Name: Luanne Johnson

Area of Study / Position Title: Media and Event Coordinator

Why chemistry? (What about it initially interested you?): Initially, I started because I was unemployed and needed a paycheck, but over time, I’ve come to love this department. Telling the world (through social media) all the cool accomplishments of my faculty is really interesting to me.

Research focus (in non-science terms) or basic job duties? I am in charge of creating, curating and disseminating media; digital, print and social about the happenings and accomplishments of the Chemistry Department. I also organize most of the departmental events.

One thing you truly love about your job? We’ve recently started making videos when someone receives an award or major achievement. I LOVE this portion of my job and hope to expand on it in the near future.

One interesting/strange factoid about yourself. I am allergic to pork.

Applications for PCOSW scholarships are now being accepted. The President’s Commission on the Status of Women, or PCOSW, provides funding to women faculty, students, and staff who are pursuing professional development or research opportunities, as well as individuals conducting research related to women’s issues. Scholarships range from $500 to $1000 and are awarded during fall, winter, and spring terms; the deadline is Friday of Week 5 with notification in Week 7. Information:

Following the success of OSU’s inaugural MOOC, Open Oregon State would like to support departments and faculty who wish to expand instructional methods and experiment with innovative or experimental techniques. We invite the submission of proposals for the development and delivery of our next MOOC. Full details are on our website. Questions  should be addressed to Dianna Fisher, director of Open Oregon State, at

Applications are now open for the Communicating Science 2015 workshop (, to be held in Cambridge, MA on June 18-20th, 2015.  Graduate students at US institutions in all fields of science and engineering are encouraged to apply.  The application will close on March 1st.
Acceptance to the workshop is competitive; attendance of the workshop is free and travel support will be provided to accepted applicants.
Participants will build the communication skills that scientists and other technical professionals need to express complex ideas to their peers, experts in other fields, and the general public.  There will be panel discussions on the following topics:
– Communicating with Non-Scientific Audiences
– Science Communication in Popular Culture
– Communicating as a Science Advocate
– Multimedia Communication for Scientists
– Addressing Diversity through Communication
In addition to these discussions, ample time is allotted for interacting with the experts and with attendees from throughout the country to discuss science communication and develop science outreach collaborations.  Workshop participants will produce an original piece of science writing and receive feedback from workshop attendees and professional science communicators, including journalists, authors, public policy advocates, educators, and more.
Founded in 2013 by graduate students at Harvard University and MIT, 150 graduate students nationwide have already participated in ComSciCon programs.  Attendees have founded new science communication organizations in collaboration with other students at the event, published more than 25 articles written at the conference in popular publications with national impact, and formed lasting networks with our student alumni and invited experts.  Visit to learn more about our past workshop programs and participants.  
This workshop is sponsored by Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Colorado Boulder, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Chemical Society, and Microsoft Research.
Do you have questions about FERPA? Or academic misconduct? Do you wonder about strategies for getting students to participate and build rapport with one another? Have you wondered whether there’s a resource at OSU to help students with… (fill in the blank.)? This workshop is for you! You’ll come away with information, resources, and ideas. Jan. 13, 2 to 4 p.m., Milam 215.


Nominations for classified or professional faculty to receive a monthly Merit Award are now being accepted. The award recognizes and encourages outstanding performance in the work place. The nominator may be anyone from the campus community. Potential qualities include great working attitude, cooperation, courtesy, creativity, flexibility, professionalism, quality of work, sense of humor, and other qualities the nominee admires. Nominations are due by the 10th of each month. For more information:  December’s awardee was Kathleen Lillis from College of Business.

What is it? 

A new chemical reaction between magnesium, zinc and CO2 that can be used to synthesise nanoporous graphene for supercapacitors.

Who is involved?

Chemists and engineers at Oregon State University College of Science and Engineering, Argonne National Laboratory, the University of South Florida and the National Energy Technology Laboratory, USA.  Read more…

Name: Sandra Loesgen

Area of Study / Position Title: Assistant Professor in Chemistry

Why chemistry? (What about it initially interested you?): My high school teachers in chemistry and biology really loved their jobs and taught science with enthusiasm. In 7th grade, our class won a science fair working on allergy inducing proteins and peptides and since then, I am excited to work in a lab and look at health related chemistry!

Research focus (in non-science terms) or basic job duties? Drug Discovery. We focus on identifying new biologically active substances from rare bacteria and fungi. Most people have taken penicillin to fight a bacterial infection at least once in their life, but only few people know that this is a fungal metabolite and still one of the most used antibacterial drugs we have nowadays. Our research is focused on finding new potential drugs and to test them against pathogenic bacteria, cancer, and viruses and we are particularly interested in their chemical structures and mode of action.

One thing you truly love about your job? I love working with students and explore chemical structures provided by nature. There is noting better than collecting a sample, isolate microbes, and explore their chemistry and medicinal potential.

One interesting/strange factoid about yourself. I can eat Nutella with a spoon.