Alumni News

Our Latest Alumni


On May 22 of this year, chair Ken Henderson presided over a departmental diploma ceremony for the Class of 2011 and awarded bachelor of science degrees to 17 chemists and 16 biochemists. Notre Dame’s newest group of chemists are:

  • Angela Achad, Valley View, TX;
  • Andrea Bailey, Louiseville, CO;cap
  • Antoinette Day, Dallas, TX;
  • Ryan Dwyer, Pewaukee, WI;
  • Maureen Early, Brownsburg, IN;
  • Genevieve Flores, Temple, TX;
  • Patrick Gorman, Montclair, NJ;
  • Katie Grant, West Bridgewater, MA;
  • Austin Holler, Terre Haute, IN;
  • Michael Mogavero, Erie, PA;
  • Jessica Pearson, Barbara, IL;
  • Katherine Pitman, Owings, MD;
  • Jennifer Sowinski, Manitowoc, WI;
  • Nicholas Tallarida, San Diego, CA;
  • Laura Tiche, Boyers, PA;
  • Rohit Ummer, El Paso, TX;  
  • Christopher Wynkoop, Cinnaminson, NJ.


Graduating with a degree in biochemistry were:

  • Scott Barton, Lenexa, KS;
  • Simone Bigi, Granger, IN;
  • Peggy Chang, Granger, IN;
  • Julianne Corroto, Dublin, OH;
  • Jennifer D’Auria, Hermitage, PA;
  • Kendall Downer, Acton, MA;
  • Bill Flavin, Darien, IL;
  • Robert Herrod, Chesterton, IN;
  • Derryl Miller, Indianapolis, IN;
  • Danny Osburn, Indianapolis, IN;
  • Michelle Patzelt, Plymouth, MN;
  • Ryan Pietrocarlo, Rochester, NY;
  • Sean Puscas, Rochester Hills, MI;
  • Julissa Quintero, San Antonio, TX;
  • Karen Riedl, Falcon Heights, MN;
  • Robbee Wedow, La Porte, IN.


Kudos to all—our undergraduate programs are rigorous (but rewarding) and our graduates richly deserve accolades. May your degrees serve you well as you aspire to—and achieve—great things!  Please keep us apprised of your accomplishments.






In the graduate vein, the department is happy to report that 2011 brought the conferral of nine master’s and 23 doctoral degrees. The M.S. recipients and their advisors (named in parentheses) are:

  • Daniel L. Allen (Jeff Peng),
  • Melanie Bunda (Ken Henderson),
  • Mandelle Danser (Bill Schneider),
  • Bipasha Deb (Jeff Peng),
  • Katherine Isbell (Amanda Hummon/David Go),
  • Ivan Murgu (Brad Smith),
  • Francisco Noria Duarte (Frank Castellino),
  • Apryle O’Farrell (Brian Baker),
  • Jenna Rose (Patricia Clark).

Those attaining a Ph.D., along with their thesis titles and advisors, are:

  • Jeffrey Baumes, “The Chemistry of Anthracene-Containing Squaraine Rotaxanes” (Ken Henderson);
  • Casey C. Cosner, “Potential Niemann-Pick Type C Disease Therapeutics: Synthesis of Pyrrolinones and Enolate-derived Thiadiazoles and the Development of a Palladium-catalyzed alpha-alkenylation Reaction as a Means to Prepare Trichostatin A” (Paul Helquist);
  • Erin M. Daly, “Probing Tubulin Interactions with 14-Methyl Epothilone D Analogues” (Rich Taylor); Carolyn A. Dehner, “Insights into Iron Acquisition from Mineral Sources by Pseudomonades” (Jennifer DuBois);
  • Jay P. Giblin, “Optical Properties of Single Cadmium Selenide Nanowires: Breaking through the Limitations of Ensemble Measurements” (Ken Kuno);
  • Clifton T. Harris, “Photoinduced Electron Transfer Processes of Semiconductor Quantum Dots in Confined Media” (Prashant Kamat);
  • Erin Hurley, “S-Block Metal Amide Complexes and Enolization Reactions” (Ken Henderson);
  • Andrew T. Johnson, “Computational Studies of Natural and Nonnatural Nucleic Acids: Formation and Repair of Thymine Dimers and Structure/Dynamics of GNA” (Olaf Wiest);
  • Natalie A. Kautz, “Scanning Tunneling Microscopy Studies of Reactive Gas-Phase Interactions with Alkanethiol Self-Assembled Monolayers” (Alex Kandel);
  • Xin Liu, “Reaction of Hyperthermal Oxygen Ions with Graphite and Polyhedral Oligosilsequioxane (POSS) Monolayers” (Dennis Jacobs);
  • John T. Markiewicz, “Development of a Vinylogous Horner-Wadsworth-Emmons Reagent: Syntheses of Siloxy Dienes, Aryl Amines, and Medicinally Active Compounds” (Paul Helquist);
  • Carrie S. Miller, “Carbon-Deuterium Vibrational Probes of Gas- and Condensed-Phase Amino Acid Structure and Protonation State” (Steve Corcelli);
  • Christopher P. Nicholson, “A Complete Program Toward Polyketide Natural Products: Methodology, Synthesis, and Conformational Analysis” (Rich Taylor);
  • Lionel Nicolas, “Structural Revision, Stereochemical Assignment and Total Synthesis of Gephyronic Acid” (Rich Taylor);
  • Leslie D. Patterson, “Syntheses of Desferrioxamine B Conjugates for Use in Antibiotic Delivery and Iron Overload Diseases” (Marv Miller);
  • Jeffrey W. Pavlik, “Investigations of Diatomic Heme Ligands. Part I: Nuclear Resonance Vibrational Spectroscopy of Nitrosyl Iron Porphyrinates. Part II: The Characterization of Hydrosulfido Heme Models” (Bob Scheidt);
  • Kurt H. Piepenbrink “Understanding the Energetic Basis for T-cell Receptor Recognition” (Brian Baker);
  • Jonathan P. Renn, “Folding and Secretion of the E. coli Pet Autotransporter” (Patricia Clark);
  • Susan M. Skube, “The Regulation of CLIP-170-Microtubule Binding” (Holly Goodson),
  • Kevin C. Tvrdy, “Electron Transfer Reactions in Quantum Dot Sensitized Solar Cells” (Prashant Kamat);
  • Shen Yao, “Applications of Atomistic Modeling in Drug Design” (Olaf Wiest);
  • Hongqiu Zhao, “Measurement and Parameterization of Spin-Spin Coupling Constants and Potential Applications in Conformational Analysis of Oligosaccharides” (Tony Serianni);
  • Zhiqing Zhu, “Probing Interactions Between EB1, Microtubules and Actin” (Holly Goodson).


Sincere congratulations and best wishes to all as your quest for knowledge and success continues. We look forward to hearing of your accomplishments.