Shenda M. Baker, 1993
B.A., Grinnell College; Ph.D., California Institute of Technology
Global Clinic Director
Robert J. Cave, 1988
B.S. Michigan State University; Ph.D., California Institute of Technology
Dean of Faculty
G. William Daub, 1978, Seely W. Mudd Professor of Chemistry
B.A., Pomona College; Ph.D., Stanford University
A big landmark, 30 years at Harvey Mudd. The job has remained interesting because of the never-ending stream of wonderful students who come in each year. Teaching first year chemistry gives me the opportunity to get to know these students each year and I enjoy it a great deal.
During the 2007-2008 academic year, I oversaw the new “Lead Lab” experiment by myself, since Prof. Van Ryswyk was on sabbatical. Boy, am I glad he is back this year! Can any of you imagine me running and maintaining the AA by myself? Not a pretty sight. Things did work out fine, but I am glad to have Hal back this year.
My children continue to move off into life. My eldest, Eric, is entering his final year of graduate student in physics at UCSB where he is studying the mechanics of fault rupture. He continues to run and brew excellent beer. My second son, Brian, is entering his third year as a physics graduate student in physics at MIT. He spends a lot of time in Los Alamos and at the University of Kentucky doing experimental work. Something about collision cross sections and deuterons … (Physics was never my strong point!). My third son, Michael graduated from Williams College as a math major this spring and will be entering graduate school in math at Berkeley this fall. You do not know how difficult it is for a Stanford grad to accept his son as a Cal weenie! Mary Beth will be a sophomore at Williams College this fall. She may be a chemistry major there, who knows. She spent the summer of 2008 working with Profs Karukstis and Van Hecke studying phase diagrams and fluorescence spectroscopy.
After stepping down as department chair, I will have a sabbatical semester next spring to “regenerate my batteries” and work on long overdue projects.
Best wishes for a successful and happy 2008 and 2009!
B.A., Rice University; Ph.D., Harvard University
Research in the Haushalter lab continues to focus on how DNA repair proteins function in the context of DNA embedded in chromatin. Returning lab members included Ken Loh ('09), Ethan Sokol ('10), and Jennifer Fukuto ('09). In the spring, they were joined by Caitlin Olmsted ('10) and Vikram Shivaji ('10). This year, three students, Ken, Ethan, and Jennifer presented their results at the National Meeting of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in San Diego. We were all excited when the poster presented jointly by Ken and Ethan won an honorable mention in the nucleic acids section of the undergraduate poster competition. While everyone was in San Diego for the ASBMB meeting, we enjoyed meeting up with Haushalter lab alumnae Janina Moretti ('07) and Sara Hummel ('06). During a travel-intensive spring semester, Prof. Haushalter also had a chance to visit with Louis Kuo ('84) at Lewis and Clark, Steve Suljak ('95) at Santa Clara University, and Katie Mouzakis ('07) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
This year Prof. Haushalter began a new initiative at HMC focused on HIV-AIDS. As part of this effort, Prof. Haushalter taught an integrative experience course that examined the molecular biology of the virus, the biochemistry of available therapies, and how society has responded to the global pandemic. As part of this course, the students completed a service project to sustain the Foothill AIDS Project food pantry. A highlight from the semester was an inspiring guest lecture by Dr. Don Francis, an early pioneer and legend in the fight against HIV-AIDS. At the end of the school year, two of the students, Seanna Vine ('09) and Nadia Abuelezam ('09), flew to Jinja, Uganda to work with Prof. Haushalter's new friends and collaborators at The AIDS Support Organization (TASO) for a six week internship.
On the home front, Prof. Haushalter’s daughter Laura turned five years old in March, 2008. When she visits the chemistry department, her favorite activities are hanging out with Kimberly Young in the department office and making artwork for Lillian McCollum to hang up in the stockroom. During the noon hour, Prof. Haushalter can usually be found at the CMC Swimming Pool, training hard in an effort to recapture some of his former glory in competitive swimming.
David K. Hill, 2006
B.S., University of Delaware; Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park
Adam Johnson, 1999
B.A., Oberlin College; Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
During academic year 2007-2008, my professional life has revolved around teaching classes, managing my research program, and developing an online pedagogical resource for teaching inorganic chemistry. My life has also involved a lot of running; running races, running after my kids, running my kids around to activities, running to put out fires in the lab…
I taught analytical chemistry for the second time in the fall, including the popular fish tank lab. One fish survived all the way until March. In the spring, I taught inorganic with lab, and organometallics. For the second year in a row, I had students from all five undergraduate colleges in my courses/1
On the research front, I have had four to five students in my group for the past four semesters. They keep me very busy. I like having a large group, but it is a real challenge for me to stay on top of things, so it is good when one of the students steps up to the role of lab-coordinator (or social-coordinator at least). We have struggled over the past two years attempting to make a significant improvement in our asymmetric hydroamination catalysis, and while we have made a lot of new compounds and dirtied a lot of glassware, we have not yet had the breakthrough that we deserve. I am currently working on a follow-up publication describing some recent results, so stay tuned.
My most exciting professional activity is the online social network of inorganic chemists that has grown out of funding from the Mellon Foundation. The Interactive Online Network of Inorganic Chemists (IONiC, appropriately spelled with element symbols) was developed by faculty from eight undergraduate institutions across four time zones. We meet (virtually) weekly using videoconferencing software, and in person approximately quarterly. We have created the Virtual Inorganic Pedagogical Electronic Resource, VIPEr, (again with the element symbols, located at http://www.ionicviper.org) with funding from NITLE and the NSF. This has been a great collaboration for me and I think we have created a wonderful resource for inorganic chemistry education. We have presented our work at a number of conferences, including BCCE, CUR, ACS and NITLE meetings.
This report wouldn’t be complete without mentioning my family. Wendy still teaches violin (a lot) including gigs with the San Bernardino and Redlands symphony orchestras. Nathaniel is entering 2nd grade in the fall. He loves school, especially reading, math, science, writing, music, PE … you get the idea. He has really taken to ballet, where he had roles in the Nutcracker (party boy) and Cinderella (frog), and he also continues to learn the cello. Miriam will be starting her third year of preschool, where she like playing in sand, and bringing home sand in her shoes, pockets, socks, etc. She started doing gymnastics this year, but we are probably going to start her in ballet so we only have one place to drive. Both kids have been taking swimming lessons all summer and are now great swimmers. Natty is now riding a 2-wheel bike, and Mia likes being towed around behind me on our third-wheel bike. I have been running ½ marathons up and down California; my PR is 1:44:56 in Carlsbad in January of this year. I will be running the Pasadena marathon in November if I don’t break my ankle again.
Kerry K. Karukstis, 1984
B.S., Duke University; Ph.D., Duke University
In 2007-08 I’ve been busy with lots of travel associated with my collaborative projects funded by the National Science Foundation. My NSF-ADVANCE project "Collaborative Research for Horizontal Mentoring Alliances" is using a horizontal mentoring strategy involving twenty senior women chemistry and physics faculty members at different liberal arts colleges throughout the country. My NSF-CLLI grant with the Council on Undergraduate Research is disseminating successful models of collaborative student-faculty undergraduate research through a series of regional workshops at host institutions throughout the country and Canada. Add my role as president of the Council on Undergraduate Research to the list, and I find myself having an absolutely terrific time traveling to many campuses and gaining an appreciation for the outstanding faculty and administrators that comprise the undergraduate community.
Back on campus I continue to divide my teaching time between PChem and General Chemistry. Research is focused on using steady-state fluorescence and both optical and fluorescence microscopy to characterize phase diagrams of “green” surfactants. VH and I received the good news from the National Science Foundation that our proposal on this work will be funded for the next three years. That will continue to help support our summer research groups! My case study compendium is nearly finished, and I’m now working with Peter Atkins to add materials applications to his Physical Chemistry textbook.
My dog KC and I continue to enjoy our extensive walks together - I have enjoyed thousands of beautiful sunrises and sunsets with her as we walk around Claremont and the Colleges. She especially loves to wander through the Pomona “Wash”, the Pitzer arboretum, the Japanese Tea Garden at CMC - many interesting, hidden gems on our campuses that I had never explored before I had walked with her! Since my backyard faces the Santa Ana Botanical Gardens, KC has also attracted many interesting visitors to our fence - coyotes, turkey vultures, and even a bobcat! KC loves being on border patrol!
I wish you all the best and hope that you will keep in touch
Gerald Van Hecke ‘61, 1970
B.S., Harvey Mudd College, Ph.D., Princeton University
Academic 2007-2008 in the fall was filled with pchem lab, as one of the instructors in the C21, the three way chem presentation mode, and
directing a reading course on classical and statistical thermodynamics. The spring was different when I returned to teaching one of the first courses I ever taught here - C114 Instrumental Analysis. No accompanying laboratory C112 was offered this year, however, due to staffing constraints and my responsibilities as Associate Dean.
While Rachel Harris and Christine Kalcic graduated in May 2007 and were the old hands in the laboratory, Minseok Jang '08 ably carried
forth the light scattering investigations of alcohols and alkanes. Kristen Chellis '08 who returned from her time abroad to pursue her previous studies of what thioglucosides - as opposed to oxoglucosides - in water. Kerry Karukstis is a co-mentor for Kristen's project. The spring sophomore intro to research program saw Mark Cyffka join the group to work on light scattering. Mark carefully reviewed the software [MathCad] currently used to analyze the data and found several ways to improve it and correct some inconsistencies in the program.
Who would avoid attending the National ACS meeting in New Orleans? Actually most of my time at that meeting was spent working with the ACS Examination Committee refining the diagnostic undergraduate chemical knowledge exam, aka DUCK.
Most tasks have the possibility of consuming all available time and my duties as Associate Dean for Administration, Coordinator of Undergraduate Research this spring demonstrated that . Again this summer there will be on the order of 180 students engaged in research mentored by 45 or so faculty. Exciting times for all involved.
Alumni Association activities continue to occupy a significant portion of "free time" by working the Board of Governors of the Alumni Association as member 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. Volunteers and suggestions for honorees are always welcome.
Hal Van Ryswyk, 1986
B.A., Carleton College; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
Charlotte and I spent the year on sabbatical at Northwestern University. I worked with Joe Hupp in the International Institute for Nanotechnology, focusing on porphyrin dyes for the next generation of dye-sensitized solar cells. This was a sideways redirection of our recent work with metalloporphyrins coupled with a return to my photoelectrochemical roots. Put differently, after 21 years of electrochemistry in polymer films, at the edge of self-assembling monolayers, and most recently in intramolecular electron transfer, it is appropriate to return to solving the world's energy problems with low-cost dye-sensitized solar cells. Watch for publication from our group soon on the topic of zinc porphyrin-sensitized zinc oxide solar cells -- it was a very productive year!
So what does a year on sabbatical look like if you strip out the science? Charlotte kept a blog, evanstonsabbatical.blogspot.com, if you care to look… What stands out? Biking along Lake Michigan; the museums; the amazing stainless steel “bean” (actually titled “cloud gate” by Anish Kapoor) in Millenium Park; architecture tours on foot and via the Chicago River; Door County in Wisconsin during autumn color peak ; HMC alumni tour of FermiLab; attending a taping of “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me!”; sixty inches of snow; the neo-futurist play Too much light makes the baby go blind; Dr. Atomic at the Lyric Opera; ethnic food in Chicago neighborhoods; learning to play Guitar Band with all the graduate students; Wrigley Field and the Cubs in 40-degree weather in April; getting hooked on Battlestar Galactica and The Wire (thanks, NetFlicks!); Division I softball and lacrosse; visiting a huge swath of Frank Lloyd Wright homes; and learning to cook Thai food. Finally, we celebrated our 25th anniversary a half-year late with a backpacking trip across Belize, starting at Tikal (OK, that’s in Guatemala) moving on to the ATM cave in the rain forest and ending at Caye Caulker on the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere (OK, we had to take a boat to get to that one).
Outside of Evanston and Chicago, our daughter Liesl finished her first year in graduate school at the University of Oregon studying neuroscience. Claire finished her second year at Goucher College and is preparing to spend her junior year abroad in London and Tuscany studying dance.
David A.Vosburg, 2005
B.A. Williams College, Ph.D. The Scripps Research Institute
My third year at HMC has been a very good one, highlighted by my students’ recent synthesis of the antifungal natural product davanone. Karen Brown ’08 and Jonathan Litz ’09 were the key players in this success, building on prior efforts by Paul Dossa ’06 and Kathryn (Poindexter) Scherpelz, Pomona ’07. We are currently preparing a manuscript for Organic Letters to share our results, and Karen is giving a talk at the August 2008 ACS meeting as well. Karen won an NSF predoctoral fellowship and is starting chemistry grad school at the University of Illinois this fall.
We continue to have a flurry of activity on our endiandric acid project, including many forays into polyene chemistry and computational modeling as well. The cast of characters has recently included Julian Evans ’08, Terence Wong ’09, Ken Loh ’09, Rachel Nishimura ’09 and Andrew Chung ’10. Kaitlyn Gray ’06, an alumna of this group, has also generously donated a very helpful chemical for our efforts from Marty Burke’s lab at the University of Illinois.
My group has also been busy developing new green experiments for teaching laboratories, including a mild, enzymatic preparation of the flavorant divanillin and an asymmetric, organocatalytic synthesis of the anticoagulant warfarin. Rachel Nishimura ’09 and Chiara Giammanco ’10 worked on divanillin, while Terence Wong ’09 and Camille Sultana ‘10 formed the warfarin team. The warfarin experiment has already been successfully introduced into the junior-level organic laboratory, and that course is having an increasingly green feel to it.
I am very much enjoying teaching the organic sequence at HMC, and I also look forward to getting involved in teaching biochemistry in coming years. My advanced organic synthesis course has resulted in a Journal of Chemical Education paper that is due to appear in November 2008.
On the home front, my wife Kate is enjoying her work with the Mudd-Scripps InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and our son Nate turned two in June 2008. We are now a certified foster/adoption home and look forward to expanding our family during the 2008-9 academic year.
Kimberly Young, 1989
This year, with the change in our chair, I've kept busy working on a variety of projects. The "theses" project, I'm HAPPY to report, is completely finished. This was a huge undertaking! I'm very glad to see it done and it moves into an annual job now. We've installed a Mac in our trophy case with a loop of summer research nuggets and pictures of our students and department members.
Over on the personal side, BOTH of my daughters are in high school this year. Cynthis is a social butterfly and Jessica keeps busy with her Aria group. They are typical girls busy with hair, makeup, and boys!! I've taken up rag quilting and tie blankets. We've adopted three cats this past year. Actually one adopted us and I couldn't resist the other two. One was a kitten from a feral litter and needed a home, and the other, well, he was a free "item" (complete w/food) at a yard sale and simply too cute! I have to be careful, when I reread this, it sounds like I have the makings of a "cat lady!" (GRIN)