Recent News

Chemistry’s Senior Recognition
Thursday, May 13th at 2:00pm zoom.
Seniors, their families, faculty, and staff will celebrate our graduating seniors. Senior Ryan Thai was nominated by his peers to be chemistry's CNS "chirper", and he along with our Department Head, Prof. Ricardo Metz, Associate Head, Prof. Jeanne Hardy, Chief Undergraduate Advisor, Prof. Ruthanne Paradise, and Undergraduate Program Director, Prof. Nathan Schnarr, will all say a few words. We invite students to share photos and stories of some of thier favorite UMass memories.

Visit our Senior Celebration page to view a senior slide show, faculty well wishes, Ryan Thai's chirper message, senior awardees, and more!

Chemistry Doctoral and Masters Graduates Recognition
Thursday, May 13th at 10:00am zoom.
Reception Immediately Following on Wonder (links will be emailed).
Doctoral and Masters Graduates from September 2020, February 2021 and May 2021 degrees, their families, faculty, and peers are invited for a virtual graduate hooding and recognition ceremony hosted by the Chemistry Department. Department Head, Prof. Ricardo Metz, Associate Head, Prof. Jeanne Hardy and graduating students' advisors will all say a few words recognizing and congratulating the graduates. Associate Head, Prof. Jeanne Hardy will offer congratulatory and closing remarks with a collective toast at the end of the ceremony which will be followed by an informal reception.

Mingxu You, assistant professor of chemistry at UMass Amherst, has been awarded one of 16 $100,000 Teacher-Scholar unrestricted awards from the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation. But when the award e-mail came later that day, he knew it was true. “It was quite an unexpected, and very welcome, surprise” You says. “We are thrilled,” says Rick Metz, head of the chemistry department, “that Mingxu’s dynamic research and teaching have received this recognition.”

The Dreyfus Foundation’s Teacher-Scholar award goes to a handful of early-career chemists who “have each created an outstanding independent body of scholarship, and are deeply committed to education.” You is clearly both. Though he’s early in his career, he’s already authored or co-authored nearly 80 academic articles, and his lab is a hive of activity: it currently hosts ten graduate and five undergraduate students. In the past four years alone, he’s guided 15 undergrads, two postdocs, and five research fellows through advanced chemistry research, and in doing so is helping to introduce the next generation to the joys of chemistry. “The undergrads are getting real training,” say You. “They quickly learn what we’re doing in our lab, and they make real contributions to our experiments.”

For You, there’s a seamless connection between the classroom and the lab. “When I teach undergraduates, I need to revisit the basics of chemistry, and I’m always discovering insights that I had passed over when I was a student.” When one of You’s students joins his lab, they not only bring their classroom education with them, but return to class bearing some of what they discovered in the lab.

“I’d like to thank the hard work of everyone in the You Lab,” says You, for whom UMass has been an ideal research and teaching home. “The environment in the chemistry department is really supportive of early career scholars.”

Each year, the College of Natural Sciences honors its faculty, staff, and student leaders who have made important contributions to their discipline, department, college, and university by presenting them with the Outstanding Achievement Awards. Recipients are nominated by colleagues within the college and chosen by committees chaired by designees appointed by Dean Tricia Serio, who may include past awardees. Of this year’s recipients, Dean Serio remarked, “These leaders continue to enrich our college community with their exceptional work. I am tremendously grateful for their efforts to demonstrate academic excellence, enhance the student experience, and create a more inclusive and accessible learning environment.”

Robert “Bob” Sabola, Instrumentation Engineer, Chemistry was a recipient of the award and commented, "Truly a surprise, maybe even a little shocking, when I learned that I was chosen as a recipient of the CNS Outstanding Achievement Award. It is an honor for me to receive this award. Thank you to all the faculty, staff, and students who contributed to this nomination. I always had the thought that my job is to make the lives of those who are on campus a little bit easier. It’s easy to do when you enjoy what you do for work. As always, it has been a pleasure and joy to have worked for you and with you throughout the years. What more can I say other than thank you."

The 2021 and 2020 CNS Outstanding Achievements Awards Ceremony were combined this year and held virtually. Here is a recording of the event.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst believes that a culturally diverse campus is integral to academic excellence and that our students, faculty, and staff should reflect the diverse world in which we live. Recognizing and valuing the wide range of voices and perspectives in all spheres of the academic enterprise, we are committed to policies that promote inclusiveness, social justice, and respect for all.

“Fostering an environment that protects intellectual exploration, advances mutual respect, and promotes inclusivity is critical to the mission of the university.” — Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy

The UMass Office of Diversity Equity and Inclusion supports these efforts with resources, events, campus climate initiatives, podcasts, and more.

Antiracism Resources - Books, podcasts, movies, and programs for adults and children.
Fight Hate - Our community must stand united in the face of hate.

Building Bridges is a campus initiative that seeks to draw on the power of solidarity and creative expression to bring people together across race, religion, class, immigration status, gender, sexual orientation, age, ability, nationality and more.

Upcoming Events

Cheng-Hsuan Li
Dissertation Defense
Tuesday, May 18, 2021

"Polymer-based strategies for therapeutic delivery to bacterial biofilms"

2:00 pm
Research Adviser:
Vincent Rotello
Prof. Lili He
UMass Amherst
Thursday, May 20, 2021
Department of Food Science

"Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy for food analysis"

Joe DuChene
11:30 am