Matthew Nguyen – W23 Undergraduate of the Quarter

Matthew Nguyen has been named one of our Winter 2023 Undergraduates of the Quarter; and we’re so proud.  Mathew is from Beaverton, Oregon and is currently studying chemistry here at Oregon State University. Being close to home as well as the largest research university in Oregon are the main reasons that Mathew decided to attend Oregon State. Mathew was never interested in chemistry until he took AP chemistry in high school, where he had a chance to develop his interest. Despite being in this course at the height of the pandemic, and only watching experiments through the screen, Mathew knew that this was the right pathway for him. 

Beginning his freshman year, Mathew was quick to get into research. He was very eager to start experimenting and figuring out exactly what aspect of chemistry interests him the most. He asked his organic chemistry professor about labs to join, and one particular lab, Dr. Kyriakos Stylianou’s lab came up as a recommendation. After talking to various professors, and reading some recent publications, Mathew decided that the chemistry of Kyriakos’s lab was the most interesting and decided to make the commitment of attending the research meetings. Later on, he was able to officially join the lab and begin projects of his own.

Currently, Mathew is doing research on Metal Organic Frameworks, or MOFs. As of now, he is working on two different projects – one is studying a nickel-based MOF, and the other is studying a cerium-based MOF. The Nickel MOF project is focused on studying its water capture properties, in addition to experimenting with its synthetic pathways through the use of polymer beads. The cerium MOF project focuses on its properties in photocatalysis, in addition to finding new uses for this material. This Cerium project also extends into identifying new MOFs, where he is studying synthetic pathways for derivatives of the Cerium MOF.

After he completes his undergraduate degree Mathew will be moving on to complete his Masters in chemistry. Past this Mathew is deciding between pursuing a Ph.D. or going to medical school. Both of which have been dreams of his. Right now, Mathew is just focused on pushing out publications.

Outside of the chemistry lab, Mathew can be found rock climbing or preparing for meetings with the Vietnamese Student Association for which he is an officer. He can also be found playing the guitar or eating Phở.

We’re so proud of everything Matthew has accomplished so far, and can’t wait to see what he accomplishes in the future.

Stormy Macomb – W23 Undergraduate of the Quarter

We’re delighted to announce that Stormy Macomb has been named one of the Winter 2023 Undergraduates of the Quarter.

Stormy grew up on the Oregon Coast in the small town of Warrenton, right on the mouth of the Columbia River. Stormy chose to pursue chemistry because she fell in love with how chemistry surrounds everyday life- it made sense to her. After being homeschooled through high school, she received a GED to attend community college, where she attended college with her mom and brother. It was Stormy’s mom who inspired her to pursue education in addition to chemistry, fostering her love for helping people learn. “I couldn’t be where I am today without her,” Stormy writes.

Now, Stormy attends Oregon State, pursuing chemistry and education and working as a general chemistry TA. After OSU, she plans on getting a Master’s in Education and interning at a local high school. Her long term goal is to be a high school or community college chemistry teacher in her hometown, working to encourage more interest in STEM.

Outside of school, Stormy likes to read fiction and paint scenery. She cooks and bakes regularly, and enjoys playing Dungeons & Dragons and Magic the Gathering with her husband and friends. Stormy’s favorite book is Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis, and her favorite food is French fries (or any other form of potato).

We’re so proud of Stormy and everything she’s accomplished while at OSU.  We can’t wait to see what she does in the future.

Taylor Linsday grew up in a small town bordering the northwest corner of Albuquerque called Rio Rancho, New Mexico. She chose OSU at first because she was initially drawn to major in Earth Sciences with an Ocean Science option, but quickly changed to chemistry in order to challenge herself and get a broader degree.

Taylor got into research with the help of one of her experimental chemistry professors, who put her in contact with researchers after she mentioned her love of mathematics one day in class. Now, Taylor works in Dr. May Nyman’s group as an undergraduate involved in their carbon capture project. Currently she assists in the synthesis of several tetraperoxo structures so their carbon capture abilities can be characterized.

Outside of academic pursuits, she enjoys swimming, rock climbing, and playing the flute (or a member of its family) in band ensembles. Taylor is a part of OSU’s Spirit and Sound marching band in the fall and during the offseason plays in the basketball and campus bands.

Her favorite book is either The Outsiders or The Lost City of the Monkey God. Some of her all-time favorite foods include sopapillas, green chile, tamales, enchiladas, or any Mexican cuisine.

Looking to the future, Taylor plans on attending grad school here in Oregon but is still figuring out what she wants to focus on studying in that time.

We’re so proud of Taylor and everything she’s accomplished while at OSU, and we can’t wait to see what she does in the future.

Jacob Lessard grew up in Grants Pass, Oregon and attended Grants Pass High School. He has always had an interest in how life works at the molecular level and appreciates how chemistry allows him to investigate both material and biological sciences.

Growing up in Oregon, OSU stood out to Jacob due to its reputation for science education and the abundant research opportunities available. After taking an integrated lab course taught by Dr. Kyriakos Stylianou (CH 462), Jacob felt inspired to reach out and show interest in this professor’s research, particularly the use of metal organic frameworks as catalysts for the synthesis of organic molecules. Since then, he’s been performing research under Dr. Stylianou in the Materials and Discovery lab, focusing on studying metal organic frameworks as photocatalysts for the synthesis of deuterated drug molecules.

Outside of school, Jacob enjoys watching sports, hiking, camping, cooking, and traveling. His favorite book is Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse, and his favorite food is jambalaya.

After graduation, Jacob plans on attending graduate school and continuing his focus on materials chemistry and catalysis.

We couldn’t be more proud of Jacob, and wish him all the success in his current and future research and education.

Chloe Ramsperger has been named one of the Fall 2021 Undergraduates of the Quarter, and we couldn’t be more thrilled.  Chloe grew up in Redlands, California, where she attended Redlands High School, home of the Terriers.

When asked why Chloe chose Chemistry, she said, “Ever since I was young, I have had a growing passion for forensic science. Having access to television, I would constantly watch crime shows such as Crime Scene Investigation and Criminal Minds, wishing I was the investigator or the forensic scientist solving the crime. I never thought that wish could become my reality. With my growing interest in forensic science, I entered Oregon State University (OSU) as a chemistry major with an option in forensics. At the height of the Coronavirus pandemic, financial hardships forced me to take a step back from research, so I started working at a dental office. While working there, I realized how much I missed doing research and that chemistry was something that brought me joy and it was something I could always look forward to. At that moment I quickly realized the medical field is not where I wanted my career to be, leading me to believe I should be and want to pursue a Ph.D. in chemistry.

During her junior year of high school, her uncle flew her up to Oregon to visit universities in the Pacific Northwest. While visiting OSU, she fell in love with the campus, and she knew it would allow for innovation and give her the best education in comparison to other schools.  Her decision was made.

She is currently doing research in Dr. Kyriakos Stylianou‘s Materials Discovery Lab (MaD Lab), which has considerable expertise in the synthesis and characterization of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). Over the summer, Chloe received the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) fellowship, by which she began researching numerous organic transformations that could benefit from the use of a heterogenous catalysis. While looking at the hydrocyanation for the conversion of alkenes to nitriles, she stumbled upon the Strecker synthesis for amino acids. She found a considerable amount of published research on this one-pot synthesis, but nothing seemed to involve the use of a MOF exhibiting strong Brønsted acidity that does not compromise the framework, be an environmentally friendly synthetic route, and be cost effective. While this work is still in its early steps, this preliminary work has demonstrated a successful conversion and high percent yield using a MOF with Brønsted acid sites. These preliminary results were used as the basis for the development of the project proposed for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program.

Chloe was at a poster presentation session for careers in chemistry, Dr. Rich Carter asked her where she saw herself in the future, to which she answered, “a forensic odontologist”. At that point he told her about Dr. Dipankar Koley’s research group, in which they used electrochemical techniques to fabricate sensors and different polymers to study dental plaque biofilms and restorative dental materials. She immediately sought out a research position in his lab because she knew she would gain valuable experience to prepare her for graduate school and become an independent researcher and mentor.

After graduation, Chloe hopes to work in industry for the remainder of the 2021-2022 school year then move onto graduate school to pursue a Ph.D. in Organic chemistry.

Outside of school Chloe loves to rock climb, hike, play volleyball, and listen to music.

In closing, Chloe stated, “though my academic career seems to be entrenched, by copious opportunities I have received, it could not have been done without the academic support from my mentors and encouragement from my parents. My undergraduate career at Oregon State University has solidified my ambition to become an educator, mentor, and communicator to transform chemistry.”

Elias “Eli” Henderson has been named one of the Fall 2021 Undergraduates of the Quarter and we couldn’t be prouder.         

Eli was born and raised in Eugene, Oregon, and graduated from South Eugene High School, home of the Axe.  He stated that he likes all science, but chemistry is, “so cool with so many different applications that it seems like a good place to begin.”  When asked why he chose OSU, Eli said it was mostly a financial decision.  “I didn’t want to pay out of state tuition and OSU has a good science program so I knew it would be a good fit.”

Eli said he wanted to get into doing science that wasn’t in the form of the normal courses. He wanted to be able to have a goal for some project that he could study on his own time.  To that end, Eli is currently researching with Marilyn Mackiewicz in the Mack Lab. The Mack Lab focuses on making metallic based nanoparticles for biomedical applications.  Eli works specifically with Nickel. “I have been working on making Nickel nanoparticles that are suspended in water.

While he’s not 100% sure what his plans are post-graduation, he is currently working towards a focus in education, and contemplating getting a masters on his way to a teaching license to teach high school.

Outside school, Eli likes to rock climb and explore Corvallis. When he’s exploring, he likes to find the small stores around town and see what is going on.

His favorite book is The End of Boys by Peter Hofmeister, a book he says he’s just finished re-reading. The author was his English teach in high school, and is about the author’s life growing up in Eugene. “It feels very familiar to me,” Eli says.  His favorite food is the curry at Thai Chili. He likes to go in on Fridays, saying it’s a good way to wrap up the week.

Eli says he’s really appreciative of this opportunity, and we’re so happy to be able to provide it for him.