nominations are open now through May 31. This award recognizes work performance and service which goes above and beyond the standard expectations held for professional faculty and classified staff. One classified and one professional faculty employee will be honored at the University Day ceremonies with the presentation of a plaque and cash award of $500.00 each. Please click here to learn about the nomination process and criteria.

Sophia (Jiani) Jiang has been named one of the Spring 2020 Undergraduates of the Quarter.

                  Sophia grew up in Shanghai, China and moved to Beaverton, Oregon with her family in December 2014. She attended Westview High School in Portland. Although chemistry at times can be difficult to learn, she decided to pursue it because it is fundamental to everything in the world.

                  Ultimately, Sophia decided to attend Oregon State because it is a research-based university with an incredible science program. Additionally, she believes Corvallis is one of the best college towns in the US and has many places for her to explore.

                  Sophia is a part of Dr. Vince Remcho’s research group working on a thin-layer chromatography experiment for remote learning. Her work is part of a bigger project called “Making Introductory Courses Real while Online (MICRO)” which is funded by Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

                  With the help of her advisor, Dr. Neal Sleszynski, Sophia was able to get involved in research. He was able to help Sophia get in contact with several professors from the chemistry and biochemistry department. After reading papers and talking with professors, she decided to join Dr. Remcho’s group because of her interest in microfluidics and its wide range of applications.

                  Aside from school and her work in research, Sophia enjoys hiking and playing fingerstyle guitar. Her favorite book is The Lord of the Rings.  One thing Sophia believes stands out about herself is she is a tough person and her perseverance helps her achieve her goals.

Sam Tanoeyadi has been named one of the Spring 2020 Undergraduates of the Quarter.

                  Sam grew up in a city called Bekasi, located in West Java, Indonesia where he attended Don Bosco III high school, a national-based curriculum school located in his hometown.

                  Sam wanted to pursue chemistry because in high school, he had difficulty mastering organic chemistry. In national chemistry competitions in his country, organic chemistry was the topic that was most challenging. This made him determined to master it both in practical lab work and in theoretical practices.

                  With plans of studying abroad in the United States, Oregon State became a clear choice when he saw the school represented in an international education abroad expo. Ultimately, Sam was determined to attend Oregon State after seeing the chemistry program in the College of Science.

                  During Sam’s undergraduate years at Oregon State, he was looking for an organic chemistry lab that could help him improve. With almost zero experience in his early undergraduate career, Dr. Taifo Mahmud accepted him as a lab member. Since then, Dr. Taifo Mahmud had become his PI.

                  Currently, Sam is performing research as a part of Dr. Taifo Mahmud laboratory in OSU Pharmaceutical Sciences. His research focuses on natural product isolation, organic synthesis and microbiology alongside biochemistry that all focuses on the medicinal chemistry theme.

                  With the help of his PI, Sam has been accepted into the graduate school of Oregon State University Pharmaceutical Sciences Department and is now in his first year of graduate school in Medicinal Chemistry track.

                  Aside from his work, Sam enjoys fishing and playing video games. Additionally, he enjoys reading chemistry-themed books, short stories, and comics. His favorite food is anything that includes strawberries. In the future, Sam hopes to travel to Korea or Japan to celebrate his accomplishments.

Derek Muensterman has been named one of the Winter 2020 Undergraduates of the Quarter.

Derek is originally from Bend, Oregon and attended Summit High School. After high school, Derek took a break between high school and college. Instead, he went into the cannabis business which exposed him to hydrocarbon extractions and different types of reactions. The information he obtained originated from an open source provided by a community which inspired his passion for chemistry.

While attending community college and working full time, Derek originally wanted to be an Environmental Science. However, with no real end goal yet in site, he began fulfilling the Baccalaureate Core requirements. His work in the cannabis business helped solidify his passion to pursue chemistry.

As an Oregon native, Derek looked at Oregon State and University of Oregon for research opportunities in their STEM programs, ultimately deciding on OSU. Beginning at the endophyte lab, Derek was able to get his first OSU lab position. Using a letter of recommendation from Jennifer Duringer, he was able to move into a more research focused group, getting in touch with Craig Marcus. At the end of the physical year, Marcus extended his info to different research labs, connecting him to Jennifer Fields.

Derek now works in a research lab with Jennifer Fields finding trace contaminants PFAS on suits. These traces are used to address preoccupational exposure to PFAS before workers are even exposed to it.


In his spare time, Derek enjoys snowboarding, fly fishing, and skateboarding. His favorite novel is One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey. Derek enjoys eating Thai or Southern food however, his favorite food depends on his mood!

After graduation, Derek plans on attending graduate school to earn a PhD. Although it took Derek a while to get his foot in the door for research, being involved has inspired him to be more motivated with chemistry, developing his passion. He urges those who would like to pursue research to keep pushing forward as OSU is an incredible school for it!

Rony Kaluda has been named one of the Winter 2020 Undergraduates of the Quarter.

Originally from Israel, Rony attended Sunset High School in Beaverton, Oregon where her passion for chemistry began. She found the experiments in her high school chemistry classes fun and blowing things up exciting. While Rony has always enjoyed science, these classes just seemed to make sense, leading her to believe it was a sign that she was most attracted to chemistry.

Rony wanted to stay in state and believed OSU was the best option to pursue chemistry and research opportunities. Neal Sleszynski reached out to Roni in her first term at OSU because she began her freshman year with 90 credits. He got her in touch with Claudia Maier to work in a research lab.

Rony applied for the SURE science program for the summer which was a proteomics based program. She is now working on projects looking at pesticide degradation in addition to pollen and phytochemcial stability in different plants. These projects all vary but include mass spectrometry.

In her spare time, Rony enjoys hiking, Tae Kwon Do, and reading her favorite book, Howl’s Moving Castle. Her favorite food is chocolate. After graduation, Rony hopes to become a graduate student in the Maier Lab seeking her Masters in Analytical Chemistry.

Conner Bailey has been named one of the Winter 2019 Undergraduates of the Quarter and we couldn’t be happier for him. Connor grew up in Beaverton Oregon just outside of Portland. He attended Southridge High School for all four years where he found his passion for chemistry through taking stem chemistry in school. His teacher was a chemical engineer before becoming a teacher so he was able to show the students a lot of analytical instruments which sparked his interest in analytical chemistry.

            Conner’s family has a long line of beaver’s from his brothers to his dad, beaver pride runs in his family. Conner was also drawn to Oregon State University due to the chemistry program and the things it has to offer.

Last summer Conner did research under Dr. Maier, he worked on the preliminary research of gangliosides. Through the research they were trying to find methods to separate the gangliosides so that they could get a full analysis of the compounds. Conner received the opportunity to do research through the university’s Summer Undergraduate Research Engagement program.

            Post-graduation Conner hopes to go to graduate school to pursue a PhD in chemistry. Currently he has been accepted into a PhD program at Washington State University.

            Outside of school you can find Conner either kicking a ball around on the soccer field or working on has magic trick skills. Conner has been a magician since middle school, maybe through his degree Conner will be able to hone his magic skills.

            Students like Conner are a huge part of what makes our Department so great.  We wish him well in the future, and cannot wait to see what his next big adventure is.

Dillon Crook has been named one of the Winter 2019 Undergraduates of the Quarter and we couldn’t be happier for him. Dillon grew up in St. Helens Oregon just 30 miles north of Portland in an old lumber and paper mill town. He attended St. Helens High School for all four years and went on to Portland Community College to discover his passion in life and get his Associate of Arts.

Dillon modeling has fabulous Holiday suit for the Chemistry office staff.

            Dillon’s father earned his Master’s in Education here at Oregon State which was one of the driving factors for him to attend school here. In addition, Dillon is a sixth generation Willamette valley resident, furthering his connection to the University. Coming to OSU allowed Dillon to grow his passion for chemistry and education.

For the last three years Dillon has been doing research under Dr. Subramanian, he works on exotic crystal structure analysis of solid oxides; specifically methods using solid state synthesis. As well as characterization and instrumental techniques related to the research. His path to research started with the careers in chemistry course (CH 220) and a job shadow with one of Dr. Subramanian’s graduate students, Sarah Synnestvedt. After the job shadow Dillon become fascinated with Dr. Subramanian’s research and started working under Sarah until she graduated in 2017 with her masters, when he then transitioned to working with Joseph Tang.

            Post-graduation Dillon hopes to teach abroad in Macaw, China for a term, through this experience Dillon hopes to be able to further is career in teaching chemistry or some other physical science at the middle or high school level.  He has already made strides in reaching his goal by being an undergraduate teaching assistant for the general chemistry for non-science major’s courses for the past year.

            Outside of school Dillon likes eating Tacos and enjoying nature. He and his family have traveled across the United States and have visited places such as Mount Rushmore, the Grand Canyon, and many other national parks.             Students like Dillon are a huge part of what makes our Department so great.  We wish him well in the future, and cannot wait to see what his next big adventure is.