News Highlights

Jessica Lamb stands on stage with a student, pointing to a balloon.

Energy and U eclipses 100,000 student milestone

It’s official: more than 100,000 students in the Twin Cities metro area have engaged with chemistry through the biannual Energy and U program. With the completion of the May 2023 series, the interactive show – which teaches third, fourth, and fifth graders about the First Law of Thermodynamics – surpassed this major education milestone.


Headshot photograph of Safia Jilani

Safia Jilani awarded Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship

Dr. Safia Jilani, a postdoctoral associate in Professor Christy Haynes’ lab, has been awarded the prestigious Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. The fellowship – which provides support for scholars and future professors to use inclusion and diversity to improve the student experience in higher education – will support Safia and her research for one year.


Photograph of the Sustainable and Green Chemistry Committee on the front steps of Smith Hall

SGC graduate students awarded UMN Systemwide Sustainability Collaborative Team Impact Award

The graduate students of the Sustainable and Green Chemistry (SGC) Committee have been awarded the 2023 University of Minnesota Systemwide Sustainability Collaborative Team Impact Award. The award recognizes student collaborations from all campuses who have made significant contributions to UMN and local communities in helping create a more sustainable and just future.


Headshots of four chemistry graduate students: Beza Tuga, Erin Plasek, Rachel Rapagnani, and Shelby Auger.

Four Chemistry graduate students awarded Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships

Four Chemistry graduate students have been awarded 2023-24 Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships. The awardees are Beza Tuga, Erin Plasek, Rachel Rapagnani, and Shelby Auger. The Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship gives UMN’s most accomplished PhD candidates an opportunity to devote full-time effort to their research by providing time to finalize and write their dissertation during the fellowship year.

2023 Goldwater Scholarship gold text on maroon background

Undergraduate junior Ethan Ashbrook named a 2023 Goldwater Scholar

Chemistry undergraduate student Ethan Ashbrook has been named a 2023 Goldwater Scholar. Ethan is a junior in the University of Minnesota Chemistry BS program working with Professor Ian Tonks.

Headshot of Rene Boiteau

Rene Boiteau joins Department of Chemistry faculty

The Department of Chemistry will welcome Rene Boiteau as an Assistant Professor in fall 2023. Boiteau has been a faculty member at Oregon State University since 2018, with a joint appointment in the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Environmental Molecular Sciences Division. The Boiteau Group works to address critical knowledge gaps regarding the mechanisms by which plants and microbes control elemental cycles in oceans, rivers, industrial/wastewaters, sediments, and soils by transforming various organic and inorganic chemical species.

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