Trevor Soucy ’18 Runs a Three Hour Marathon

Shades of Paul Whitredge ’12! Another Reed biochemist, Trevor Soucy ’18, has shown that when it comes to being fleet of foot, chemists have the right stuff.

Trevor, along with his teammates on Reed’s distance team (“The Running Jokes”), tied on his running shoes last Sunday for the Portland Marathon and pounded his way from downtown Portland, up and over the St. Johns bridge, and through north Portland down to the Willamette bluffs, before retracing his steps all the way back to the start on the 26 mile course.

Biochem major Trevor Soucy ’18 ran his first marathon in just over 3 hours.

Trevor was running his first marathon ever, but newbie jitters didn’t stop him from turning in the fastest time for a Reedie on Sunday: 3:00:36. Perhaps we will see him running in Boston next? The qualifying time for the Boston Marathon is 3:05 and Trevor beat that standard with minutes to spare.

But for now it is back to the lab for Trevor. His senior thesis, investigating the role of the protein PerC in pathogenic bacteria, is calling.


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Undergraduate Research Poster – Do You Have a Story to Tell?

As the Chemistry building continues to get remodeled and renovated (more on that to come), the hallways are undergoing visible changes. Senior photos have been redesigned and hung in more prominent locations (you can even find a set of staff and faculty photos). And 4×6 posters, the story of a summer, or sometimes a years-long, research effort are being displayed in new, more appealing ways.

Posters, it should be said, do more than paper the walls. Before a poster gets hung in the hallway, it has been taken to a scientific conference and presented alongside posters from other researchers in specially designated ‘poster sessions’ where the posters can number from the dozens to the hundreds. And, no matter what you may think about the value of online media, something as seemingly old-fashioned as a paper poster has become so popular a means of communication that some conferences are entirely devoted to posters.

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Rhiana Meade ’12 Seminar This Thursday

Rhiana took her Reed chemistry degree to Tufts University where she earned her MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering in the Environmental and Water Resources Engineering program. She currently works as a Field Operations Supervisor at Cambrian Innovation, a biotech company that specializes in novel wastewater treatment technologies. She will give the Chemistry department’s seminar this Thursday (October 5, 4:15 pm, Bio 019) on “Clean Energy from Dirty Water: Transforming Waste into Resources”

For more information:  Continue reading

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Murdock Charitable Trust to Support Organometallic Research

Prof. Miriam Bowring [chemistry, 2016-] has received a $43,500 research grant from the Murdock Charitable Trust to support her research in organometallic chemistry. The grant, which will provide funds for three years, is being supplemented by a grant of $11,400 from Reed College.

Miriam plans to use the grant to investigate “whether and how atoms can behave not as particles, but as quantum mechanical waves. To do so, we are using metal-containing molecules, which hold promise as energy-efficient catalysts for green chemistry and alternative fuels.”

The project got off to a fast start this past summer. Five students – Zac Mathe ’17, Oleks Luschyk ’17, Cordero Ortiz ’18, Ellis Douma ’19, and Josephine Keller ’20 – worked in the Bowring lab this past summer, and the students working on this project successfully prepared one of the sought-after organometallic compounds, started work on making a second compound, and also began the quantum mechanical calculations that will be used to interpret their measurements.

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Alumni News from the Reed Magazine, June 2017

The summer issue of the Reed magazine was titled “Game On”, just right for summer break. Summer research students swarmed the chemistry department, bunching around benches and fume hoods, darting in and out of faculty offices, bunching again to each lunch and to exchange notes at the weekly “group meeting.” What was once schoolwork had become an elaborate game of “20 questions,” students with their experimental questions on one side, Mother Nature miming her answers on the other. Amidst all this was a large-scale renovation of “third floor” offices and labs, which is still underway. Stay tuned.

Looking deep inside the magazine … Continue reading

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Marilyn Olmstead ’65 to Deliver 2017 Tom Dunne Lecture

 U. California-Davis Prof. Emeritus Marilyn Olmstead ’65 will return to the Reed campus on Thursday, September 21 to deliver the 2017 Tom Dunne lecture (Bio 19, 4:15 pm, free, open to public).

Her talk, “Fullerenes and Art,” will examine the soccer ball-shaped molecules that chemists are making in the laboratory from several perspectives:

More than 500 years ago Leonardo da Vinci built a wooden 60-vertex closed object — a “truncated icosahedron” — and he made a drawing of it for a math textbook. A little over 30 years ago, chemists discovered a molecular, all-carbon cage with exactly this shape. The excitement and appeal of this discovery has sparked interest not only in the fields of chemistry, but also in astronomy, art, and electronic materials. Prof. Olmstead will discuss some of her crystallographic results while portraying how the fullerenes have become an iconic part of our lives.

Marilyn shared some biographical info with us ahead of her lecture:  Continue reading

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It’s a dog’s life in chemistry

When I first arrived at Reed in 1989 there was one dog in the department, a very large, friendly-in-a-curmudgeonly sort of way, German Shepherd named Mercy who shared Tom Dunne’s office. Mercy could be forward, but she could also keep a low profile.

One colleague told me that, on the occasion of his first meeting with Tom, he sat down too fast in the large rocking chair that Tom kept for visitors, and plunged backwards, falling through the large palm fronds of Tom’s office plant. Just as Tom’s face disappeared behind the palm, he heard a deep rumble coming from the floor right next to him. Mercy wanted to say “hello,” or perhaps, “watch out for my tail.”

Times change. Dogs, like students and faculty, come and go. The highest-energy member of the Chemistry Dog department is Prof. Rebecca LaLonde‘s German shorthaired pointer, Izzy, the d-orbital dog.

Unlike Mercy, Izzy is fully prepared to greet you right at the office door, demand a game of tug-of-war, and gobble whatever treats you provide. Here’s a photo from last year of Izzy saying hello sans orbital lobes.

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Public Lecture: Empowering Global Scientific Engagement

Geraldine Richmond

“Empowering Global Scientific Engagement”

Presidential Chair in Science and Professor of Chemistry, University of Oregon and, recipient of the 2017 Howard Vollum Award for Distinguished Accomplishment in Science and Technology

Tuesday, August 22, 2017
4:30 p.m.
Psychology 105
>>> Free and open to the public. <<<

Ensuring a sustainable world in the face of climate change and a population soon to reach nine billion demands a major shift in how we approach our ever-expanding needs for energy, food, water, and a healthy environment. Going forward, we need to embrace innovative international research collaborations and policies that include talents and perspectives from both the developed and developing world. Richmond will share stories and insights gained from the collaborative efforts of several thousand scientists and engineers from around the globe.  Continue reading

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Alumni News from Reed Magazine, March 2017

The spring issue of the Reed magazine was an apt reflection of the season, taking a fresh look at College doings in such diverse areas as the Hum 110 syllabus, student-drawn comics (the “ultimate outsider art form”), tracking down rogue DNA, and the psychology of compassion.

Chemistry department news was non-existent, but one had to turn only as far as page 3 to find a heartfelt letter (“More Rigor!” They Cried, p. 3) from alumni chemist Philip Wilk ’95 regarding academic rigor, grade inflation. Wilk also pointed out that Mr. Praline might be consulted when dealing with wording issues that have been plaguing the magazine’s editors. [It’s interesting to see how times have changed. Olde Reed students used to recite Monty Python scripts everywhere – in the hallways, waiting for class to begin, and while working in lab – but those days have passed.]

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Prof. Julie Fry is 2017 Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar

Prof. Julie Fry [2008-], who was recently profiled in the December 2016 issue of Reed magazine under Teaching. Reaching. Inspiring., can now add another accolade. The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation has selected her as one of its seven Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholars for 2017. The award provides an unrestricted research grant of $60,000 to young faculty at primarily undergraduate institutions who are accomplished researchers and committed educators.

Those of us who see Julie day in and day out know that this award reflects her sky-high level of commitment to Reed students and to atmospheric science. What the award doesn’t say, however, is how much fun Julie brings to the department. It is a joy to have Julie as a colleague.


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