Alumni Newsletter

Miami Students and Faculty at Moonshine U
Miami faculty and students at Moonshine University, January 2018.

From the Chair

Greetings Chemistry and Biochemistry Alumni and Friends! I am writing to tell you about the exciting things that are happening in the department during the first half of 2018. Please have a look at our Department website for informational items. For the second year, twelve Miami students and four faculty members attended Moonshine University in January 2018 to learn the science and art of spirits distillation. We were hosted by Dave Dafoe (BA Zoology 1984), owner of Moonshine University and Flavorman. In April, NPR’s Ira Flatow was at Miami taping a show, and he met with students and faculty to discuss science.

Callie Miller (junior Biochemistry major), Ira Flatow, and Mike Crowder

Callie Miller (junior Biochemistry major),
Ira Flatow, and Mike Crowder

Our undergraduates did a great job discussing their research with him. Our students continue to earn prestigious scholarships and awards, including Kelly Mason (BS Biochemistry 2018) was selected as the 2017-18 James Hershberger Memorial award winner, Madison Kearns (BS Chemistry, class of 2021), Justin Pratt (PhD candidate) was awarded a 2018 Phi Kappa Phi Love of Learning award and was named Dissertation Scholar, and Gunjan Dixit, Michael Allegrezza, Dan Drew, and Caitlyn Thomas were recognized with Outstanding TA awards (See Student News for more details). Kristina Hird and Matt Morris were named 2018-19 Beckman Scholars, and a very nice story appeared in Miami Matters (

Dominik Konkolewicz
Professor Dominik Konkolewicz

Faculty members continue to win prestigious awards for teaching, research, and service (see Faculty and Staff News). Continuing in his honors described in the last newsletter, Dominik Konkolewicz was selected as a 2018 PMSE Young Investigator and presented the 2018 Miami University Junior Faculty Distinguished Scholar award. Ann Hagerman was named as the 2018 Chemist of the Year by the Cincinnati Section of the ACS. Ann presented an outstanding talk entitled, “Plant polyphenols: Structure-function diversity from the natural world. Richard C. Page was promoted and tenured by the Miami University Board of Trustees. Scott Hartley was named as the 2018-21 Volwiler Distinguished Research Professor in Chemistry.

After our December 2017 newsletter, we heard from many alumni, and it is wonderful to hear about what they are doing (for more details, see Alumni News). A new part of our Alumni News page is “Alumni Spotlight”. Please check it out and if you are interested in being spotlighted, please let me know. Two alumni gave Department seminars in the Spring semester: Dr. Justin Heuser (PhD Chemistry 2013) discussed his work in the chemical industry and Kim Wisman Cosky (MS Chemistry 2008) talked about career opportunities at CoVance. I am sorry to report that Dr. Sean Puckett (Ph.D. 2006) passed away on January 28, 2018 in Manila, Arkansas. Sean earned his PhD while working the lab of the late Gil Pacey. Many of our alumni are generous supporters of our programs and students, and they are listed on our Donors page. Thanks to all of you for your continued support of our students and programs.

Ann Hagerman and Carrie Furnish

Miami takes all awards by the Cincinnati
section of the ACS. Ann Hagerman
was named the Chemist of the Year
and Carrie Furnish from P&G
(BS Chemistry 1999) was named
the Researcher of the Year.

Like in my June and December 2017 Newsletters, I have a special request for all ALUMNI! We are currently building a database of all alumni so that we can contact them and let them know what is happening at Miami. We have a list of over 5,000 alumni! We are using LinkedIn to find our alumni, and this approach is very painstaking. I am writing to ask for your help. We have set up a form on our webpage for you to fill out information. If you know any other alumni, please encourage them to contact us and let us know what they are doing. I set as a goal to reach 90% of our alumni in 2018, and we cannot possibly achieve this goal without your help.

If you are in Oxford during 2018 or 2019, please stop by and say hello. We would love to give you a tour of the building and to see you. Please send us an update of what is going on in your lives; you can email me at If you know any alumni, please forward this newsletter to them or ask them to contact us – we would be delighted to hear from them. We have a department LinkedIn site. If you haven’t already, please join the group. Lastly, we are on Twitter. If you are interested in following us, please go to MiamiOH ChemBiochem (@mu_chem).

We hope that you have a great rest of 2018!

Michael Crowder
Professor and Chair