University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Go to chemistry home page.


Thirty-one graduate students earn doctorates in 2014-15

Participants in the 2015 Graduate Reception were, front row, from left, Angel Cortes-Morales, Veronica Diaz-Rodriguez, Charuta Palsuledesai, Thaksila Wickramaratne, Amanda Vindedahl, and Katie Peterson. Back row, from left, Evan Weitz, Walt Partlo, Will Isley III, Jennifer Soltis, Allison Dzubak. 

Thirty-one graduate students earned their doctorates between June 2014 and May 2015. The chemistry and chemical physics honorees include:

Karen Beckman
Professor Andrew Harned, adviser
Construction of the Hasubanan Alkaloid Core Through an Oxidative Dearomatization/Lewis Acid Catalyzed Cyclization

Jennifer O. Bigelow
Professor Lawrence Que Jr., adviser
Characterization and Reactivity of Synthetic Nonheme Oxoiron(IV) Complexes

David William Boyce
Professor William Tolman, adviser
Alternative Ligand Design for Copper Hydroxide Complexes

Angel D. Cortes
Professors Ilja Siepmann and Alon McCormick, advisers
Monte Carlo Simulations for Multicomponent Phase Equilibria and Thermophysical Properties of Near-Critical Fluids

Jonathan K. Dozier
Professor Mark Distefano, adviser
Studies and Applications of Protein Prenylation Using Isoprenoid Analogues and Site-Directed Mutagenesis

Ashley Michelle Dreis
Professor Christopher Douglas, adviser
Carbon-Carbon Sigma Bond Activation: Functionalizing C-C and C-CN Bonds via Carboacylation and Cyanoamidation

Allison Lee Dzubak
Professor Laura Gagliardi, adviser
Computational Modeling of Gas Adsorption, Separation, and Reactivity within Coordinatively Unsaturated Metal-Organic Framework Materials

Erik S. Goebel
Professor Andrew Harned, adviser
Toward a Total Synthesis of Englerin A

Brynna H. Jones
Professor Aaron Massari, adviser
Dynamics, Solvent, and Reactions: Ultrafast Infrared Spectroscopy of Vaska's Complex and its Adducts

Sijie Luo (Chemical Physics)
Professor Donald Truhlar, adviser
Density Functional Theory: Toward Better Understanding of Complex Systems in Chemistry and Physics

Nicholas G. Moon
Professor Andrew Harned, adviser
2,5-Cyclohexadienones as a Useful Launching Point for the Synthesis of the Briarane Diterpenoids and A Hypervalent Iodine-Mediated Synthesis of Oxazolines

Walter Eugene Partlo
Professor T. Andrew Taton, adviser
Reductively Degradable Polymeric Biomaterials

Katie Louise Peterson
Professor Valerie Pierre, adviser
Lanthanide-Based Probes for Oxidative Stress

Nicholas Daniel Petkovich
Professor Andreas Stein, adviser
Evaluation and Optimization of Porous and Hierarchically Porous Materials for Applications in Energy Storage and Conversion

Thomas J. Pundsack (Chemical Physics)
Professor David Blank, adviser
Exciton Dynamics in Alternative Solar Cell Materials: Polymers, Nanocrystals, and Small Molecules

Brian Radak (Chemical Physics)
Professor Darrin York, adviser
Computational Methods for Understanding RNA Catalysis: A Molecular Approach

Chandrasekhar R. Rajagopalan
Professor T. Andrew Taton, adviser
Development of Bioorthogonally Degradable Linkers and Polymers Using ?-Azidoethers

Stephen G. Rudisill
Professor Andreas Stein, adviser
Advances in Nanostructured Materials via Emplated Sol-Gel Structure Control and Self-Assembly

Kairat Sabyrov
Professor Lee Penn, adviser
Characterizing the Mechanism of Nanocrystalline Anatase to Rutile Phase Transformation

Daniel David Sadowsky
Professors Christopher Cramer and Kristopher McNeill, advisers
Computational Studies of the Dehalogenation of Aromatics

Dustin Sprouse
Professor Theresa Reineke, adviser
Investigating the Interactions of Polycations with Nucleic Acid and the Mechanisms of Delivery

Stephen J. Tereniak
Professor Connie Lu, adviser
Synthesis, Characterization, and Reactivity of Metal-Metal Bonded Complexes with Cobalt, Iron, and Manganese

Yen-Chih Wang
Professor Mark Distefano, adviser
Solid-Phase Synthesis of C-Terminal Peptide Libraries for Studying the Specificity of Protein Farnesyltransferase

Yingjie Wang (Chemical Physics)
Professor Jiali Gao, adviser
Development of fragment-based quantum mechanical methods and combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical methods

Ellis J. Warner
Professor Wayne Gladfelter, adviser
Atomic Layer Deposition of Tin Oxide and Zinc Tin Oxide: Understanding the Reactions of Alkyl Metal Precursors with Ozone

Susith Samira Kumara Wickramaratne
Professor Natalia Tretyakova and Mark Distefano, advisers
Biological Consequences of Complex DNA Lesions Induced by Bis-Electrophiles

Stuart Grant Winikoff
Professor Christopher Cramer, adviser
Computational Modeling of Environmentally Relevant Reactions

Brian P. Woods
Professor Thomas Hoye, adviser
Spontaneity to Serendipity: From an Enediyne Core Biosynthetic Hypothesis to the Hexadehydro-Diels-Alder Reaction

Yaoying Wu
Professor Theresa Reineke, adviser
Synthesis and Characterization of Polycations with Various Structural Features for Nucleic Acid Delivery

Lian Xue
Professor Therese Reineke, adviser
Synthesis and Evaluation of Carbohydrate Based Cationic Polymers for siRNA Delivery and Tracking
Ke Yang
Professor Donald Truhlar, adviser
Quantum Mechanical Potential Energy Surfaces and State Couplings for Photodissociation and Collision-Induced Dissociation Reactions: New Methods and Applications

More photos of this year's graduate reception are available on Flickr.

Please note: the group photo includes all graduate students participating in this year's commencement ceremony. Some have or will defend their thesis after May. They will be included in next year's list.