetic syntheses of medicinal natural products. Succeeding Kaitlyn on the endiandric acid project were Sam Sobelman ‘08 and Frances Hocutt ‘07. Helen and Sam both performed research during the summer with Kathryn Poindexter (Pomona ‘07), who continued with Paul’s results on the davanone project. The summer research environment was so stimulating that Andrew Stewart ‘08 (the hobbit-looking figure in the back- background of the lab picture) often visited from the Baker lab for chemical consultations. Karen Brown ‘08 joined the lab in the ground fall after having a fantastic summer engaged in pharmaceutical research at Amgen (at their Cambridge, MA site).
My greatest joy of the year was the birth of my son Nathan (SEE PIC) in June. The students (and Kim and Lillian) really enjoy seeing him when Kate brings him to campus. It probably won’t be long before Nate is somehow incorporated into the Vosburg research lab activities.
Kim Young, 1989
This past year was a blur .. it just whirled by. Just as the students got settled in, the holidays and breaks were upon us. I made it through the spring semester with all the theses printed and bound, when the busy call of summer beckoned. There was a very large group of 25 student researchers that kept us all hopping for 10 weeks. The campus was quiet for a short 3 weeks, and bam, it started up all over again. However, the 2006 academic year ended nicely. I suppose the speed of the year was in part due to the busy lives my girls lead. Jessica is soon to be 13 and loving jr. high. She sings in the school choir (which they auditioned and made the cut to perform at Disneyland and spent a WHOLE school day having fun.) Cynthia, a freshman in high school, will be 15. She recently picked up the hobby of scrap booking and photography. She has discovered that her skills in a applying make up on all her friends is quite handy, this way she never runs out of models to photograph. Jessica and I are still taking Kajukenbo. We will soon be testing for our orange belts and look forward to a large tournament of forms and sparring in the summer of 2007. However, until July, we both endure many hours of practice, training, and bruises.