As chair of the Department and on behalf of the faculty and staff, I welcome you to the web site of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh. I also encourage you to check out other exciting happenings by signing up for our electronic newsletter. It’s been a great year so far. A few recent highlights are detailed below. We are pleased to announce that Mr. and Mrs. Wegemer have established the Leo B. and Teresa Y. Wegemer Endowed Chair in Chemistry. Leo was a former graduate of our department and has had a successful career in the U.S. Air Force and at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics; we expect their generous commitment to significantly advance the research and teaching excellence in our department. We are excited to announce the success of the 2015 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program for female and underrepresented minorities; this successful pilot program will serve as a springboard to a more expanded program! Three SURFers joined us this summer for an introduction to research in the chemistry laboratory. Stay tuned–as we will be posting an ad soon for the summer of 2016.
In faculty news, we would like to welcome Dr. W. Seth Childers, who has joined our department as a new Assistant Professor. His research program aims to “understand how cells dynamically place molecules where they want within living cells and how to program cells to make complex decisions.” We are happy to announce that Professor Ken Jordan was named the Richard King Mellon Chair in Chemistry and Professor Lillian Chong is currently serving as Visiting Professor at the Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg in Halle, Germany along with several of her students.
New developments in teaching are Professor Tara Meyer’s successful offering of a hands-on laboratory concurrent with the materials-focused polymer chemistry course. Professor Sean Garrett-Roe has effectively implemented POGIL an evidence-based teaching strategy in both the undergraduate and graduate physical chemistry courses. And for the first time, a proposal-writing course is being offered to our graduate students. Finally, earlier this summer, the Pitt Chemistry Stockroom (PCS) and Biological Sciences Stockroom (BSS) were reorganized to form the Dietrich School Scientific Stockroom; they are located on the third floor of Chevron. Welcome to our ever-changing department. I encourage you to stay updated by checking our site frequently and if you have an expertise or experiences that you would like to share with us, please let us know. Enjoy your virtual tour!
Kay Michille Brummond
Chair, Department of Chemistry