Nominations are being accepted for the Karel J.H. Murphy Professional Faculty Leadership and Service Award. The award recognizes a professional faculty member who has provided outstanding leadership and service throughout their career both within their Department and in programs and organizations across OSU. The award also honors a legacy of providing ongoing, strategic, and progressive leadership, administrative support and service among Professional Faculty and other OSU employees. The award winner will be presented a plaque and a $1000 check at University day. Nominations due April 7. For more information: Michelle Mahana

Hello all,

This is a friendly reminder that the next department deadline for the Graduate Student Travel Award is Friday, April 15th. This award applies to graduate students traveling between the dates of July 1st and October 31st, 2016. To clarify, graduate students are responsible for determining their eligibility and nominating themselves for this award. As a resource, I have attached a spreadsheet outlining the details and requirements of the award.

If you are interested in nominating yourself for this award, please send all the necessary award materials (see the attached spreadsheet) to the Awards Committee at: no later than 5 pm on Friday, April 15th.

Graduate School Travel Award Requirements

Undergraduate Summer  Internships with Regional Approaches to Climate Change- Pacific Northwest Agriculture (REACCH PNA) partners.  UI, WSU, OSU and USDA-ARS are teaming up to offer a total of 10, 9-week long, internships across the three institutions. Internships will go from 6 June – 5 August for the University of Idaho and Washington State University and 13 June – 12 August for Oregon State University.  Application deadline is April 15, 2016.  For more information go to

Do you work with an outstanding researcher?

In addition to their quarterly grant program, once a year the Medical Research Foundation (MRF) recognizes Oregonians who are performing cutting edge research and demonstrating outstanding leadership.

The official call for MRF award nominations will occur in April, and nominations will be due May 27, 2016.

In the meantime, please start thinking about nominating your most talented and promising colleagues for an award. Detailed information about each award including the Mentor Award, Discovery Award, and Richard T. Jones New Investigator Award is available at

Contact Nicole Good 503 552-0677 |

Sarah Devan photo.jpgHow can we preserve the beauty of art? One answer is chemistry.

Today we interview Ecampus student Sarah Devan, an art and architecture conservator living in the Los Angeles area. She is currently working her way through our CH 121/122/123 general chemistry series.

Tell me more about your career in art and architecture conservation – what made you choose this path?

The traditional route to become an art conservator is generally to get an arts or art history degree, take some additional science courses, and then enter a 2-4 year art conservation master’s program (the length varies by school and internships). I came into this field through a slightly more circuitous route, but I’m finding that I’m all the better for it. I began by first going to architecture school. I quickly fell in love with historic architecture rather than new design, and went to work for a small architecture firm specializing in historic preservation. Hoping to expand on that career and grow into larger markets, I went to graduate school for historic preservation and continued to work with architecture firms doing larger and larger profile restorations. I became knowledgeable in repairing and restoring any number of materials including adobe, brick, stone, terra cotta, bronze and steel. Throughout that experience, I took the architect’s role, planning and directing the conservation efforts, but not performing the actual work. That was left up to the contractors. I wanted to know that side as well, so I took yet another career shift and began several internships in hands-on conservation work, with two art conservators and a books and paper conservator. Through these positions, I was introduced to an even larger variety of materials, both organic and inorganic, historic and contemporary. I am now working full time for a firm that allows me to draw on both sides of my experience, as an architect and as a conservator. And my non-traditional route to get here has been a huge benefit, becoming more of a generalist with some experience in all materials rather than specializing in one area. I’m now seeking to expand on that knowledge by going back to school yet again for the art conservation degree, and one day soon start my own firm.

How does our online general chemistry sequence relate to your goals?

I’m taking the online general chemistry sequence (and later organic chemistry), in part to fulfill the prerequisites for an art conservation master’s program, and in part to better understand the materials I work with on a daily basis. Even if I choose not to apply in the future, these courses have already helped me immeasurably. Chemistry is incredibly important in art and architecture conservation. The conservator has to have an understanding of the different materials, the way they behave (both by themselves and in relation to others), and how they deteriorate over time. We have to find ways to slow the inevitable decay—whether it’s from chemical changes, environmental impacts, or the human element—in order to preserve it for future generations. We regularly use scientific methods of observation, laboratory analysis, and experimental testing in the lab and in the field in order to develop the conservation treatments. It’s important to find treatments that can be reversible, or that have minimal impact to the artwork and can be re-treated in the future. Also important is to respect the artist’s original intent, which could even work against the goals of conservation (for example, if the artist wants the piece to decay over time). It’s fascinating stuff!

Some examples of our work, just to give you an idea, might include: deciding which type of solvent to use in order to clean and remove old varnish from a painting; or understanding how salts can migrate and recrystallize in masonry causing damage, and how best to remove them; or understanding the natural processes of bronze and copper in forming a surface patina, and whether they are protective, minimally corrosive, or potentially very damaging (causing pitting and surface loss).

What do you like most, or least, about our online classes? Do you have any advice for other online students?

I chose to take classes online largely due to my full-time work schedule. It was important for me to be able to study when I had time and at my own pace rather than taking a structured class two or three nights a week. The online format is really great for this. The OSU classes can be quite demanding in terms of the level of effort involved in order to keep up with the material. They are also quite comprehensive, and I’ve been impressed so far with how they are conducted. The professor and teaching assistants are approachable and quick to answer any questions I have. And the additional online resources, such as videos, have been very helpful for supplementing the material. The labs are pretty strange when you’re used to being in an actual lab environment, but they get the concepts across. They’re probably my least favorite part of the class. As for advice, I’m probably not saying anything new here. Time management and self-discipline are really key.

Is it difficult to find balance between work and online classes? What helps you achieve that balance (and perhaps relieve school stress)?

My work has been incredibly busy lately, so I’m finding it difficult to strike that balance between work and school right now. Fortunately my projects are so varied in scope, and I get to spend equal time between the field and the office, that it keeps me engaged and always learning something new. I could never be happy in a job where every day is the same routine. Right now I’m also taking a painting class (another prerequisite for the program), and it’s been a nice stress relief to do something creative and get out of my head for a few hours.


Thank you, Sarah, for taking the time to share your story!

marshallallen.jpgCongratulations to Marshall Allen on being selected as one of the Winter 2016 Undergraduates of the Quarter.

Marshall grew up in Bend, Oregon.  He graduated from Summit High School, home of the Storm; where he was a member of the swim team.  He remembers taking AP Chemistry his sophomore year from Mr. Mohel and “really, really” enjoying the class.

Marshall reported that he debated between OSU and Cal-Tech.  However when OSU offered him the Presidential Scholarship as well as admittance to the Honors College, he decision became pretty clear.  When Marshall arrived at OSU, he was originally a chemical engineering major.  After speaking with Chief Chemistry Advisor, Dr. Christine Pastorek at a START session, he shifted his focus to a dual degree in Chemical Engineering and Chemistry.

Marshall took Organic Chemistry as a freshman which he loved.  He remembers his other classes being mainly filler; leaving a greater amount of time to focus on chemistry. Then, his sophomore year, he took Advanced Organic Chemistry (CH 471) from Dr. Chris Beaudry.  He said this class was great because in it Dr. Beaudry presents more modern reactions and touches on some graduate school topics.  The next year, Marshall also took Spectroscopy (CH 435) from Dr. Sandra Loesgen – a class he says was hands down, his favorite.

When asked about his favorite teacher, Marshall replied that it had to be Dr. Chris Beaudry.  Since attending his class freshman year and well as performing undergraduate research in his lab, Dr. Beaudry has become as much a mentor as a teacher to him.

Marshall is currently completing an internship at Maxim Integrated in Portland.  Maxim Integrated fabricates integrated circuits and Marshall is involved in some process control and cost savings projects for the company.

After his internship and completing his BS degree from OSU in chemistry, but his plan is definitely to continue on to graduate school.  Prior to his internship, his focus was on obtaining a job in academia, but his internship experience has opened him up to new horizons. He plans to speak more with Dr. Beaudry as he plans his next steps.

We’re so proud to have students like Marshall Allen in our department and are looking forward to seeing all he will accomplish.

IMG_0453Blake Erickson has been named one of our Undergraduates of the Quarter for Winter term 2016.  He grew up in Fairview, Oregon where he attended Reynolds High School which has one of the largest student bodies in the state of Oregon.

Blake said he didn’t even consider an out-of-state school because it would have been too costly, but was lucky to have such a great research university here in the state of Oregon.  Upon arriving at OSU, Blake cycled through Biology and then Biochemistry/Biophysics before deciding on Chemistry as his major. Blake commented how much he enjoyed the organic chemistry sequence with Drs. Chris Beaudry, Kevin Gable and Dwight Weller, but it was the experimental labs with Drs. Christine Pastorek and Emile Firpo that really sealed his decision to be a Chem major. Blake has shown tremendous breadth in chemical interest.  His favorite course so far was the second term of Physical Chemistry with Dr. Chong Fang where they studied Quantum Chemistry. He liked it so much he took it twice, once as a student and once as an undergraduate teaching assistant. He is currently doing undergraduate research with Dr. Joe Nibler exploring the vibrational/rotational structure of perdeutero-spiropentane. They have just submitted earlier this year their first paper specifically on the ground vib/rot structure of the molecule and are currently working on analysis of some more of the upper states.

Graduate School is definitely in Blake’s future, as he’s already been accepted to UC Berkeley’s Chemistry graduate program.  He’s leaning toward academia upon getting his PhD because he loves research, but also has enjoyed teaching others about chemistry, so it will be a good balance for him.

In his spare time at OSU, Blake was also a member of the OSU Marching Band where he got to perform at a variety of sports events.

Students like Blake are the reason the Chemistry Department is so successful in educating future scientists.  Congratulations, Blake!


We wish to alert you of funding opportunities for early career faculty holding appointments in Chemistry, Physics or Astronomy Departments.

Our prestigious Cottrell Scholar Award (CSA) is available to early career faculty who conduct high-quality research and educational activities at both research universities and primarily undergraduate institutions across the country.

Please note that CSA submission starts with a pre-proposal due May 16, 2016. Principal investigators with successful pre-proposals will be invited to submit full-proposals, due August 1, 2016. Outstanding candidates are admitted to the ranks of Cottrell Scholars through a stringent peer-review process based on their innovative research proposals and education programs. For the 2016 proposal cycle, eligibility is limited to faculty members who started their first tenure-track appointment anytime in calendar year 2013. Award size is $100,000 and no institutional match is required.

The CSA is the entry point to this exceptional community of teacher-scholars and the program has much more to offer than the initial award. As Cottrell Scholars, PUI and research university faculty benefit from award opportunities throughout their careers, such as TREE, LEAD, SEED, and the FRED award. For more information on the Cottrell Scholar program, please see the RCSA site at

Please forward this information to eligible early career faculty.  For questions about the Cottrell Scholar Program, contact Silvia Ronco (RCSA Program Director) at