Newsletter, Summer 2001

Part III: Student and faculty awards, Activities of the Chemistry Club


The good times continue to roll in the area of research funding, as the federal and provincial governments attempt to make up for decades of underfunding of research. The current positive funding atmosphere is a remarkable change from days gone by!

Beyond NSERC funding, recent successes by newer faculty members have included a large Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) grant to Professors Stella Constas and Tom Woo to construct within the Department a high performance computing cluster for advanced molecular modeling and computational chemistry, and Premier's Research Excellence Awards (PREAs) to Drs. Mike Kerr, Lars Konermann and John Corrigan.

In the 2001 NSERC competition, an equipment grant application headed by Prof. Mike Kerr was successful in obtaining $107,007 for the refurbishment of the Department's old Finnigan MAT 8200 high resolution mass spectrometer. This spectrometer is currently being kept alive only through the dedication of Mr. Doug Hairsine, the Mass Spec Technician. Latest word is that the upgrade has been ordered and the hardware from MasCom in Germany are scheduled tentatively to arrive in late July. The expectation is that the upgrade will be finished before the end of August, 2001. Coupled with the renewal of our NMR spectrometers, which has been mentioned in earlier newsletters, the refurbishment of the mass spectrometer brings our major communal instruments up to the standard expected in today's research environment.

Chemistry has started to promote its Industry Internship Program very actively, in parallel with a push by the Faculty of Science to raise the profile of all of its internship programs. In these programs, students at the end of year-2, or year-3 Honors, go out into industry for a continuous period of (currently) 12-16 months. Employers appreciate the continuity such an extended period provides. Our first student intern, Steve Henderson, spent a year at 3M, then returned to complete the 4th year of his Honors program in Chemistry. The second student to take advantage of this program, Matt Parrott, will return to year-4 honors in September 2001, after spending his internship at 3M also. For 2001-2002, two students have gone out on internships, Andrew Grosvenor, will be interning with GE Canada in Peterborough, ON, and Amie Arnold will spend her internship with Firestone Textiles Limited in Woodstock, ON. We look forward to further expansion of this program.


The UWO Chemistry Club has had a very active year in 2000-2001. Events organized included:

a Charity Movie Nite, at which AGladiator@ was shown. $100 was raised for the International Disaster Relief Fund of the Red Cross to help the victims of the (El Salvador) earthquake;

a Blood Drive, at which 27 pints of blood were donated;

a National Chemistry Week display at White Oaks Mall. Several hundred (~1000!!!) samples of Aslime@ were prepared, literature and furkins were distributed and a good time was had by all those involved;

Members of the Chem Club: (left) busy dispensing essentials for the preparation of ASlime@; (right) taking a bow. White Oaks Mall, National Chemistry Week, October, 2000.

Quaff with Your Prof Night, which gives students and faculty the chance to mingle in a very informal setting.


An earnest group of students and faculty, Quaff with Your Prof Night, January, 2001.



As well as this, members of the Chem Club acted as ambassadors for the Department for the events that precede pre-registration, this year in February. The Counselling Committee greatly appreciated the willingness of club members to go to Year-1 classes, and to Pre-Registration Information sessions and give would-be Chemistry students their frank observations and opinions.

The Executive of the Chemistry Club for 2000-2001 consisted of Firas Al-Dhaher, Lianne Beltran, Amala Chokshi, Jonathon Elia, Nick Mosey, Ross MacLean, Margaret MacSween, Anthony Mandarino, Chris Montcalm, Andrew Park, Chantelle Tremblay, Gabe Voros and Phil Wojciechowski. Joint faculty advisors were Drs. John Corrigan and Tom Woo.


The Southwestern Ontario Undergraduate Student Chemistry Conference, had its origin at Western in 1973, and has shown great longevity. The 29th SOUSCC was held on Saturday, March 24, at the University of Toronto at Scarborough. A strong contingent of 18 students and 4 faculty from UWO attended. Award winners were:

Biochemistry Division

  • Alexandra Stephan - 1st place

Organic Division

  • Ross Maclean - 2nd place
  • Derek Patenaude - 3rd place
  • Margaret MacSween -honourable mention
  • Kaarina Milnes - honourable mention

Physical/theoretical Division

  • Joey Raheb - 2nd place

Inorganic Division

  • Steve Van - honourable mention

Environmental Division

  • Helga Halvorsen - honourable mention
  • Chantelle Tremblay - honourable mention


Award winners from the 29th SOUSCC. Left to right: Joey Raheb, Alexandra Stefan, Ross MacLean, Derek Patenaude.


All the student participants gained useful experience, which they were able to use at Chemistry 490 Day, on the following Saturday, when all Chemistry 490 students presented the results of two-term's work on their research projects. The Department hosted a lunch after the formal presentations. Though the day was not as warm as last year, it was warm enough to have the Chemistry 490 Group Photo taken outside the Western Science Centre. All Chemistry 490 students received a copy of the photo, courtesy of the UWO Chemistry Club.


The Chemistry 490 Class of 2000-2001 pose after making their presentations on Chemistry 490 Day, Saturday, March 31, 2001.



The Chemistry 490 Lunch also saw the official presentations by Chair Rob Lipson of Continuing Scholarships for 1999-2000. Those attending to collect their awards were: Lianne Beltran, James D. McNabb Scholarship in Chemistry, UWO Scholarship Honors Chemistry 3rd year and one of two Varian Canada Prizes for Analytical Chemistry in Chemistry 362b; Bryan Demko, Albert E. Wells Scholarship; Mark Kwofie, UWO Scholarship Honors Biochemistry and Chemistry 2nd year; Alexandra Stefan, UWO Scholarship Honors Biochemistry and Chemistry 3rd year; Kaarina Milnes, one of two Varian Canada Prizes for Analytical Chemistry in Chemistry 362b. Not able to attend was Sanja Paleksic, UWO Scholarship Honors Chemistry 2nd year.

Winners of Continuing Scholarships receiving their awards from Chair Rob Lipson at the Chemistry-490-Day Luncheon. Top row: Lianne Beltran (l), Bryan Demko (r); middle row: Mark Kwofie(l), Alexandra Stefan (r); bottom: Kaarina Milne


go to part IV


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