Alumni Newsletter

Keep in touch!

From the Chair

2017 Ritter lecturer Mary Wirth and Mike CrowderGreetings 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 2017. Please have a look at our Department website for informational items. Our 2017 Ritter Lecturer was Professor Mary Wirth from Purdue University, and she visited us in May, 2017.

At May commencement, we had 60 Chemistry or Biochemistry majors graduate, and many of these students are headed to graduate schools, professional schools, and to the workforce. Of these graduates, over 70% conducted at least 2 semesters of undergraduate research during their time at Miami. Undergraduate research continues to be a very important part of our mission, and we were included in a recruiting video for Miami. Our majors continue to win many awards and do many unbelievable things (see Student News for details). Sixteen majors attended and presented research at the 2017 National ACS meeting in San Francisco. Avnika Bali was awarded a 2017-18 Astronaut Scholarship, and Callie Miller and Audrey Short were awarded 2017-18 Beckman scholarships (see Beckman Scholars).  Kenna Koehler and Allison Kumnick received President’s Distinguished Service awards for their work in the community.

Faculty members continue to win prestigious awards for teaching, research, and service (see Faculty and Staff News). Stacey Lowery Bretz co-authored two general chemistry textbooks, recently published by W.W. Norton. Janet Marshall was recognized as a 2017 Outstanding College and University Educator by the Cincy Magazine. Yasmin Jessa and Meredith Erb were promoted to Senior Lecturers in the Spring, and Gary Lorigan was named as Miami University’s John W. Steube Professor. Ellen Yezierski was elected to be the 2019 Vice Chair and 2021 Chair of the Gordon Research Conference on Chemistry Education Research and Practice. We also heard that Lynn Hogue, a long time friend of the Department and former Center of Chemical Education member, was named as a 2017 ACS Fellow.

After our January, 2017 newsletter, we heard from many alumni, and it is wonderful to hear about what they are doing (for more details, see Alumni News). Two alumni gave Department seminars in the Spring semester: Dr. Christine Hajdin talked about her work at Novartis, and Dr. Sarah Stewart de Ramirez spoke about global health and her work at Johns Hopkins. We were delighted to hear that Lindsay Moritz and Jon Moller were awarded NSF Graduate Fellowships; Lindsay is in graduate studies at the University of Michigan and Jon is at Emory University. Stacey Lowery Bretz presented a seminar at Kenyon College, and she was able to meet with some Miami alums: Dr. Kerry Lucas Rouhier, Dr. Matt Rouhier, and Dr. John Hofferberth. Many of our alumni are generous supporters of our programs and students, and they are listed on our Donors page.

John Hofferberth, Stacey Lowery Bretz, Matt Rouhier, and Kerry Lucas RouhierI 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 what they are doing. I set as a goal to reach 90% of our alumni by 2018, and we cannot possibly achieve this goal without your help.

Lastly, we are participating in a campus-wide fundraising event. For the last several years, Miami has hosted a #MoveinMiami fundraising event to raise money for student programs. This year, the Department is participating, and we have set up a Departmental equipment fund. We have been challenged to have 100 donors. If you are interested in helping us reach our goal, please see the following link.

If you are in Oxford during 2017, 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 are having a great 2017!

Michael Crowder
Professor and Chair