Chemistry Chair Celebrates Community in Recognition Assembly

May 28, 2023

The Chemistry Department gathered for a recognition assembly on May 3 in a large lecture hall of Sterling Chemistry Laboratory, where Chair Kurt W. Zilm paid tribute to the community’s hard work and accomplishments.

As department members took their seats, alumni logged in to watch the presentation from afar.

Professor Zilm welcomed new graduate students, who he called “the lifeblood of the research in the department,” along with new postdocs, associate research scientists, preceptors, and staff.

Among the presentation highlights were Chemistry in the news with topics spanning across research findings, faculty start-ups, staff profiles, student awards, and alumni promotions.

Colorful photos of poster sessions, symposia lectures, lawn games, and pets with Handsome Dan showed a year full of lively events while photos of children running experiments illustrated the many outreach programs offered by the department.

Professor Zilm gave a special shout out to all the staff and student and postdoc volunteers who orchestrated the three student recruitment Visiting Days. He also thanked alumni for their gifts, which are key to the event’s success.

Faculty, postdoc, graduate student, and undergraduate student awards were celebrated as well as staff service anniversaries, with glass drinkware gifts crafted by Chemistry’s Glassblower Daryl Smith.

This year the department established the Charles A. Schmuttenmaer Prize, in memory of the late Chemistry professor (1964 – 2020), to one graduating Ph.D. student in Chemistry who excels academically and displays outstanding departmental citizenship. The inaugural prize went to Sarah Ostresh, a student of the Schmuttenmaer Lab.

This year’s winner of The Wasserman Prize for Excellence in Teaching Undergraduate Chemistry went to Professor Nilay Hazari, about whom one student wrote, “He was absolutely exceptional, made an effort to get to know each person in his 250 (!) student lecture, and was simply a pleasure to learn from.”

Congratulations to All Prize Winners

Arthur Fleischer Awards
To undergraduates for their outstanding performance in chemistry.
Anasthasia Shilov, Elena Urquiola, and Jenny Tan

Charles A. Schmuttenmaer Prize
To one graduating Ph.D. student in Chemistry who excels academically and displays outstanding departmental citizenship.
Sarah Ostresh

Fleischer Fellows
Awarded to exceptional graduating seniors to fund their summer research.
Nicholas Cerny, Theo Curtis, Erica Hooshi, and Sheikh Nahiyan

Graduate and Professional Student Ivy Award
In honor of outstanding efforts by individuals, organizations, or programs that enhance the lives of Elm City residents and nourish the partnership between Yale and its host city.
Open Labs Members: Josie Jayworth (director), Matt Capobianco, Sooyun Choi, Diondra Dilworth, Claire Cody, Sean Edington, Jessica Freeze, Noreen Gentry, Randy Hamchand, Nia Harmon, Alec Hegg, Phillips Hutchison, Dan Konstantinovsky, Hannah Nedzbala, Sarah Ostresh, Brahmmi Patel, Conor Rooney, Tayah Turocy, and Eleanor Stewart-Jones

Graduate Student T.F. Cooke Awards
Taylor Dover
Noah Gibson
Yangyi Liu
Michelle Moon
Kristian Olesen
Ruiqi (Rachel) Yang

Howard Douglass Moore ’33S Prize
Awarded to a student for excellence in the field of chemistry.
Alisia Pan

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program
Joann Chongsaritsinsuk (Malaker Lab), Noah Jacob Gibson (Mayer Lab), Gregory W. Kyro (Batista Group), Katelyn Laughon (Zhu Group), Sebastian Ibarraran (Newhouse Group), and Shivani Patel (Ellman Lab)

Prize Teaching Fellow
For outstanding talent for teaching, one of the highest honors a graduate student can attain at Yale.
Alexandria Palazzo

Richard Wolfgang Prizes 
Awarded to chemistry graduate students with a record of outstanding academic work.
Thien Khuu and Maxim Secor 

The Wasserman Prize for Excellence in Teaching Undergraduate Chemistry
Professor Nilay Hazari

Werner Bergmann Prize 
Awarded to the outstanding senior in the Chemistry Department.
Sebastian Ibarraran 

Undergraduate Research Fellowships
Deniz Ince, Rosenfeld Science Scholars Program
Elena Urquiola, Rosenfeld Science Summer Scholars Fellowship
Lea Kim, Yale College Dean’s Office Fellowship
Carmelita Ro-Mendez, Yale College Dean’s Office Fellowship

At the end of the presentation, the 2023 Fleischer Fellows joined chemistry alumnus and donor Everly B. Fleischer ’58 B.S., ’61 Ph.D. by video to thank him for his generous support and share their research goals with him.

The department continued celebrating with a picnic in the Chemistry Courtyard.