The Erlenmeyer Flask

         Where Real Chemistry Happens…

November 23, 2015

OSU Advance Summer Seminar

Filed under: Announcements @ 11:04 am
Dear faculty member:
OREGON STATE ADVANCE invites you to nominate yourself to participate in one of the 2016 ADVANCE summer seminars. The summer seminar is the centerpiece and innovation for our NSF-funded ADVANCE Institutional Transformation grant and provides participants with opportunities to learn how issues of gender, race, sexual identity, social class, ability, age, religion, nation of origin, and other forms of difference work in higher education and STEM/SBS specifically and how to make institutional change to bring about a more welcoming and life-affirming university.
The seminar will meet for nine days, 9-4 each day, with an hour break for lunch (lunch provided) and for six hours across the 2016-17 academic year. Participants on a 9-month contract will receive a stipend for participation; those on 12-month contracts will receive professional development funds.
The 2016 seminars meet (1) M-F June 13-17 and T-F June 21-24 or (2) M-F August 29-September 2 and T-F September 6-9.
If you are interested in participating, please fill out the information at the following link: by Friday, Dec. 4, 5 p.m.
Let me know if you have questions. Thanks so much.
Susan M. Shaw, PhD
Professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Director of the School of Language, Culture, and Society
Waldo 234
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97330

Focus on ECampus: Andreas Lutzen

This week, we’d like to focus on Andreas Lutzen, a 44-year-old Danish national living in Hong Kong with his family. Andreas works for Hempel China Ltd, a marine and protective coatings company. Andreas has completed our 100-level general chemistry sequence and is currently taking CH 331 Organic Chemistry.


How did you find our chemistry program?  Any advice for us that would have made that process easier for you?

Having had some success with online education before, I was looking for an opportunity to study chemistry while holding down a day job. Pending an extensive search, I found that only OSU could offer a well-functioning platform for online chemistry studies. To my knowledge, there is in fact not that much competition around in the area of university-level chemistry distance learning. Some institutions offer programs that I would characterize as “thin,” and others offer programs that are too demanding to be realistic if you have a job. OSU has struck the right balance in my view.

Please share your background so we can get to know you better—how did you end up where you are on this journey?

I work in the technical service department of Hempel, a major coatings supplier within the area of industrial and marine paints, and studying chemistry is the thing I need to take my understanding of things to the next level. That is, I already have certificates and experience in on-site coating inspection, factory audits and so on, but knowledge of the underlying science of the whole affair—chemistry—is still not part of my toolbox. This is something I wish to change.

To give you an idea of my work content: I will go and do coatings inspection for, say, the docking of a ship. That is, I help plan the application by making a paint specification and by ensuring the right quantities and qualities of paint are ordered. During the actual docking of the ship, I am on site agreeing with yard and ship-owners on a painting time-table, overseeing the actual application ensuring that climatic conditions are acceptable for painting, salt content of abrasive not too high, that the paint is properly mixed (stoichiometry) and so on and so forth. As you can see from this, chemistry is central to what we do in the coatings industry, and hence the things you teach at OSU are very valuable to me in getting a better and deeper understanding of my work.

What inspired you to choose the career path you are working towards?

I joined the coatings industry sort of by chance. I have never regretted ending up here, however. The drama of chemistry, different cultures (most projects are of an international nature) and commercial interest clashing, as they do in our industry, is intense. One might be stressed out and vexed from time to time, but work here is never boring! My goal is simply to become better at what I am doing, and the inspiration for that is pretty straightforward: Nothing beats being good at what you do. The joy that comes from being good at something lasts a lifetime; it cannot be taken away from you.

Do you have any advice for other online students? 

You have to want this to succeed. Only personal interest and a good fit with career plans and goals are sufficient to power the sustained effort needed to be able to pull this through. On a personal level, I experience this right now, as I am struggling with organic chemistry, which is much harder than originally anticipated. I have already made up my mind to push on, even though temporary setbacks may come to visit. If you really want something, having to redo a course or two is no more than a bump on the road. On a practical level, my advice is this: Work the problems, work the problems, and work the problems. Chemistry cannot be read and memorized; it has to be worked to be understood.

What is next for you? 

Maybe a job with the complaints-handling unit at our HQ. Having spent more than a decade in China and in the field, moving back to HQ in Europe would be a good next step. Needless to say knowledge of chemistry is going to be indispensable in that job.


Thank you Andreas for sharing your experience and insight with us! Good luck in the rest of your term and your professional endeavors!

November 20, 2015

Applied Bioinformatics Class Winter 2016

Filed under: Announcements @ 2:42 pm
November 19, 2015

2015 Linus Pauling Medal Symposium

Filed under: Announcements @ 9:15 am

Winner Barry Trost, Tamaki Professor of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University, and other organic chemists from around the globe, will speak Dec. 5 from 1 to 5 p.m. in The LaSells Stewart Center.  Free reception and poster session following, 5-6 p.m.  Banquet dinner at 6 p.m. ($30 full, $15 student). Visit for banquet and poster registration.

NRT-IGE Traineeship Proposal Faculty Information Forum: Research2Innovation2Society

Filed under: Announcements @ 9:14 am

Noon, Nov. 19, Dec. 4, or Dec. 7 in LPSC 402 for a forum describing a 2016 OSU NSF NRT-IGE submittal. Learn how to become involved with this transformational STEM faculty/students OSU graduate education pilot to gain the vocabulary and tools to become innovators and inform your research with market and societal need. Lunch provided. Pre-register/learn more:  (OSU IP addresses only).

November 17, 2015

Call for Awards Nominations for the 2016 MLK Celebration

Filed under: Announcements @ 5:04 pm

Do you know of a student, faculty or staff member who enriches our OSU community in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King?

Join us in acknowledging individuals who work to create inclusive communities and support diversity at OSU. We welcome nominations for recipients of our two community awards which are recognized yearly at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Breakfast in January.  The two awards include:

·      The Frances Dancy Hooks Award recognizes students, staff, or faculty who embody Frances Dancy Hooks’ work of building bridges across cultures, showing courage in promoting diversity, and “walking the talk” proudly;

·      Phyllis S. Lee Award honors a member of the OSU community who exemplifies Dr. Lee’s commitment and dedication to social justice and the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

We are requesting that nominations be submitted by December 9th, 2015. To find out more information or to submit a nomination visit:  Frances Dancy Hooks and Phyllis S. Lee Award Information and Nomination Page

OWHE Funds

Filed under: Announcements @ 2:21 pm

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 2016 Oregon Women in Higher Education (OWHE) conference in Bend, OR, Jan. 21-22, 2016. To apply, please complete the Application Form later than Monday, Nov. 30. Questions? Contact: Natalia Fernández

STEM Academy AWSEM (Advocates for Women in Science, Engineering, and Math) Clubs for 6th-12th grade girls

Filed under: Announcements @ 2:18 pm

Middle School Club meets Tuesdays, 5-6:30 pm, from Jan. 19–March 1 (no club Feb. 2).
High School Club meets Wednesdays, 5-6:30 p.m., from January 20–March 2 (no club Feb. 3).
Topics: Enzymes, Gels in Daily Life, Computing, 3-D Puzzle Engineering, Sports Medicine, and the Intersection of Art and Mathematics.

Undergraduate women studying science and engineering at OSU will lead and be mentors for the clubs.

To register, please visit For questions, call 541-737-8139 or email Cost is $85 Tuition assistance/scholarships available.

November 16, 2015

Marion Milligan Mason Award for Women in the Chemical Sciences.

Filed under: Announcements @ 4:14 pm
The objective of the Mason Award is to kick-start the research career of promising future senior investigators in the chemical sciences. The Marion Milligan Mason Fund will provide four grants of $50,000 every other year to women researchers engaged in basic research in the chemical sciences. Awards are for women who are starting their academic research careers. In addition to research funding, the program will provide leadership development and mentoring opportunities. 
Applicants must have a “full-time” career-track appointment. More than one applicant from the same institution can apply for this award, provided that each application is scientifically distinct.
For more information about the request for proposals for the Marion Milligan Mason Award for Women in the Chemical Sciences, please click here to view the PDF.
This award is funded by a bequest from the Marion Milligan Mason Fund.
As a chemist and AAAS member since 1965, the late Marion Tuttle Milligan Mason wanted to support the advancement of women in the chemical sciences. Dr. Milligan also wanted to honor her family’s commitment to higher education for women, as demonstrated by her parents and grandfather, who encouraged and sent several daughters to college.
***Proposals are due Tuesday, March 1, 2016, midnight Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).
***Awards will be announced on or before January 2017.
Proposals should be submitted via the online application system at
Please circulate this email to your colleagues.
If you have questions, please e-mail
To learn more about the Marion Milligan Mason Award for Women in the Chemical Sciences program and past recipients, please visit:

Phi Beta Kappa

Filed under: Announcements @ 11:51 am
Please join us, please tell others and spread the word!
Enjoy free pizza and learn about the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa honor society (11/18, 5-6pm)

What do 17 US presidents, 39 Supreme Court Justices, and over 130 Nobel laureates have in common with Jeff Bezos, Kerry Washington, Ursula K. LeGuin, and Peyton Manning?

They’re all members of 
Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest and most prestigious honor society in the liberal arts and sciences.  A chapter of Phi Beta Kappa has just been established at OSU, and the first group of undergraduates will be invited to join this spring.  Come learn more about PBK and how to qualify for membership from 5-6pm on Wednesday, Nov 18th, at Milam Auditorium.

First inductions into PBK will happen this spring — come to hear more, see friends, eat free pizza!

You can email any questions to UHC Associate Dean Tara Williams at
or Christopher Nichols at

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