The Erlenmeyer Flask

         Where Real Chemistry Happens…

November 21, 2014

GRAD 522 – Preparing an IRB Submission

Filed under: Announcements @ 10:49 am

Workshop-style course resulting in applications that are ready for IRB review. Ethical issues in research will be discussed. Students will draft all submission materials outside of class and participate in the critique of each other’s protocols and consent forms. IRB approval will not be granted as part of this class. Graded P/N.

PREREQS: (a) CITI Course – Curriculum 1 Human Subjects Protection (Group 1 Social/Behavioral Research Investigators and Key Personnel OR Group 2 Biomedical Researchers). Register at and affiliate with OSU. (b) Students must have prior sign-off from their mentor/major professor indicating that their research topic has been approved and that the student has successfully completed the basic research methods requirements in their program.

62nd Annual Pacific Conference on Spectroscopy and Dynamics

Filed under: Announcements @ 10:48 am

This conference is of interest to graduate students and post-docs in physical chemistry, physics, and related areas of biology.  It takes place January 29 – February 1, 2015 at the Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove, California.  More information is available at our website  The early registration deadline is just around the corner:  November 24, 2014.

One of the hallmarks of this conference is that 100% of the contributed talks are reserved for graduate students and post-docs—many of our invited speakers gave their first talk at this conference 10, 20, even 40 years ago!  Because of this policy the conference has special value and draw for students and post-docs.

Thank you for your help in sustaining and strengthening the Pacific Conference on Spectroscopy and Dynamics and providing your students and post-docs with a great opportunity to learn about cutting edge advances in spectroscopy and the science it enables.

Funding Available for Course Redesign

Filed under: Announcements @ 10:20 am

The Center for Teaching and Learning provides $2,000 to OSU faculty for the redesign of established undergraduate classroom courses as hybrid courses through the Hybrid Course Initiative. These funds are in support of participation in the hybrid faculty learning community and the development of a new hybrid course. Request for Proposals now available; proposals are due Dec. 20, 2014. Contact for more information.

Renetta Tull to Speak on Graduate Student Success

Filed under: Announcements @ 10:00 am

The Graduate School will host Renetta Tull on Monday, Nov. 24. Tull will be at OSU to meet with faculty, students and staff about best practices in graduate education to increase student success.  She will give a presentation, “Professional Development and Mentoring Interventions for Graduate Student Success” on Monday, Nov. 24 at 2:30 p.m. in MU 208.

November 19, 2014

Who Am I? Wednesday – Michelle Dolgos

Name: Michelle Dolgos

Area of study / position title:  Materials Chemistry, Assistant Professor

Why chemistry? (What about it initially interested you, etc.)  My path to chemistry was fairly long.  I always loved science and my first career choice as a child was an astronomer, then a pathologist, then a geologist, then a marine biologist (even though I had never seen the ocean or been on a boat).  When I started college, I wanted to go to medical school like everyone else who is interested in science, but I got bored with all the biology classes.  I loved my general chemistry class, so decided to switch majors.  Then, my sophomore year, I almost left the chemistry profession because of Organic Chemistry, but decided to stick it out for one more semester and just get a minor if I decided it wasn’t my thing.   I ended up taking P-chem next and fell back in love with chemistry.  I decided to stay in the field, and I’m happy that I did.

Research focus (in non-science terms) or basic job duties?  My research focus is trying to understand how the structure of a material relates to the properties.  Then once we gain that knowledge for a particular system, we can rationally design new materials with improved properties. I consider myself a solid state chemist, but I have been known to work with thin films or amorphous materials on occasion.

One thing that you truly love about your job?  Writing grant proposals.  Just kidding.  I love working with grad students and watching them develop from student to scientist.

One interesting/strange factoid about yourself.  I am a loyal watcher of a certain daytime soap opera, which people are surprised by for some reason.   Also, I enjoy torturing myself doing Shawn T’s Insanity workouts every morning.

November 17, 2014

Psychology study for Chemistry undergraduate and graduate students

Filed under: Announcements @ 2:42 pm

We are looking for STEM graduate students and undergraduates interested in grad school in STEM fields for a Psychology study at Oregon State University. The study involves a grad and an undergrad from the same discipline talking about the undergrad’s prospects for graduate school. We are asking grads to participate 3-5 times (with different undergrads); undergrads can participate once. Each session takes 1-1.5 hours and participants are paid $13-16/hr (grads get the higher rate). We’ll work every way we can to accommodate people’s schedules. Please for more information or to participate.

Malcolm Daniels

Filed under: Announcements @ 2:40 pm

For those of you who haven’t heard, we regret to inform you that Malcolm Daniels has passed away.  I was asked to share his obituary with you all.

Our deepest sympathies go out to his family and friends.

Focus on ECampus: John Shelby

John Shelby is a high school Chemistry teacher in New York City. We asked John, “Why did you take an online class from OSU’s Chemistry department?

I am fascinated by the details of how the world works, and this is what led to my interest in chemistry. In my work as a naturopathic physician, I used knowledge about the composition and interaction of different compounds on a daily basis. When I decided to shift gears to devote myself to teaching high school in the poorest congressional district in the country, I was instantly drawn to teach chemistry. Sometimes it is hard to feel that I am making a difference, but every now and then a graduated student will return and tell me they have done well in their college chemistry class, thanks to what we studied together. That experience really goes a long way.

When I needed to accumulate a few more chemistry credits for my New York teaching license, I had a very difficult time finding classes to take. It was easy enough to find General Chemistry or Organic Chemistry being offered on evenings or weekends so that I could work around my teaching schedule, but more advanced classes did not seem to be available. For two years I tried to find courses that would satisfy the requirements, to no avail. I was very happy, therefore, to find Oregon State’s Ecampus Chemistry program. I had concerns about online classes because of a bad experience in the past, but after corresponding with Professor Lerner, I was reassured that his Inorganic Chemistry class would be different.

I was extremely pleased with the level and quality of instruction provided by Professor Lerner. In his classes, each lecture was available through audio download and the lecture slides were also provided. I found the course to be quite challenging and very interesting. I can honestly say that I see the world differently as a result of this sequence of classes. I ended up taking both CH 411 and CH 412 from Dr. Lerner.

Outside of teaching, I enjoy spending time with my wife Lucia and my cat Pushkin. I play guitar and harmonica and I really like spending time in Central Park.


November 14, 2014

Women in Higher Education Conference Scholarships

Filed under: Announcements @ 11:27 am

OSU’s President’s Commission on the Status of Women (PCOSW) is offering funds to cover registration costs for OSU Faculty, Staff, and Students to attend the 2015 Oregon Women in Higher Education (OWHE) conference in Bend, Jan. 22-23, 2015. To apply, please complete the Application Form no later than Sunday, Nov. 23. Questions? Contact: Natalia Fernández

Search Advocate Training

Filed under: Announcements @ 11:25 am

Four Search Advocate full-day workshops are now available!  Be prepared to work with search committees by completing this workshop covering strategies to enhance validity, fairness, and diversity in the search process.  Instead of requiring the typical two-workshop series (totaling ten hours), this workshop is a single day ( 8 am to 5 pm, breakfast and lunch included).  Register at the OSU Professional Development website for one of the following offerings: Dec. 1 in Clatskanie, Dec. 15 or 17 in Corvallis, or Jan. 9 at North Willamette Research and Extension Center.  Questions?  Contact Anne Gillies, 541-737-0865.

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