brightly colored chairs in front of a lake
Lincoln Statue and Bucky

2020 Badger Chemist

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Congratulations New Badger Chemists - Bachelor's Degrees


  • Alberto Aranda
  • Phoenix Higgins
  • Danny Lee
  • Riley Luettgen
  • Cody Retzlaff
  • Jamie Schuberth
  • Justin Twardowski
  • Lauren Van Hoof

FALL 2019

  • Aziz A Hamid
  • Michael Aguilar
  • Mitchell Coston
  • Kaylin Flesch*
  • Danielle Grubb
  • Sarah Gruber*
  • Yeon Jung Kim**
  • Miranda Koby
  • Scott Lee*
  • Eowyn Yangyang Liu
  • Phillip Michael Nowak
  • Jocelyn Ruiz
  • Ryan Saari
  • Lucas Schult
  • Ching To So
  • Matthew Szymski**
  • Isabelle Tigges-Green*
  • David John Wesolowski
  • Aikaterini Zampetaki


  • Kushagra Beniwal
  • Noah Berg
  • Peyton Beyer
  • John Brunn*
  • Chavin Buasakdi*
  • Jorge Calderin
  • Yinting Chiu
  • Loran Cipala
  • Carley Delong
  • Corbin DeSautell*
  • Anna Doebele
  • Megan Doty
  • Christopher Ebert**
  • Nicholas Ebert**
  • Natalie Feider
  • Isaac Fine
  • Hadley Fischer
  • Juan Israel Flores
  • Kirsten Elizabeth Gasser
  • Eric Paul Geunes**
  • Shaybriana Ruth Groth
  • Elizabeth Alice Haberland-Ervin
  • Olivia Grace Hassinger
  • Rachel Hoel
  • Emily Elizabeth Holzmann**
  • Rachel Lauren Hunjadi
  • Kaylee Marie Hustad
  • Sean William Huth**
  • Ethan Emanuel Hyland*
  • Talaidh Lake Stone Isaacs
  • Dylan Cole Keane
  • Ziyuan Li**
  • Franco Alfonso Llamas III
  • Joshua Allen Logsdon
  • Kaining Mao**
  • Buruj Wali Mohammed
  • Jacob Donald O’Hearn**
  • Charlotte Michelle O’Sullivan**
  • Nichole Sabin Peterson
  • Helena Pliszka**
  • Christopher Six
  • Calvin Nicholas Spolar**
  • Nathaniel Balink Tankel
  • Janell Elizabeth Voves
  • Christopher John Walter
  • Josef Daniel Wilkinson
  • Mengcheng Windy Wu**
  • Tianlei Yan**
  • Xinyu Ye*
  • Yuchen Ying*


  • Carmen Ibrahim Daoud**
  • Benjamin Ivan Fordyce*
  • Jacqueline Danelle Hammond
  • Diego Lamela Hernandez
  • Aditya Narayan Singh*
  • Emily G Tomashek**
  • Cassandra “Cassie” Zimdars

* Honors Candidate

** Candidate for Distinctive Scholastic Achievement

Congratulations New Badger Chemists - Master's Degrees

  • Alina K Dao
  • Maggie McEwan
  • Keyu Zeng
  • Matthew James Griffin
  • Zichuan Tian
  • Ruochen Lin
  • Angela Ablaberdieva
  • Clayton Thompson
  • Dan Yin

Welcome New Faculty & Staff

In Memoriam

Please click here to visit our tribute page for Badger Chemists who have died. If you find that someone is missing, please let us know by emailing

From the 2020 Badger Chemist magazine

  • group of photos

    Climate Survey helps department address concerns

    The Department of Chemistry at UW–Madison is a leader in the country for undergraduate education, graduate research, and teaching programs. However, with success comes hard work, and hard work can have mental health impacts.

  • students featured in Twitter campaign for Black in Chemistry

    Graduate students recreate NOBCChE chapter

    Tough times call for tough people. One of them is Olga Riusech (Garand). Balancing her first year of graduate school, the pandemic and racial unrest throughout the country, she still took action to make change happen.

  • stack of books drawing with flask on top

    Book club fosters important conversations

    When Desiree Bates, a computational chemistry leader, AJ Boydston, a professor in the department, and Cathy Clewett, a senior instrument technologist, came up with the idea of a Chemistry Book Club that would tackle hard, but relevant topics, they had no idea of the interest that it would gauge. More than 100 people have joined.

  • building construction

    Chemistry instructional tower takes shape

    The long-awaited, much-needed new chemistry tower, which will serve a growing population of undergraduate chemistry students, is rapidly nearing completion.

  • woman in front of computer screen smiling

    Stuck at home under COVID-19 restrictions, undergraduate researchers find silver lining

    In early March, I was sitting in the Union eating stir-fry, browsing through the multitude of COVID-19 articles. I spent the next hour concerned by something strange in my bowl when I really should have been concerned by the rising number of cases.

  • woman smiling

    Postdoc starts world-wide literature discussions

    Morgan Howe, a new addition to Sam Pazicni’s group at the UW–Madison chemistry department, began her postdoctoral fellowship with a bang! She initiated a popular online literature discussion group, filling a need for chemists across the world to connect and learn virtually.

  • magazine cover with flowers in a flask

    Chemists get creative in The Benzine

    The Benzine is a newly developed art and literary magazine published each fall and spring by a group of chemistry graduate students. The editorial team includes Philip Lampkin (Gellman), Danica Gressel (Fredrickson), Robin Morgenstern (Pazicni), Rachel Czerwinski (Goldsmith), Jairo Villalona (Buller), and Sophya Alamudun (advisor TBD, first year).

  • Feet with crocheted fabric

    Art & science exhibit goes virtual

    COVID-19 has universally disrupted the way humans interact with other humans and the environment. With stricter enforcement of face coverings, handwashing and physical distancing, individuals and microbes are interacting differently.

  • Experiment setup in room with heating pads

    Atmospheric chemists join battle against COVID-19

    When COVID-19 first hit, many people hastily adopted work-from-home protocols. Trips outside were limited to grocery runs; suddenly, fruits and vegetables became synonymous with ramen and ready-to-eat food choices. Social lives compressed to the six inches of mobile phone screens. Facetime Fridays with steaming cups of coffee, arguably with three too many shots of espresso, became routine. Today, even with the pandemic running rampant, things are very different. Slowly people are participating in more in-person activities; however, often without a complete understanding of the risks.

  • Man standing in front of experiment

    Gellman lab works on ways to block SARS-CoV-2 from entering cells

    Prof. Samuel Gellman and his group have been working on strategies to prevent infection by pathogenic viruses for several years. They are now using that work as a launching pad for research on SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

  • diagram of experiment

    Collaboration goes viral tackling COVID-19

    The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a call to action for many within the scientific community. Long-time collaborators, Lloyd Smith, professor of chemistry, and Nathan Sherer, associate professor of molecular virology and oncology with the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research and Institute for Molecular Virology, set out, along with their students, to contribute to the global understanding of SARS-CoV-2 by adapting the Smith group’s Hybridization Purification of RNA-protein complexes followed by Mass Spectrometry (HyPR-MS) technology to the study of SARS-CoV-2.

  • The home page of the new Organic Chemistry Data website offers content and resources to help students and researchers.

    ACS Organic Division launches new data site

    Read the full version of this press release here. Abridged version of a news release from the ACS Division of Organic Chemistry The American Chemical Society Organic Division released a new resource for organic chemists: …

  • Cameras are set up to record laboratory components of general chemistry for instructional videos.

    Instructors, students find benefits in virtual learning

    This year’s pandemic-induced online instruction did not stop students from enrolling in chemistry courses, but it did give instructors and teaching assistants (TAs) experience using a different instructional medium. “Teaching CHEM 344 online was definitely a unique experience,” said TA Maggie McEwan. “Teaching online requires a different set of skills compared to teaching in a classroom or lab, so I think I learned a lot this summer right along with the students.”

  • Bucky Badger's Experiment - What ingredients did he use?

    Connecting Science and Society: Science is Fun

    Our public engagement programs reach large audiences in person, on the radio, in print, via television, social media and the internet. The Science is Fun truck traveled to schools, libraries, farmers markets, public parks and other community centers.

  • three men stand in front of trees

    Featured Badger Chemist: Bruce Bursten, Ph.D. 1978 (Fenske)

    Prof. Bruce Bursten received his Ph.D. in chemistry from UW–Madison in 1978. He was recently honored with the 2020 ACS Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Inorganic Chemistry. Bursten’s journey toward the ACS award has been profoundly guided by his experiences. His story begins in high school, as a curious student in a math summer program.

  • woman in red dress

    Chemistry students win numerous awards

    It was a busy year for awards, despite the constraints of a pandemic. In May, the Department of Chemistry celebrated students, faculty and staff with an online awards and graduation event called Celebrating Student Success. Because of generous donors, the department was able to give almost $500,000 in student support. See the winners of department and other awards below.

  • Man with glasses in suit and tie

    Remembering Phil Certain (Ph.D. 1969, Hirschfelder)

    Phillip R. Certain, dean of the College of Letters & Science from 1993 until 2004, died Tuesday, August 11 at Agrace Hospice in Fitchburg at age 76 after a years-long struggle with progressive supranuclear palsy. He was the fifth-longest-serving dean of the largest college on the UW-Madison campus.

  • woman standing in hallway with arms lifted

    Remembering Marilyn Olmstead (Ph.D. 1969, Fenske)

    Alumna teacher and leader in X-ray crystallography pioneered key techniques in the field By Becky Oskin, research communications UC Davis College of Letters and Science Marilyn Olmstead, a leader in X-ray crystallography and a stellar …

  • Woman with striped shirt next to man

    Remembering Hans Reich (Ph.D. 1968, Cram)

    Everyone who knew Hans Reich knew of his love for the chemistry department. For 43 years of his life, Reich distinguished himself as an exceptional professor, a passionate scientist, and above all, an inspiring colleague. He died May 1, 2020, at age 76, from an injury sustained in a bicycle accident.

  • Man holding dog

    Remembering Steve Yamamoto (B.S. 1965, Ph.D. PSU)

    At his 45th high school reunion, Steve Yamamoto said that he had “gone on to try just about everything,” and looking at his life, this was not an exaggeration. Steve grew up in Madison. His father, Shinji Yamamoto, was a Wisconsin state architect who managed construction of many familiar and important state and university buildings. Robert J. McMahon, professor of chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, explained that Madison was an important place for the family, especially for Steve.

  • Susanna Widdicus Weaver

    Prof. Susanna Widicus Weaver brings a love of chemistry and expertise in astronomy

    Vozza Professor of Chemistry Susanna Widicus Weaver arrived at UW–Madison in May to conduct research in prebiotic astrochemistry and on how life may form with the evolution of stars and planets. Weaver received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Illinois Wesleyan University (2000) and her Ph.D. in chemistry at California Institute of Technology (2005). She most recently was a professor of chemistry at Emory University.

  • Judith Burstyn in blue sweater

    Letter from the Chair: Judith N. Burstyn

    This year has been filled with challenges, yet the Department of Chemistry students, faculty, staff and alumni are keeping the Badger Chemist spirit alive at the forefront of research and education. The department continues to …

  • group of people

    Department of Chemistry wins Regents’ Diversity Award

    The University of Wisconsin–Madison Department of Chemistry has received a 2020 Diversity Award from the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents. The award recognizes the department’s efforts to enhance underrepresented students’ access to and success in the chemistry graduate program.

  • More BC 2020 posts

Department Updates on Collaboration, Research, Travel & Other Activities

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Blackwell Group

group of students presenting research poster

Three undergraduate students in the Blackwell group (pictured above), Michael Kuehne, Rebecca Gillis, and Akshith Mandepally, participated in the 17th annual Research in the Rotunda, hosted by the University of Wisconsin System. Claire Evensen (not pictured) from the Record group also participated. During the event they presented posters and their research to visitors and members of the state legislature.

Cavagnero Group

Graduate student news: Hanming Yang gave an oral presentation at the Chicago Area NMR Discussion Group Conference in November 2019. Miranda Mecha received a Robert C. Doban Mentorship Award for mentoring Natalie Feider on molecular chaperone research. Meranda Masse received the 2020 Straka Award, which is given annually to one graduate student at UW–Madison, a travel award by the Biophysical Society to present her research at the annual meeting in February 2020 in San Diego, CA and a research poster presentation award by the Biophysical Society. Rachel Hutchinson received a Graduate Research Fellowship from the UW–Madison TEAM Science Training Program. Justin Dang joined the Cavagnero group as a graduate student in November 2019. In other news, visiting scientist Valeria Guzman Luna gave an oral presentation at the 25th Annual Stress Response and Molecular Chaperone Meeting at Northwestern University in January 2020. Find our other award winners in the awards listing on page 29.

Ediger Group

group of men with certificate

In November, Mark Ediger presented the Birnbaum Award Lecture at the University of Illinois (pictured above). The graphic on the award plaque illustrates vapor deposition.

Ge & Jin Group Collaboration

Researchers in the Ge and Jin labs developed a method, called nanoproteomics, to capture and measure different forms of cardiac troponin I, a biomarker of heart damage currently used to help diagnose heart attacks and other heart diseases. The scientists hope it will lead to more accurate diagnostic tests. The research was published in Nature Communications. Read the full story here.

Gilbert Group

The Gilbert group was recently featured at for research on coral reef formation. The researchers observed reef-forming corals to identify how they create their skeletons. The results suggest that corals can resist ocean acidification caused by rising carbon dioxide levels, and that controlling water temperature, not acidity, is crucial to mitigating loss and restoring reefs. Read the full article here.

Graduate Student Faculty Liaison Committee

people dressed up for Halloween
Winners of the GSFLC Community Building Subcommittee’s socially distant Halloween costume contest are: John Wright (1st Place), Katie Kruszynski and Alicia Tripp (2nd Place) and AJ Boydston (3rd Place)

The GSFLC Community Building Subcommittee held a Halloween costume contest through which participants submitted photos from home. The winners, chosen by a department vote, are John Wright, Katie Kruszynski and Alicia Tripp, and AJ Boydston.

The GSFLC Climate Survey Team (CST) implemented the third iteration of its biennial climate survey December 2019 to January 2020 for graduate students and postdocs. The CST presented results of the survey in a department-wide virtual seminar in July. 96 graduate students, postdocs, faculty, and staff attended to listen to the results and recommendations reported during the event. Four major themes emerged from survey responses: Clarity of PI/Advisor Expectations; Mentorship and Other Training; Diversity and Bias; Teaching. Learn more in the story on page 7.

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Jin & Wright Group Collaboration

swirling shapes

The Jin group published an article on twisting two-dimensional (2D) materials research in the journal Science. They discovered a way to directly grow twisting, microscopic spirals of 2D materials on curved surfaces. The ability to rationally control the interlayer twists in 2D layers can allow scientists to study quantum physics on the nanoscale. Read the full story here.

Stahl Group

Shannon Stahl and Mohammad Rafiee will teach an Organic Electrochemistry Short Course, from January 13-15, 2021. With the pandemic continuing to limit in-person contact, the course will be offered in a virtual format. The presentations will take place from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. CST each day, and will be followed by a one hour question-and-answer/discussion session each day of lectures. There will be short lab tutorial videos included in some of the lectures. More information about the topics to be covered in the course and a link to the registration website may be accessed on the course website:
We hope you will be able to join us.
Graduate student Chase Salazar led a team of researchers to develop palladium catalysts for “C–H oxidation reactions” that can streamline the synthesis of pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals. This work, recently reported in Science (, significantly reduces the amount of palladium catalyst needed and allows oxygen gas to be used as the oxidant.

Theoretical Chemistry Institute

TCI awarded Prof. Sharon Hammes-Schiffer the 2020-21 Joseph O. Hirschfelder Prize in Theoretical Chemistry. Hammes-Schiffer is a physical chemist who contributed to theoretical and computational chemistry. She is currently the John Gamble Kirkwood Professor of Chemistry at Yale University. TCI at UW–Madison established the award in 1991 in response to a generous bequest from Prof. Joseph O. Hirschfelder (1911-90) and his widow, Dr. Elizabeth S. Hirschfelder. Over the course of his 40-year career, Prof. Hirschfelder established himself as a leader in teaching, research, and public service at the university and in the broader research community. The award commemorates his role as a pioneering member of the theoretical chemistry field, beginning in the late 1930s.

Weix Group

The Weix and Yoon groups have each secured $50,000 in funding from ACS Green Chemistry Institute Pharmaceutical Roundtable awards. UW–Madison was the only institution with two projects funded. The Weix group received the award for “Metal-Mediated Electrochemistry: A New Frontier for Surfactants,” which aims to decrease the environmental impact of synthetic electrochemistry by running the reactions in water/surfactant mixtures instead of pure organic solvents. While great advancements have been made in electrochemistry recently, there is usually a need for dipolar aprotic solvents that are less desirable to use on a larger scale. This grant leverages the expertise of UW–Madison in electrochemistry with the Weix group’s expertise in transition-metal catalysis.

Wickens Group

People painting a mural on a red brick wall
The Wickens group worked with local artists as part of the Science to Street Art project. The mural is being installed near a bike path and school on a wall at the Nine Springs Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The Wickens group collaborated with artists Ingrid Kallick and Peter Krsko as part of the Science to Street Art project through the Wisconsin Institutes of Discovery – and the result of that collaboration is being installed at Nine Springs Wastewater Treatment Plant, near a bike path and school. Wickens and his students worked with local artists on the project theme – a Molecular Structure Mural, which includes how water interacts with nature.

Wright Group

After 48 years at Wisconsin, John Wright became an emeritus professor in May, but John is not retiring. He will become a full-time researcher. He expects that his research program will expand, not contract. John’s research program was motivated by attending a symposium on lasers in 1972 that included all of the most famous laser scientists. There was great excitement over all the things that a laser could do because of its coherence. It was seen as the key to an optical analogue of NMR. The panel discussion that followed concluded with the presenters answering the final question, “What is the most important application of lasers?” The answer from each of them was, “Chemistry.” The follow-up question was, “Why aren’t chemists using lasers?” The answer was, “They don’t know how to use lasers.” That answer made it clear that John would seek a position in chemistry. Seeking an optical analogue of NMR formed the basis for his research program. He has worked on that goal throughout his career and just now, it is becoming a reality. John intends to push this technology as far as it will go into all the areas of science where spectroscopy is used so it can attain the original promise of a true optical analogue of NMR that is useful to all chemists.

Yoon Group

The Yoon and Weix groups have each secured $50,000 in funding from ACS Green Chemistry Institute Pharmaceutical Roundtable awards. UW–Madison was the only institution with two projects funded. The Yoon group received the award for “Oxidative C–N Cross-Coupling Enabled by Iron Photochemistry”. The central goal of this project is to develop an innovative and sustainable new paradigm for oxidative C–N, C–C, and C–O cross-coupling reactions. This conceptually novel strategy uses non-toxic, earth-abundant iron salts as both photocatalysts and terminal oxidants.