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NSM Awards Banquet

The College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics held its 32nd Annual Awards Reception on April 28, 2016 at the TSU Pavilions. Each of the Departments in the College gave recognition, scholarships and awards to its outstanding undergraduate and graduate students. Awards were also given to outstanding faculty and staff within the College.  Listed are the award names and recipients for 2016.

American Chemical Society Award – Tanner Bingham

Given to a graduating senior chemistry, biochemistry major based on GPA and research accomplishments.

Tanner Bingham is an outstanding chemistry major with a 3.94 science GPA and was the first recipient of the Wegner Family Scholarship.  Tanner is working in the research laboratory of Dr. Nicholas Salzameda synthesizing novel compounds for the inhibition of the botulinum neurotoxin.  TAnner was also a 2015 Amgen summer research scholar at Stanford University.  He has been accepted into several chemistry Ph.D. programs for fall 2016.

American Institute Of Chemists Foundation – Alyssa Bormann

Given to a graduating senior based on GPA and research accomplishments.

Alyssa Bormann is a biochemistry major working in the research lab of Dr. Math Cuajungco.  Her project involves creating a human cell line knocked out of a gene involved in zinc transport.  She has presented at local and national conferences, earned MARC and McNair scholarsips, and did a summer research experience at Stanford.  After graduating from CSUF this spring, Alyssa plans to earn a Ph.D. in biomedical science. 

Mark Lackey Award for Graduate Teaching – Vanessa Duong

Given for outstanding teaching by graduate students, nominated by the Department Personnel Committee based on evaluations and comments by students as well as input from the laboratory coordinators.

Vanessa Duong is a graduate student in the research laboratory of Dr. Christopher Meyer.  Since Fall 2013, she has been an outstanding teaching assistant in multiple sections of general education chemistry lab, CHEM 100L, and the first semester general chemistry lab, CHEM 120A.  Students give her high ratings for the quality of her instruction, citing her approachability, patience and availability, as well as the clarity of her explanations. 

Lyle Wallace Award for Service – Ashley Le-Pham

Recognizes outstanding service to the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Ashley Le-Pham is in her final year at CSUF, majoring in biochemistry with a minor in music.  She is conducting research in the lab of Dr. Christopher Meyer, where she has been working on characterizing the ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase protein in a deinococcus radiodurans.  Ashley serves the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry through her contributions as a Supplemental Instruction leader and as vice president of the Chemistry/Biochemistry Club.  She also sits on the ASI Board of Directors representing NSM.  Ashley is interested in pursuing medicine and/or a career in science policy.

Outstanding General Chemistry Awards – Gabrielle Szczeblowski and Meagan Phelan

Given for outstanding achievement in the one-year sequence of General Chemistry.

Gabrielle Szczeblowski earned an A+ and an A in general chemistry at CSUF.  She has begun research in Dr. Haan's lab studying paper-based analyitcal devices for biomedical and environmental sensing.  She plans to attend pharmacy school upon completion of her biochemistry degree at CSUF.

Meagan Phelan is an honors student who earned an A+ and an A in general chemistry at CSUF.  She began research in Dr. Haan's lab studying paper-based analytical devises for biomedical and environmental sensing.  She plans to attend graduate school upon completion of her biochemistry degree at CSUF.

Outstanding Organic Chemistry Award– Karen Tom

Given for outstanding achievement in the one year sequence of introductory organic chemistry, sponsored by the Polymer Division of the American Chemical Society.

Karen Tom is a biochemistry major in her second year.  She currently conducts research in Dr. Fry-Petit's solid state chemistry lab, working on the synthesis of lithium-containing materials.  Her career goals include pursuing a Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree as well as a master's in vision science.  

Undergraduate Award for Achievement in Organic Chemistry - Nicholas Armada

Given to a student who has demonstrated excellence in organic chemistry, both in the classroom and in the research laboratory.  This award is sponsored by the Division of Organic Chemistry of the American Chemical Society

Nicholas Armada is a biochemistry major working in the research lab of Dr. Peter de Lijser, where he investigates the role of alkenes in oxidative cyclization reactions of 2-substituted benzaldehyde oximes and oxime ethers.  He has participated in a summer internship and an NSF-funded summer research experience.  After graduating from CSUF this spring, Nicholas plans to obtain a Ph.D. in organic chemistry. 

Outstanding Inorganic Chemistry Award– Loi Nguyen

Given for outstanding performance in inorganic chemistry.

Loi Nguyen is a persistent and dedicated student from Vietnam.  He not only excelled in inorganic chemistry, as he has in all of his STEM courses, but he has also shown great promise as a solid state inorganic researcher.  In the Fry-Petit laboratory, he is exploring the rational design of polar materials.  Loi intends to apply to graduate programs next fall to pursue his doctorate in an inorganic chemistry-related discipline.

Outstanding Analytical Chemistry Award– Savannah Dalrymple Lewis

Given for outstanding performance in analytical chemistry and laboratory courses, sponsored by the Analytical Division of the American Chemical Society.

Savannah Dalrymple Lewis is graduating this spring with her B.S. in biochemistry after transferring from Cuesta Community College in fall 2013.  Savannah excelled in both lecture and laboratory components of the quantitative chemistry courses the following year.  Since spring 2015, she has made strong contributions to research with Dr. Paula Hudson, quantitatively determing reaction products from the aqueous phase photooxidation of succinic acid, a process relevant to understanding climate change. 

Excellence in Biochemistry Award – Edgar Valdez

Given for outstanding performance in the introductory biochemistry lecture and laboratory courses.

Edgar Valdez is a senior biochemistry major and an undergraduate researcher in the Chemical Education Research laboratory of Dr. Barbara Gonzalez.  He excelled in both semesters of general biochemistry (CHEM 423), currently earning an A+ in CHEM 423B.  Edgar is an exceptionally diligent student, who enjoys learning biochemistry, participates actively during class discussions, and goes above and beyond to assist his peers in learning the challenging concepts of biochemistry.    

Hypercube Scholar Award – Norma Giron

Given for outstanding achievement in computational chemistry/biochemistry, sponsored by Hypercube, Inc.

Norma Giron has been an outstanding undergraduate student in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.  Working with Dr. Fu-Ming Tao, her senior research project applies computational chemistry to solve air pollution problems, focusing on the missing sources of nitrous acid, which is responsible for photochemical smog.  Upon graduating this fall, Norma will attend a graduate program or attend pharmacy school.

Glenn Nagel Scholarship – Travis Alsky

Given to an outstanding undergraduate student to provide financial support for summer undergraduate research, established to honor the memory of Professor Glenn Nagel. Professor Nagel was a strong advocate of undergraduate research experiences as a faculty member, department chair, and Associate Dean.

Travis Alsky a biochemistry major with a GPA just under 4.00 started in music and then took general chemistry and math at Citrus College before transferring to CSUF in spring 2014.  In his first semester at CSUF her pursued research and is currently working with Dr. Maria Linder.  Travis is a quantitative chemistry Supplemental Instruction leader, a health and homeless volunteer and a tutor for biology, chemistry, and physics at the Opportunity Center.  His goal is to become a research-informed physician. 

Glorya Welch Scholarship – Loi Nguyen

Named in memory of Glorya Welch, this scholarship is awarded to an outstanding transfer student in their first year at CSUF.

Loi Nguyen is a persistent and dedicated student from Vietnam.  He has excelled in his courses at CSUF after transferring from Golden West College this fall.  At CSUF, he immediately became involved on campus in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Club and joined the Fry-Petit laboratory.  Loi intends to apply to graduate programs next fall to pursue his doctorate in an inorganic chemistry-related discipline.  

Glen Nakaya Scholarship – Stephanie Suon

Given to an outstanding student who has shown academic potential or achievement, established in memory of Glen Nakaya, an outstanding biochemistry graduate of CSUF.

Stephanie Suon is a bright, enthusiastic student who enjoys the process of applying concepts learnt in the classroom in original research.  She has been a valuable memeber of the Keppetipola laboratory since fall 2014 where she is studying the role of post-translational modifications in the activity of RNA binding proteins.  Stephanie plays a key role in moving the project forward, and has exceptional ability to work independently.  

James Sternberg Scholarship - Eric Yik

This scholarship was established in memory of Dr. James Sternberg, a distinguished scientist with Beckman Instruments to assist students who excel in academic performance and show promise in research.

Eric Yik earned a bachelor's degree in Biochemistry in Spring 2014 and was admitted in Fall 2014 to pursue a Master of Science degree in Chemistry.  Eric has been engaged in research since his freshman year; his hard work and dedication have led to support of his work in the Meyer Lab by NIH MARC and CSUPERB.  In the summer of 2013, he successfully applied for a highly competitive summer research experience at the University of Wisconsin, Madison where he gained skills in the technique of x-ray crystallography to complement his expertise in biochemistry/molecular biology.  He has presented his work at numerous regional and national meetings, most recently at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology meeting in Boston in March.  Eric is excelling in his graduate course work while also distinguishing himself as a TA for general chemistry and organic chemistry labs.  He is making excellent progress in his work on structure-function relationships of the ADPGlucose Pyrophosphorylase from Thermodesulfovibrio yellowstonii.

Eric and Alyse Streitberger Science Education Endowed Scholarship - Natalie Gomez

This scholarship was established by Professor Emeritus of Chemistry Dr. Eric Streitberger to provide support to Chemistry majors who wish to pursue a career in middle or high school science education.

Natalie Gomez will earn a bachelor's degree in Biochemistry in Spring 2015. She is a member of Dr. Gonzalez's chemical education research group. Her research project explores experienced university instructor's use of visual representations and gestures as a means of developing representational competence for promoting students' understanding of molecular mechanisms that have macroscopic manifestation in biology, chemistry, biochemistry and biomedical disciplines. Natalie's work contributes to a research project funded by a NASA Visionaries mini-grant through the Gordon Research Conference on Visualization and Science Education. Natalie has served as an undergraduate teaching assistant for first semester general chemistry for three semesters. She has volunteered her time in the Expanding Your Horizons Program that encourages girls ages 8-13 years to pursue careers in science. Natalie also served as a bilingual translator and host for visits to a CSUF research lab by middle school children and their parents. She completed the professional prerequisities for the CSUF Science Credential Program and expects to begin the teacher preparation program in Fall 2016.

Recognition of Graduating Research Scholars from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Program

The overarching goal of the CSUF HHMI Research Scholars Program is to promote and encourage the flow of undergraduates from our diverse and disadvantaged population, into biomedically-related science careers as leading researchers and teachers, by identifying, developing and preparing those with exceptional potential, and particularly from underrepresented in STEM disciplines and/or with educational/financial disadvantages. The 2-year intensive Undergraduate Research Scholars portion of the overall program prepares exceptional CSUF undergradutes by involving them in in-depth faculty mentored research, developmental workshops/seminars and other preparatory activities to promote entry into doctoral programs, additionally enriched by inclusion of some M.S. students whose life experience/convictions are expected to support/ease the pathway of undergraduates into doctoral studies that also taps an extra pool of talented individuals

Graduating Scholars:

  • Adrian Ricarte, Biochemistry, M.S.
  • Ali Saleh,Chemistry, M.S.
  • Ashley Chui, Biochemistry
  • Karen Balcazar, Biochemistry

Wegner Family Scholarship - Tanner Bingham

This scholarship was established in 2014 in memory of the late Dr. Patrick A. Wegner, former faculty member and Chair of Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Dr. Wegner was an innovator in his field, a talented teacher of general and inorganic chemistry, a successful researcher and an accomplished chemist who always helped students in chemistry.

Tanner Bingham is a junior majoring in Chemistry while working as a researcher in Dr. Nicholas Salzameda's laboratory in the field of Medicinal Chemistry. Tanner is an excellent student, with a 3.88 GPA and has been named to the Dean's list five consecutive semesters. Tanner has also been a productive researcher in the laboratory, working on synthesizing new inhibitors for the botulinum neurotoxin. Tanner has been selected as an Amgen scholar and will be at Stanford University working in a research intensive bioscience program. The Wegner Family Scholarship recognizes exceptional academic achievement and the Department is eager to recognize his outstanding accomplishments and potential. His professors appreciate his active participation, rapid mastery of challenging content, insightful questions and strong communication skills. After earning his B.S. in Chemistry, Tanner plans to enter a PhD program in Chemistry.

Outstanding Service to the Department and University - NSM Inter-Club Council Executives

The Natural Sciences and Mathematics Inter-Club Council is one of the eight academic inter-club councils at Cal State Fullerton funded by Associated Students, Inc. The NSM-ICC consists of an executive staff, as well as NSM club representatives. The main functions include sponsoring student travel to present or attend local and national conferences, providing funding for club events, hostign the annual Science and Math Symposium and Meet the Deans and Chairs, and promoting collaboration amongst clubs. The NSM-ICC promotes student advocacy, leadership, and success within the College.

Recognition awarded to Neha Ansari, ASI Board of Director and student from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Outstanding Service to the Department and University - Dimensions Editors

The Dimensions Journal of Undergraduate Research is organized, written, and edited by students in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and includes both full research articles and abstracts. Dimensions highlights the high quality of undergraduate research and faculty mentoring by annually publishing California State University, Fullerton student's best work in biology, biochemistry, chemistry, geology, mathematics and physics. Dimensions is widely distributed, providing and opportunity for undergraduate students to present their research to a broad audience. The College of NSM collaborates with the College of the Arts to select top graphic design students to design the cover and layout.

Recognition awarded to Neha Ansari who served as the Section Editor for Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Book Scholarship Awards Achievement in Chemistry & Biochemistry – Stephen Flynn, Michael Ko, Billy Peng

Given to students who have been recommended by the faculty based on high academic achievement and who have demonstrated financial need. Funding comes from a program established by the Titan Shops campus bookstore.

Stephen Flynn is a Biochemistry major graduating in August 2015. He not only did exceedingly well in his courses (GPA 3.88-4.0 in the last two semesters) but developed into a formidable researcher, working in Maria Linder's laboratry to understand why dogs have problems dealing with the trace element copper, and often die of copper toxicosis. Stephen is currently in CSUF's BSCR program working with stem cells at UCI.

Michael Ko has shown great enthusiasm and initiative since his freshman year in pursuing undergraduate research and funding opportunities. He has been actively engaged in research in the de Lijser lab working on a number of different projects. Most recently, he has worked on a project investigating a novel intermolecular intramolecular cyclization reaction of iminoxyl radicals onto built-in alkyne substituents. In 2013 Michael was chosen to be one of the two-year scholars in the prestigious MARC Undergraduate Research Program for which he recently defended his thesis. In March of this year, Michael presented his work at the National Meeting of the Amercian Chemical Society in Denver, CO. Michael was accepted to six Ph.D. programs and he plans to start his graduate work in chemistry this summer after obtaining his B.S. in biochemistry.

Billy Peng is completing his B.S. Biochemistry degree in Spring 2015, and he is applying to medical schools in the fall. Billy has been an active member of the Janowicz lab working on a publication on Supplemental Instruction (SI). Billy has been an SI leader since Spring 2014 for both CHEM 120B and CHEM 301B. Billy won the presigious award of the Most Outstanding SI Leader for Chemistry as voted on by his peers. Billy currently resides in Monterey Park, and he is absolutely obsessed with the NFL and the Philadelphia Eagles.