Chair’s Letter Fall 2020

Dear IU Chemistry Colleagues, Alumni, and Friends, 

Welcome to our second issue of our Association of Indiana University Chemists Alumni Journal, released in the bicentennial year of Indiana University.  The world has changed in so many ways since our last
dition.  As with the rest of the country and world, the Department of Chemistry
underwent seismic
upheaval this past March.  A week was added to spring break to
allow the department and the rest of the University to adapt all instruction to online formats, something that would
not have been possible without the concerted efforts of the teaching faculty, the research faculty, our tireless
cohort of AIs, our academic office staff, and the incredibly supportive and resourceful
Chem ITG.  Our research labs were sent into hibernation
except for the most essential research.  All this tumult was the backdrop to the devastating loss of our most
beloved colleague, Prof. Dennis G. Peters. 
We still feel his absence, and long for the time when we can gather safely to celebrate his
and decades of research, teaching, and service.  His video tribute remains on
our website, for those of you who have not yet seen it. 

Despite all that has happened, we have carried on as a department.  In the past year, we celebrated the well-deserved promotions of
several of our colleagues
Prof. Tom Snaddon was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure, and Prof. Srini Iyengar was
promoted to the rank of full professor Prof. David Giedroc and
Dave Williams joined the
ranks of the IU’s Distinguished Professors.
  Each gave a lecture highlighting
their research.  David
Giedroc’s may be found
here; David Williams’s may be found here.  We also celebrated the promotions of a number of our incredibly talented scientists who are
essential to our research mission.  A number of our colleagues also took on administrative duties: 
Prof. Nikki Pohl joined the ranks of College administration, being named the Associate Dean of Natural and Mathematical Sciences and
Research, and Prof.
Martha Oakley was elevated to Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate
Senior Scientist Jonathan Karty
stepped into the role of Assistant Chair for Administration, and Prof.
Charles Dann III is now serving as Associate Chair of
the department. 

We have several new faces amongst our excellent support staff.  Jennifer McCloud has stepped
into the HR role in the business office, and Talia Anderson took on the challenging Director of Business position. 
The department also saw the retirements of several highly valued members of our community, including Rick Hackler, our stalwart pillar in Shipping and Receiving, and Linda Cage, our resourceful
purchasing representative.
  We thank them for their decades of dedication and

It will come as no
surprise to learn that
our excellent faculty
have continued to be
recognized with honors and awards at all levels.  A particularly high-profile example is Prof. Sara Skrabalak’s
appointment as Editor-in-Chief of
both Chemistry of Materials and ACS Materials Letters.  In addition, on the
national level,
the late Prof. Dennis Peters received the Roland F. Hirsch Award
for Distinguished Service b
y the American Chemical Society Division of Analytical Chemistry, and yours truly was deeply
humbled and very grateful to be awarded the
2020 Francis P. Garvan-John M. Olin Medal.   

At the University level, Prof. Jonathan Schlebach
was recognized by the University-level honor of Outstanding Junior Faculty, and Prof. Martha Oakley
the prestigious Distinguished Teaching Award.   Prof. Trevor Douglas, Prof. Jonathan Schlebach,
and Prof.
Ben Burlingham received the 2020 Trustees Teaching
And 13 of our esteemed colleagues were awarded the Bicentennial Medal,
awarded to individuals who have broadened the reach of IU around the state, nation, and world.  Recipients include
Ken Caulton, David Clemmer, Richard DiMarchi,
David Giedroc, Gary Hieftje, Milos Novotny, Peter Ortoleva,
Charles Parmenter, Nikki Pohl, Krishnan Raghavachari, Allen Siedle, Victor Viola, and David Williams. 

One big event that did not make it into last year’s letter was the 46th National Organic Symposium co-organized by Prof. Silas Cook and Prof.
Kevin Brown, which was
held at IU in Jun 2019.  This event brought a large international cohort of organic chemists to the beautiful
Bloomington Campus.  Since then, a
s one might expect, a number of our annual
in-person events were postponed this year.  However, December of 2019 brought in the inaugural Graduate Research
Symposium, organized by Prof.
Kevin Brown and the graduate student representative committee (ChemGRC).  The 2020 symposium has been postponed to the spring, with the hope of
an in-person venue.  This year’s PINDU was successfully held
over Zoom, as was our
Chemistry Graduation Ceremony held in May, 2020.  Our seminar series has been ramping up
on Zoom, and indeed, the virtual platform has paved the way
for a wider, more international
slate of seminar

This issue of the Alumni Journal highlights some of the exciting research of our award-winning graduate students.  In addition,
we are very excited to now have an ACS Bridge Program established in our graduate program.  Funded by the ACS, the
University Graduate School, the College and the Department, this program provides a bridge to the PhD program for
students who might not have considered pursuing graduate education.  Based on Bridge Programs established in STEM
departments across the nation, the impact on diversifying our graduate cohort may be profound.  More information on
the program is included in this Journal- If you would like to support our efforts to broaden participation in our
Department, please consider donating to our
Diversity Enrichment Fund.   

Since early July, 2020,
research enterprise has been steadily recovering, adhering to
COVID safety protocols.
This has been an
challenging time for the department, with very deep budget
uts and uncertainty about funding from the
university, state, and federal
agencies over the
next few years
as the country and world feel the impacts of the
It would be impossible to educate the
next generation of chemists and keep our department at the forefront of research

without your generous support, for which we are profoundly grateful. 
Because of
you, our undergraduate program remains among the strongest in the College, our graduate program is thriving, and our
excellent faculty can continue at the highest level of excellence in research.  

It is impossible to touch on all of the exciting developments in one letter, so I hope you enjoy the full online version of our
Alumni Journal, which includes articles covering our undergrads, grads, faculty, staff, and
on topics ranging from the successful
new entrepreneurial enterprises
, to upgrades to
our shared research facilities
Additional news updates are
regularly posted
on the Chemistry website: keep in touch, and once we’re on the other side of the
be sure to stop in to see us! 

Caroline Chick Jarrold 
Chair, Department of Chemistry 
Herman B Wells Endowed Professor