Department Chair Caroline Chick Jarrold obtained authorization to create a full-time Assistant Chair for Administration to co-chair the Safety Committee, be the Director of Technical Services, and serve as the interface between faculty and the Building Manager on remodeling projects and maintenance activities in the Chemistry Building. The assistant chair also would help coordinate the Chemistry Department’s activities with various College and Campus leadership teams.
In January 2019 Senior Scientist Jonathan Karty 6 was selected for this new role. He had previously led the Mass Spectrometry Facility through 15 years of significant growth. As expected, Jon transferred his energy, dedication, and deep institutional knowledge to this new position. The first half of 2019 proved to be an exciting time for the Department; Jon’s generalist skill set and hands-on approach helped cement the role of his new position. A new director of business needed to be recruited, one of the building’s major high voltage power transformers failed completely in March, and there were two significant renovations under way that semester. The second half of 2019 saw a complete remodel of rooms A710 and A701 to support the new ASURE1 program along with a revamping of the manner in which we recruit post-doctoral fellows and procuring a new autoclave.
Jon was deeply involved in coordinating the Department’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Tasks such as obtaining waivers for essential personnel during the hibernation, measuring classrooms and labs for social distancing, obtaining PPE for restarting research in June, and fielding the myriad questions relating to new policies have filled up much of Jon’s time this year. Additionally Jon assisted Caroline Chick Jarrold in collecting and donating PPE2 to Bloomington Hospital and worked with Cate Reck to adapt the WHO hand-sanitizer recipe3 for Bloomington’s own Cardinal Spirits4 in March. Cardinal, co-founded by Peters Group alumnus Rick Dietz (BS/BA 1995), has gone on to manufacture 150,000 gallons of hand sanitizer as of October 20, 2020. Jon and Undergraduate Laboratories Director Norman Dean made nearly 50 gallons of surface sanitizer5 and 40 gallons of hand sanitizer for the College of Arts and Sciences in May and June while IU ramped up its own sanitizer supply chain. The Department also remodeled room A421 in the Molecular Structure Center to accommodate Professor Emeritus David Bish’s addition and upgraded the building’s nitrogen gas system to provide 120 psi with digital metering during the COVID-induced research hibernation period this spring. When asked what he hoped to see in the future Jon replied, “I hope 2021 allows us to reach a new equilibrium before changing the rules again.”
- Photo of Jon Karty courtesy of Jon Karty