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V 6.1

C ollege of C hemistry

Spring/Summer 2011 Volume 6 • Issue 1 •

Uni versit y of California , Berkeley

Chemists serving society Chem 1A: Keeping chemistry’s service course running Bob Bergman on Berkeley’s public service mission A forgotten war: An alum recalls WWII in China

Catalyst College of Chemistry University of California, Berkeley dean Richard A. Mathies cocdean@berkeley.edu chair, department of chemistry Daniel M. Neumark chemchair@cchem.berkeley.edu chair, department of chemical and biomolecular engineering Jeffrey A. Reimer reimer@berkeley.edu


assistant dean Mindy Rex 510/642.9506; rex@berkeley.edu


principal editor Michael Barnes 510/642.6867; m_barnes@berkeley.edu contributing editor Karen Elliott 510/643.8054; karene@berkeley.edu


director of corporate and annual programs Nancy Horton 510/643.9351; njhorton@berkeley.edu director of major gifts and alumni relations Camille M. Olufson 510/643.7379; colufson@berkeley.edu circulation coordinator Dorothy I. Read 510/643.5720; dorothy.read@berkeley.edu



design Alissar Rayes Design printing Dome Printing


20 on the cover

Collaboration between the Bergman and Raymond groups has yielded a supramolecular organometallic catalyst for allyl alcohol isomerization. A ruthenium(II) half-sandwich complex is encapsulated within the water-soluble M4L6 tetrahedron, allowing this organic transformation to be carried out efficiently in aqueous solution.


cover image courtesy of casey brown. all text by michael barnes unless otherwise noted. for online versions of our publications please see: chemistry.berkeley.edu Š 2011, College of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley

erratum The photo of Bruce Stangeland on page 23 of the Fall 2010/Winter 2011 issue of Catalyst was taken by Craig Cozzitorti.

c o n t e n t s

Spri ng/S u m m e r 2 0 1 1 Volume 6 • Issue 1



new & notable

4 Chemical and biomolecular Engineering News


new faculty profile

5 Chemistry News


Alumnus Profile

6 Faculty Profile

23 donor profile

8 Backstage with Chem 1A


C  lass Notes


In memoriam


’11 Commencement

Dean’s Desk

10 Bob Lamoreaux: Chem 1A tradition

13 Michelle Douskey: Chem 1A evolution



28 32



College of Chemistry, UC Berkeley

d e a n ’ s

Let’s say good-bye to old friends and colleagues

peg skorpinski

As the academic year comes to a conclusion, it is a good time to acknowledge significant changes in the College of Chemistry. First, I’d like to salute the illustrious careers of three faculty members who retired this year. Chemical and biomolecular engineering professor John Newman and chemistry professors William Miller and Jean Fréchet will continue to make valuable contributions as Professors of the Graduate School.

richard A. mathies

Dean and Gilbert N. Lewis Professor

We also bid farewell to former chemistry department chair Michael Marletta, who has been appointed president of Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla. We thank him for his numerous contributions to the department and college and wish him success in his new position. In July, the college administration will undergo significant changes. Douglas Clark, our current executive associate dean, has agreed to serve as chair of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Well-deserved thanks go to professor Jeffrey Reimer, who has served expertly and with dedication as chair of CBE for the past five years. I am also pleased to announce that chemistry professor David Wemmer has agreed to serve as the new executive associate dean.

d e s k

Chemistry, under the direction of chemistry professor John Arnold, is off to a great start. Berkeley collaborators include the School of Public Health, Haas School of Business and College of Natural Resources. With support from the Philomathia Foundation, the center hosted a sold-out national conference in March. We are also pleased that a joint effort with the College of Engineering to initiate the Synthetic Biology Institute has met with success, thanks to strong support from Agilent Technologies. Finally, this year’s commencement was the culmination of hard work and dedication by many students, faculty and staff members. The chemistry department awarded 87 doctoral degrees, 16 master’s degrees, 77 undergraduate degrees in chemical biology and 72 undergraduate chemistry degrees. CBE awarded 27 doctoral degrees, 28 master’s degrees and 139 undergraduate degrees. Commencement Speaker Professor Robert Langer, from the Department of Chemical Engineering at MIT, inspired our graduates with his address on “Dreams and Perseverance.” Our new graduates will now go forward to define the future of chemistry— we wish them the very best of success!

Over the past year we have made tremendous progress on several new interdisciplinary efforts. The Berkeley Center for Green

Late afternoon sunlight illuminates the College of Chemistry complex. Unusually cool and wet weather made spring sunshine a treat this year. Spring/Summer 2011 Catalyst


c h e m i c al




ne w s

Our outstanding state employees As I write this column the news media and blogosphere are filled with commentary, not always positive, about public employees. Listening to these comments has given me pause to reflect, in this my last Catalyst column, on the role staff play in bringing CBE to its very high ranking amongst national and international polls. Many people ask me, “Besides the professors, how many state employees work for the department?” Most of our staff members are funded by research contracts, grants and gifts. The state-supported administrative staff for our 380 undergraduates, 120 graduate students, 19 faculty, and research staff consists of just four people. Our Student Affairs Office is staffed by Fred Deakin. Fred must administer all the paperwork for the application process of our graduate students. This past year, there were almost 500 applicants competing for 20 Ph.D. and 10 M.S. positions. 4

When our new graduate students arrive, Fred shepherds them though a dizzying maze of paperwork. In their subsequent years Fred must organize student preliminary and qualifying exams, their

appointments as teaching assistants, and the payroll and budget. Esayas Kelkile has dedicated his professional acumen toward running our labs, including the recently completed logistical nightmare of combining ChemE 154 and 157 into a single new course. I just checked this morning: every experiment in 154 is operating optimally. New experiments (such as Generon’s new membrane separation gift) have been deftly assembled, debugged and made ready for the lab. Esayas’s day begins before 8 a.m., and he is often here well into the evening. He consistently and ably participates in discussions and meetings to advocate for, then implement, improvements in our teaching labs. Did I mention he is one of our alums? B.S. ’96, ChemE. Patricia “Tricia” Schaible is our “Assistant to the Chair and MSO.” What this often means is that Tricia has to do everything that falls into the cracks between all other job descriptions. Tricia is the person that connects the department to the campus. She is the one dealing with classroom requests, arranging parking, planning

Jeffrey A. Reimer Chair, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Warren and Katharine Schlinger Distinguished Professor

faculty retreats, scheduling courses and answering the phone. I recall fondly and with gratitude when Tricia dropped everything on very short notice and flew out to Tennessee to coordinate with hotel staff and then act as hostess for an AIChE reception in Nashville for a few hundred alums. How could the department function without her dedication? I love the expression “Administrative Officer 4”—it conveys such a sense of military discipline! Kim Eastman holds this title, though most of us know her as the department manager. In industry and business, a.k.a. “the real world,” managers have significant responsibility and authority. At Berkeley, Kim often “manages” with only one of these tools: responsibility. In these difficult budget times, Kim has the onerous task of crafting a departmental budget that threads through a complex array of accounts. Unless it is strictly an academic matter, whatever goes wrong in CBE is Kim’s headache, and whatever goes right seldom, if ever, results in praise for Kim.

CBE’s Esayas Kelkile and alum John Jensvold (B.S. ’83, ChemE) of Generon inspect the new membrane gas separators in the department’s teaching lab. Jensvold shepherded the donation and Kelkile installed the equipment. College of Chemistry, UC Berkeley

Kim, Tricia, Esayas, and Fred truly make CBE function, each with a fraction of the salary that their crucially important roles should garner. They are our state employees, and we don’t acknowledge their irreplaceable contributions often or emphatically enough. by jeffrey a. reimer

c h e m i s t r y

n e w s

An active year for recruiting My first year as chair of chemistry has been quite a learning experience. The question I am most often asked by colleagues inside and outside the department is, “What’s it really like being chair?” This question is usually asked very gently, in the tone of voice one might use on a street person in Berkeley so as not to get him (or her) too agitated. In any case, my usual response, paraphrasing the great Yogi Berra, is this job “is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical.” Being chair has its ups and downs, but so far the ups are winning. We have had a very active year with regard to faculty recruitment. John Hartwig will be moving here from the University of Illinois to hold the Henry Rapoport Chair in Organic Chemistry. John’s research focuses on the discovery of new transition metal chemistry and the development of practical, synthetic methods.

Bill has been a pillar of our world-leading theoretical chemistry program. His retirement, along with that of Bill Lester last year, leaves a significant gap in our theory program that I will be aiming to fill within the next couple of years. Mike Marletta, my predecessor as chair, has decided to leave Berkeley and become president of Scripps Research Institute. Mike has been a major player in chemical biology at Berkeley and will be sorely missed. I wish him the best of luck in his new position. Our chemistry faculty members continue to receive a high level of campus-wide, national and international recognition. The full list of awardees is too long to replicate here. However, two of these awards are particularly noteworthy, as

daniel M. neumark Chair, Department of Chemistry, Joel B. Hildebrand Distinguished Professor

Anne Baranger, John’s spouse, will be joining the faculty and will take on the newly created position of Director of Undergraduate Education, where she will oversee the suite of lower division courses taught at Berkeley and work to keep them at the forefront of modern chemistry.


John and Anne both received their doctorates at Berkeley from Bob Bergman, and we welcome them back. Felix Fischer will be joining our faculty as an assistant professor. Felix is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia. He works in the general area of organic materials and will fill a critical need in our department. The department is also in the process of making an offer to a senior candidate in the field of inorganic chemistry, which should be finalized shortly. This high level of recruiting activity is necessitated by the turnover within the department. Jean Fréchet, who has been on leave this past year, will officially retire this summer. In addition, Bill Miller retired to become a Professor of the Graduate School.

Chemistry professors Phillip Geissler and David Chandler, the Bruce H. Mahan Professor in Physical Chemistry, celebrate their teaching awards during a recent gathering at The Faculty Club. Geissler received the campus’s Distinguished Teaching Award while Chandler (Geissler’s doctoral advisor) received the department’s Outstanding Teaching Award.

they highlight that our department places a strong emphasis on excellence in teaching as well as on research. I am pleased to report that Phill Geissler has received the UC Berkeley Distinguished Teaching Award, the highest honor awarded by the university for classroom performance. In addition, David Chandler has received the

Department of Chemistry Outstanding Teaching Award. I offer my heartiest congratulations to Phill and David, and to all my other colleagues who have been officially recognized for their outstanding work during the past year. by daniel m. neumark

Spring/Summer 2011 Catalyst

r ob e r t B e r g m a n

Man on a mission Teaching, research, public service Over the course of his 33 years in the College of Chemistry, Bob Bergman’s career has moved in a complex orbit among the three centers of gravity of the University of California’s mission—teaching, research and public service. Bergman, 69, is no longer accepting new students to his research group. “But I still love teaching,” he says, “so I’ll keep doing that awhile longer.” Meanwhile, his penchant for public service is still going strong. Public service runs in Bergman’s family. His mother was a Russian Jewish émigré who fled the communist revolution and arrived in Chicago around 1920. She worked as a nurse and later as a social worker.


Bergman’s father was a Chicago native who survived the 1930s by taking whatever jobs were available, but he later earned a master’s degree in psychology and devoted himself to teaching and working with disabled senior citizens. Bergman’s younger brother, Richard, is the chair of the physiology department at the University of Southern California’s medical school. Bergman left Chicago in 1959 for Northfield, MN, where he attended Carleton College, a small private liberal arts school. “At Carleton I was torn between chemistry and journalism,” he says. “I started as a reporter and editorial cartoonist for the college newspaper, and served as editor in my senior year.” When it came time to choose a graduate program, chemistry won out over journalism and Bergman enrolled in a Ph.D. program at the University of Wisconsin– Madison. “Madison in the 1960s was a world apart from Northfield,” says Bergman, “and it was there that chemistry started to click for me. I worked with organic chemist Jerome Berson, who was an incredible mentor. We would talk for hours on end—faculty members had the

College of Chemistry, UC Berkeley

time to do that then. Grad school was a wonderful time for me.” For his postdoc, Bergman moved in 1966 to the lab of chemist Ronald Breslow at Columbia University. There he met a graduate student who would become a lifelong friend, Caltech professor and Nobel laureate Robert Grubbs. “When I left Columbia for Caltech in 1967,” says Bergman, “Bob Grubbs took over our apartment. Ten years later, as I was leaving Caltech and Bob was arriving there, he moved into my old office.” Bergman began applying for faculty positions in 1967. He looked at several UC campuses and Caltech. Says Bergman, “You have to remember that before 1967, I had never been west of Northfield, Minnesota. For one of my first interviews, I left a cold, slushy New York and landed at San Francisco airport. I drove over the coastal hills to the new UC campus at Santa Cruz. As you can imagine, I was blown away by California.” Bergman accepted a position at Caltech in Pasadena, and he remained there for 10 years. He was lured to Berkeley’s College of Chemistry in 1977 by the opportunity to join another new professor, former DuPont chemist Earl Muetterties, to help expand the area of organometallic chemistry in the department. Recalls Bergman, “We put together our research programs, attracted graduate students, and began making real progress. Unfortunately Muetterties died in 1984 from lung cancer.” The Bergman group has continued to work on organometallic chemistry, with a major focus on C-H bond activation. Bonds between carbon and hydrogen atoms are among the most common in organic chemistry, yet activating, or singling out a particular C-H bond for further transformation, can be difficult. The Bergman research group’s discoveries on C-H bond activation have

been a major success story in organometallic chemistry, and more recently, in applications to organic synthesis. During his career, Bergman, the Gerald E. K. Branch Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, has mentored more than 200 graduate students, undergraduates and postdocs. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has received numerous awards for his research and teaching, including the American Chemical Society’s Arthur C. Cope Award and the National Academy’s Award in Chemical Sciences. But what really distinguishes Bergman is the depth and thoughtfulness of his public outreach efforts. Bergman has encouraged his students to get involved in public service. In 2009, a program he fostered, the Community in the Classroom program (CIC), won the UC Berkeley Chancellor’s Public Service Award for Campus-Community Programs. This program encourages UC Berkeley students to teach in local K-12 classrooms. This year Bergman received the Chancellor’s award himself for his continued work with the CIC project. He worked with a local group, Community Resources for Science, to start CIC. A contentious issue for Bergman has been his efforts to prevent the chemical methyl iodide from being used as a pesticide in California. A related pesticide, methyl bromide, had been used for many years, primarily to fumigate strawberry fields. But it was banned under the Montreal Protocol due to its ozone-depleting properties. Says Bergman, “When chemists found out that methyl iodide was being considered as a replacement, we were shocked. We use methyl iodide in our labs under very strict controls because it is a known neurotoxin and a suspected carcinogen.”

f a c u l t y

p r o f i l e

(right) The image depicts a “nanovessel,” a supramolecular coordination compound that has been used in many host-guest chemistry and supramolecular catalysis reactions. The image was created by Casey Brown, a joint student in the research groups of Bergman and Ken Raymond. (far right) At the recent BCGC Philomathia Foundation 2011 conference Nobel laureate Robert Grubbs of Caltech listens as his old friend and colleague comments on the state’s failure to regulate the agricultural fumigant methyl iodide. Grubbs and Bergman met in 1966 at Columbia University in the lab of Ronald Breslow. (below) Grad student Rebecca Wilson and her research director monitor a experiment in a glove box in the Bergman lab.

In September 2007, Bergman and Roald Hoffman, a Nobel laureate chemist at Cornell University, sent a letter to the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to “urgently request your assistance in preventing the registration of methyl iodide for use as a soil fumigant.” The letter was signed by 54 National Academies of Science members and M.D.s, including five Nobel laureates and several College of Chemistry faculty members. The U.S. EPA approved the use of the chemical in spite of the scientific concerns. In California, the state’s Department of Pesticide Regulation also approved the use of methyl iodide despite a recommendation

against this decision by its own independent scientific review committee. Says Bergman, “The failure of the scientific community to convince regulators to prevent the use of methyl iodide as an agricultural fumigant was an eye-opener for me. I concluded that we need a more systematic way to deal with potentially toxic chemicals and to find better alternatives. “When I heard of efforts by researchers in Berkeley’s School of Public Health to formulate a more comprehensive approach to the generation, uses and ultimate fate of chemicals in our society, I thought the College of Chemistry should get involved.”

Bergman persuaded his college colleagues, including Dean Richard Mathies, to take part in what would become the multi-disciplinary Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry. The center sponsored a recent conference on green chemistry attended by more than 180 people, which included several major speakers (including two from the California legislature and Bergman’s friend, Robert Grubbs), providing an important send-off for this activity at Berkeley. Looking back, Bergman reflects on a 43-year career as a chemistry professor. The first 10 years were spent at a small, private research university, and the last 33 years at a large public one. “I had happy and productive years at both Caltech and Berkeley,” he says, “but the experiences were different. “The University of California’s emphasis on its public role adds an extra dimension to teaching and research and enriches those activities for both the faculty and students,” says Bergman. “I hope that during the budget battles of the coming years, that special quality at Berkeley isn’t lost.” Spring/Summer 2011 Catalyst


backstage with chem 1a

Bob Lamoreaux / Michelle Douskey crew Faculty, staff, GSIs location Pimentel Hall takers 2000 students / year production

by michael barnes A good measure of a chemistry department’s mettle is not how well it treats its own students, but how well it treats students in other majors. For Berkeley’s chemistry department, that boils down to one primary task— introductory chemistry for non-majors. Every year, over 2,000 students take Chem 1A. The course is run by a dedicated crew, including a handful of faculty members, a small army of graduate student instructors and several staff members. Among the staff members, two of the stalwarts are instructional support manager Robert Lamoreaux, and lecturer and GSI coordinator Michelle Douskey. Between them, they help keep Chem 1A humming. 8

A reality of undergraduate education is that far more students enroll as freshmen in pre-med classes than go on to medical school. At some colleges and universities, chemistry classes function as “weeder” courses to intimidate students and steer them away from the pre-med track. Berkeley’s chemistry department has always made it clear that it is not in the business of providing weeder courses. At least since the time of Joel Hildebrand, the chemistry department has a tradition of using its most senior and most skilled professors to impart their love of chemistry in Chem 1A. The department believes that, like playing the piano, chemistry is something you learn with your hands. There is a continuing emphasis on lab instruction and an effort to keep lab curriculum up-to-date. The lecture hall is also an ongoing experiment in education, with emphasis on new teaching techniques, demonstrations and new ways to interact with students. This summer, an innovative online version of Chem 1A is being offered for the first time through Berkeley Summer Sessions. As every student who has watched Pimentel Hall’s rotating stage knows, there is a lot that goes on backstage in Chem 1A. In the next few pages, we’ll show you that backstage world through the eyes of Lamoreaux and Douskey.

(left) Bob Lamoreaux and Michelle Douskey check to make s (middle) Professor Alex Pines narrates one of Chem 1A’s ma (right) Undergraduate researchers help develop a new curric

f e a t u r e

Schmitz photography


sure supplies are in order in the chemistry stockroom. They are just two of the many dedicated staff members who help keep Chem 1A running smoothly. any colorful (and sometimes explosive) demonstrations. These experiments and demonstrations are a vital part of Chem 1A lectures. Spring/Summer 2011 Catalyst culum in the Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry lab. Several new green chemistry modules have already been added to the Chem 1A lab sections.

with e g a t s back ux 10

a e r o m a L Bob

Instructional support manager Robert “Bob” Lamoreaux knows what it takes to be a Chem 1A graduate student instructor (GSI). He was one himself, 48 years ago. Sitting in his crowded office on the second floor of Latimer Hall, he recalls the experience. “I taught freshman labs across the hall,” he says. “Latimer Hall was brand-new then, and the Chem 1A labs were on the second floor, just like today. Although we have begun to renovate some of the labs, many of them still look much the same as they did when I was a grad student—most haven’t been renovated since the building opened. “In the ’60s, students had two four-hour Chem 1A lab sections per week,” say Lamoreaux. “Now they have one. The curriculum has changed, and the labs have better equipment—like digital scales instead of double pan balances. Students spent enormous amount of time weighing chemicals then.” Born in Aurora, IL, in 1942, Lamoreaux attended high school there. He enrolled at the University of Colorado Boulder in 1960, where Clayton Heathcock (who became a dean of the College of Chemistry) was one of his teaching assistants. Lamoreaux earned his chemistry B.A. in 1963 and came to Berkeley for his Ph.D. studies, where he wrote his dissertation with chemistry professor William Giauque. Giauque conducted research in the realm of temperatures near absolute zero. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1949.

College of Chemistry, UC Berkeley

“Giauque put the third law of thermodynamics on solid experimental footing through a series of precise measurements,” says Lamoreaux. “In the 1930s he demonstrated a process called adiabatic demagnetization that allowed him to study matter at less than one degree Kelvin.” In 1968, Lamoreaux completed his dissertation, “The thermodynamics of iodine trichloride: heat capacity and related functions from 13° to 330° K., vapor composition, and heat of formation.” Says Lamoreaux, “My work with Giauque was classic calorimetry that required making pure iodine trichloride inside a special halogenresistant calorimeter. Very exacting work, but that’s how Giauque got such good results. He was one of the great experimentalists.” Lamoreaux remained at Berkeley for his postdoc, working with beloved chemist Joel Hildebrand (1881–1983) on gas solubility and diffusivity. Hildebrand was a principal figure in developing the teaching philosophy that shaped Chem 1A for over 50 years (see p. 12). “By the time I came to Berkeley,” Lamareaux notes, “Hildebrand had officially retired but was still active, and Dick Powell had taken over teaching the course, which had been refined over many years. It was a great course, and Powell did an incredible job succeeding Hildebrand.” Continues Lamoreaux, “The ’60s were hard and crazy times at Berkeley, but the ’70s turned out to be harder for researchers.” A major recession and a budget crisis due to the Vietnam War limited federal research spending. “I graduated with fine chemists who couldn’t find suitable work and a few years later left the sciences altogether,” he says.

f e a t u r e

Joani Ichiki

Lamoreaux feels lucky—he was able to stay in the college as a researcher. He worked with chemist Leo Brewer, and together they conducted research and wrote a standard reference text on molybdenum, its simple compounds, and their thermodynamic properties.

(above) Lamoreaux explores one of the Bay Area’s hiking gems, the Pinnacles National Monument. (below) Before and after. An unrenovated teaching lab is juxtaposed to the college’s newly renovated teaching laboratory. A second lab is undergoing renovation this summer.

In 1979 Lamoreaux moved to SRI International in Menlo Park, CA. SRI started as a spin-off of Stanford University—Stanford Research Institute—in 1946. It became an independent non-profit research organization in 1970. Says Lamoreaux, “At SRI, we did contract research. I worked on all sorts of commercial and government projects.” Lamoreaux left SRI in 1991, but continued for clients as a contractor for several years. In 1995, he heard about a job as manager of instructional support in the College of Chemistry, and Lamoreaux returned to Berkeley, where he continues to work today. Much had changed during his 16 years away. His doctoral mentor, William Giauque, died in 1982, and the low temperature laboratory that bore his name was gradually shut down. Giauque’s research required powerful electromagnets that became prohibitively expensive to operate after energy costs rose during the 1970s. The Giauque lab was renovated and became the home of another renowned physical chemist, Y. T. Lee, who won the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1986. The Physical Sciences Lecture Hall, where Chem 1A lectures take place, had been renamed Pimentel Hall in 1994 to honor Berkeley chemist and devoted teacher George Pimentel, who had died in 1989. “It was Pimentel who took over responsibility for the Chem 1A curriculum and modernized it with an increased emphasis on quantum mechanics and molecular orbital theory,” says Lamoreaux. “The revolutionary developments in biology since the ’60s have affected the Chem 1A curriculum,” Lamoreaux continues. “When I took introductory biology in the early ’60s, DNA was not mentioned. The development of chemical and molecular biology meant that the Chem 1A curriculum had to adjust. Also, students now have laptops with more power than many of the campus’s early mainframe computers. This affects how courses can be taught.” Today biology majors take Chem 1A only, and then move on to Chem 3A and 3B, organic chemistry for non-majors. Engineers continue to take Chem 1B, which has become more focused on materials chemistry. Chemistry majors take Chem 4A and 4B, general chemistry for majors, then move on to Chem 112A and 112B, organic chemistry for majors. Says Lamoreaux, “We include a lot of lecture topics in one semester of Chem 1A—bonding theory, thermodynamics, acid/base equilibrium. We try to prepare students for Chem 3. The Chem 1A labs have changed, too. Environmental health and safety regulations have forced the replacement of experiments involving toxic heavy metals, hydrogen sulfide gas and large quantities of organic solvents.” A final layer of complexity is added by the sheer number of students that the college must serve in Chem 1A—1,400 in the fall, and 650 in the spring. Says Lamoreaux, “We have to staff the lab sections with GSIs, but we also have to stay within our teaching budget and avoid overwhelming the GSIs, most of whom are first-year graduate students with their own classes to take.” Lamoreaux works with the grad student advisors in chemistry and chemical and biomolecular engineering to plan lab sections a year in advance. By late spring of 2011, lab section planning for 2012 had already been completed. Spring/Summer 2011 Catalyst


With the course scheduling under control this spring, Lamoreaux took some vacation time and headed for the mountains. The destination was Yosemite Valley but in other years, trips have taken him and his hiking companions all over the state. On any weekend, any time of the year and in any weather, Lamoreaux can be found on hiking trails in the Pinnacles, Big Sur or Mt. Tamalpais, just to name a few destinations. When he is not frantically looking for a GSI to fill one more slot, or consoling a student who has been wait-listed for a lab section, Lamoreaux can be enticed into showing photographs from his latest weekend adventures.

Lamoreaux joins many other college faculty and staff members, including Joel Hildebrand, in this passion for outdoor adventures. And like Hildebrand, Lamoreaux continues the college tradition of providing freshman chemistry students with an introduction to the subject that will serve them well regardless of their choice of majors at Berkeley. Says Lamoreaux, “Chem 1A students come from incredibly diverse situations, but whatever their backgrounds, we don’t try to weed people out. If students come here and study hard, they’ll make it. We want everyone to succeed.”

“Lewis set up a system whereby the whole department pitched in to teach the freshmen. We were a long way from the centers of population, we had no reputation, we had to start freshmen properly in order to produce the kind of graduate students we wanted.

“T rying to learn science without practicing it would be like

trying to become athletic by sitting in a grandstand. I don’t know why we should give the sort of course that one could get from a paperback. You don’t capture scientists that way. They must do something scientific. A student who works out an ‘unknown’ in qualitative analysis carries on what is for him a little piece of original research. He has to perform experiments and observe and read. It can be fun.


“A good lecturer must be something of a ham actor. He should

Joel Henry Hildebrand (1881–1983) came to UC Berkeley in 1913, when G.N. Lewis was creating what would become the College of Chemistry. Hildebrand estimated he taught freshman chemistry to 40,000 students during his career. In 1960, when he was almost 79 years old, he spoke about his life for what is now the Regional Oral History Office of UC Berkeley’s Bancroft Library. This is what Hildebrand had to say about teaching: College of Chemistry, UC Berkeley

perform experiments on the lecture table, not just demonstrations. I tried more and more as the years went by to stimulate students to interpret for themselves what they see on the lecture desk. The dramatist doesn’t tell, in the prologue, how the last act is going to turn out.

“One should create suspense, to get the students to think. One

should not give answers before evidence. You should first give evidence and stimulate them to figure out the answer. I think that is the key to good teaching, but I’m afraid it isn’t always done that way. The temptation to show off is too great.

ith w e g a t backs key

s u o D e l l e Mich

A budget crisis isn’t necessarily all bad. That’s according to Michelle Douskey, College of Chemistry lecturer, who often serves as the coordinator of Chem 1A graduate student instructors (GSIs), and who occasionally teaches the course herself. “A budget crisis means we have to shake up the status quo,” she adds, “so let’s take this as an opportunity to make positive changes. For example, let’s replace some older material with green chemistry concepts that tie in sustainability and better use of resources. We don’t have to let constraints get in the way of quality teaching and learning.” Douskey’s dedication and adaptability are typical of the college faculty and staff members who keep Chem 1A running. For Douskey, adaptability was part of her upbringing. Born in 1971 next door to Ellsworth Air Force Base in Rapid City, SD, she moved often as a child in an Air Force family. Her high school years were spent in Papillion, NE, a suburb of Omaha. Douskey remained in Omaha for college, earning a chemistry B.S. cum laude from Creighton University in 1993. She attended grad school at the Minneapolis-St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota, where she was awarded her chemistry Ph.D. in 1999. She wrote her doctoral thesis on solid state NMR with Eric Munson (who did his postdoc here at Berkeley with chemistry professor Alex Pines). She stayed at U of M for her postdoc on thin film technology with chemical engineer Alon McCormick and industry partner Rohm and Haas.

A bit of serendipity brought Douskey to the College of Chemistry. She was teaching in the Twin Cities using the Chem Connections curriculum developed by Berkeley chemistry professor Angelica Stacy. “I got a chance to meet Angy in 2001 at a workshop,” says Douskey, “and I later found out there was an opening for a lecturer in chemistry at Berkeley.” Meanwhile, Douskey’s husband-to-be, Scott Olson, had finished his U of M chemical engineering B.S. and was looking for a graduate program in public policy. Both found what they were looking for at Berkeley, and the couple arrived for the fall 2001 semester. Douskey’s husband currently works as a renewable-energy consultant. As the Chem 1A coordinator, Douskey trains graduate student instructors and in general makes sure the course is running smoothly—no small task in the fall, when Chem 1A has 45 GSIs, three different faculty lectures and a total of about 1,400 students. Although every semester she is confronted with a huge number of new faces, Douskey still takes the time for small, but important gestures. This May, Jessica Smith, a GSI and grad student in the Alivisatos group, was one of only ten GSIs on campus to win the Teaching Effectiveness Award. Douskey was there at the ceremony to congratulate her. On her office desk Douskey offers a variety of granola bars and other snacks to help fuel hungry students who may have skipped a meal. Says Douskey, “About two-thirds of our Chem 1A students are molecular and cell biology majors, and the other one-third engineering

Spring/Summer 2011 Catalyst


In addition to textbooks and periodic charts, today’s well-equipped Chem 1A student also carries a clicker. This radio frequency device lets students participate in classroom quizzes and surveys, and encourages interaction between them.

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(above) Chemistry lecturer Mark Kubinec in a screen shot from the new online Chem W1A course. The course is being offered this summer for the first time. (directly above) Photos of blackboards that long-time Chem 1A professor Alex Pines drew before the beginning of lecture.

Graduating senior Laura Driscoll gets a hug from her sister after commencement. Driscoll credits her chemistry training for helping her get accepted to a neuroscience graduate program at Harvard.

majors. Most of the students took chemistry in high school, where the chemistry courses are traditionally fact-based. We make our course more engaging by changing roles on them—we make the students explain answers to us. In Chem 1A quizzes and exams, there are very few fact-based questions. Memorization is not the goal. Memorizing facts might get you a ‘B.’ Chem 1A stresses critical thinking and linking chemistry to the world around you.” As an example, she cites a test question about candle wax. Candles can be made from paraffin, beeswax or soy-based wax. Students are given the chemical structures and thermodynamic data of each and asked which wax is most likely to burn cleanly without producing soot. Paraffin is a pure hydrocarbon, but beeswax and soy wax contain oxygen. “Here’s a hint,” says Douskey, “why do we oxygenate gasoline?” Keeping track of the progress of several hundred students, and keeping them engaged, is a chore made easier by the introduction of clickers. Berkeley Chem 1A pioneered the use of clickers in 2001, many years ahead of other universities. Clickers are hand-held devices, similar to TV remote controls, that allow students in the classroom to vote in response to questions. Clickers use radio frequency technology to record student responses to in-class polling. Student clickers cost about $35 new and can be bought used and resold at the student bookstore. The use of clickers enabled the development of quiz-based pedagogy by instructor Mark Kubinec and professor Alex Pines. Says Kubinec, “In Chem 1A, we’ll ask a question and project three possible answers on a screen. As the students vote, a histogram shows the distribution of their answers. “Next,” says Kubinec, “we ask the students to converse with their neighbors and vote again.” Kubinec believes that, when used in conjunction with teaching methods designed to take advantage of them, clickers make the class come alive. “The students interact not only with the instructor, but with each other,” he says. “I can’t imagine teaching Chem 1A without them.” Adds Douskey, “The clicker software also allows GSIs to look at the in-class quiz results, so that they can identify the concepts that students are struggling with. The old-fashioned alternative is to have students raise their hands during lecture, but clickers are faster and more anonymous—a nervous student who wouldn’t raise his hand will hit a button on his clicker.” Jeni Lee, now a second-year bioengineering Ph.D. student at UC Davis, took Chem 1A at Berkeley in the fall of 2006. Says Lee, “I personally thought it was a great course, especially for incoming freshmen. It was just so nice to have an interactive, fun sort of learning environment for a lower-division required course. The clickers are a great learning tool to make students pay attention and apply things you learn pretty immediately. I wish more classes were like Chem 1A.” Although Chem 1A is a service course, a course designed for non-majors, every year several students switch their major to chemistry after comparing their experience in Chem 1A to their other freshman courses. Laura Driscoll was one of those students. She came to Berkeley with the goal of studying neuroscience in grad school. She took Chem 1A in the fall of 2007. Says Driscoll, “I had taken the usual AP

f e a t u r e science courses and honors chemistry in high school. I thought honors chemistry was really boring. “At Berkeley I was in biology classes with pre-med students that stressed memorizing facts and names. Chem 1A was a surprise. It didn’t feel like a weeder course. It wasn’t too hard, it didn’t blow you out of the water, but there was more emphasis on critical thinking. It taught me how to think like a chemist.” Driscoll was surprised by how accessible the Chem 1A professor, Marcin Majda, was during office hours. She switched her major to chemistry and won a departmental award to conduct summer research in Majda’s research group after her freshman year. Although she was fond of physical chemistry, she spent her remaining summers conducting neuroscience research in the lab of Rich Kramer, a molecular and cell biology professor. Next fall she will start her neuroscience Ph.D. program at Harvard. “It totally worked out for me,” says Driscoll. “It turns out Harvard liked my chemistry background. Switching to chemistry was one of the best decisions I made in college. As a neuroscientist, I hope I’ll get to use my physical chemistry knowledge to figure out some crazy biological phenomena.”

Although Chem 1A has a tradition going back to Joel Hildebrand, it is also a course that is constantly being reinvented. With the growing awareness of climate change and resource scarcity, the chemical industry and the chemical sciences are responding. How college freshmen are taught chemistry must respond as well. Douskey has been instrumental in updating the Chem 1 lab curriculum by working with the Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry to develop new teaching lab modules. Last summer she travelled to the University of Oregon in Eugene, where she attended a five-day workshop on how to integrate green chemistry into chemistry education. “The University of Oregon has been doing these workshops for 10 years,” says Douskey. “I attended the tenth annual session, and I’ve been invited back this summer to share our progress at Berkeley.” Next fall semester will mark the 130th birthday of Joel Hildebrand, on Nov. 16, 2011. If his ghost wandered into Pimentel Hall during a Chem 1A lecture, what would he think? At first he might be puzzled by the clickers and the powerpoint slides. And certainly the mix of students—their gender and ethnicity—would be different from his own experience. But the nature of the course and its pedagogy would be familiar and comfortable. Joel Hildebrand would be right at home.

online with chem 1A This summer, UC Berkeley Summer Sessions is introducing an online version of Chem 1A, Chem W1A. The course will enable students to learn introductory chemistry in an interactive online format. The course is tailored to undergraduate students with challenging schedules and commutes. Its innovative format, developed with the support of the Camille & Henry Dreyfus Foundation, encourages student engagement, critical thinking, and depth of learning.

Lecture segments are three to five minutes long and include graphics and props to help explain more complex ideas. Demonstration segments capture the educational and exciting chemical demonstrations that are extremely popular in the face-to-face version of Chem 1A. ChemQuiz segments are interactive tests where students respond online to a conceptual question related to the lecture. Nuts and Bolts segments are online tutorials focusing on problem-solving in chemistry.

A full Chem W1A lesson contains, on average, four lecture segments, four ChemQuiz segments, two demonstration segments and two nuts and bolts segments. Students will spend about 45 to 55 minutes on a full lesson. Students will have the opportunity to interact in chat-room-based office hours for questions and answers hosted by the GSI and course instructor. GSIs will also answer questions via email and Skype. Transcripts of chat rooms will be available for students who cannot attend live sessions. Chem W1A fully covers the content of Chem 1A. It includes lectures, demonstrations, quizzes, and interactive discussion. Chem W1A is offered for three units of transferable UC Berkeley credit. The lab component, Chem 1AL, is a separate course and is available on campus. See College of Chemistry website, chemistry.berkeley.edu, under Chemistry News and Highlights section, for details.

Spring/Summer 2011 Catalyst


notable new& research•views discoveries•awards

Chemistry professor Jeff Long and CBE professor Berend Smit have made a breakthrough that has the potential to dramatically reduce carbon dioxide emissions from clean-burning coal power plants. They have discovered that an existing metal organic framework (MOF) can selectively absorb high volumes of carbon dioxide from a gas stream while allowing hydrogen gas to pass through. This MOF may be useful for clean-burning plants in which the coal is first gasified using steam to produce a mix of CO2 and hydrogen gas. The two gases can be separated by the MOF, the H2 burned for energy and the CO2 condensed and sequestered underground.


berkeley chemistry/CBE

Long and Smit make breakthrough in CO2 separation



BCGC hosts first national conference

Chandler elected to Royal Society

Somorjai wins major European awards

Chemistry professor David Chandler has been elected to Foreign Membership of the Royal Society, Britain’s most prestigious scientific society. Foreign Members are elected for life through a peer review process on the basis of excellence in science. Each year eight new Foreign Members are elected by existing fellows. There are currently about 140 Foreign Members. Chandler joins Alex Pines as the college’s other member of the Royal Society.

Chemistry professor Gabor Somorjai has won two prominent European awards. From the Italian energy firm Eni, he has won the New Frontiers of Hydrocarbons Prize for his fundamental research on homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis. The prize includes an award of €250,000. He has also been awarded Spain’s celebrated BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award. The award, sponsored by the scientific foundation of the Banco Bilbao Vizcata Argentaria, Spain’s second largest bank, includes an award of €400,000.

College of Chemistry, UC Berkeley

The Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry’s March 24 conference was the center’s first major event, and it sold out. Sponsored by the Philomathia Foundation, it highlighted the unique, multifaceted and collaborative nature of the BCGC. The conference featured speakers from the federal and state governments, industry and academia. “We’re trying to promote activities that address more than one aspect of green chemistry, that also look at economics, business, law, toxicology or public health,” says chemistry professor John Arnold, the center’s director. (bcgc.berkeley.edu)

Chris Chang develops safe hydrogen peroxide probe Chemistry professor Chris Chang, along with college and LBNL colleagues, has developed a unique new probe based on luciferase, the enzyme that gives fireflies their glow. This probe enables researchers to monitor hydrogen peroxide levels in mice and thereby track the progression of infectious diseases or cancerous tumors without harming the animals or even having to shave their fur.

berkeley chemistry/lbnl


Postage stamp honors Melvin Calvin The U.S. Postal Service’s third American Scientists issuance honors UC Berkeley chemist Melvin Calvin, botanist Asa Gray, physicist Maria Goeppert Mayer, and biochemist Severo Ochoa. Each stamp in this block features a photograph and signature of the scientist, along with items such as equations and diagrams that are associated with the scientist’s research. The stamps went on sale in mid-June.

College of Chemistry/College of Engineering

Synthetic Biology Institute launched The College of Chemistry and the College of Engineering have formed the UC Berkeley Synthetic Biology Institute (SBI) to advance efforts to engineer cells and biological systems in ways that promise to transform technology. Aiming to create “an industrial revolution in biological engineering,” an alliance of top researchers is launching a collaborative effort with the institute’s first industry member, Agilent Technologies. Agilent is a leader in measurement technologies and related products that help advance science and engineering research. Incoming CBE chair Doug Clark is a co-director of SBI. (see synbio.berkeley.edu)

Spring/Summer 2011 Catalyst

C h e m i s t r y w e l c o m e s Ta n j a C u k

Diving into energy research Tanja Cuk (pronounced “chook”) grew up observing how scientific research can lead to practical applications. “Both my parents were electrical engineers,” says Cuk. “My mother worked for Hughes Aerospace, and my father both taught as a Caltech professor and ran his own company for most of his career.” Born in 1978 in Huntington Beach, CA, Cuk was raised in nearby Laguna Hills. Although Huntington Beach is a classic Orange County surf town, she didn’t take to the sport. “It was my sister who was the surfer in the family,” she says, “I was a swimmer.” Cuk’s sister, a Berkeley molecular and cell biology alumna, is now applying to medical school.


In high school Cuk’s interest in science began to exert itself, and after graduating in 1996, she spent four years on the east coast where she earned her B.S.E. in electrical engineering at Princeton University. Since returning to California, her scientific journey has led her northward—first to Stanford University, then to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and finally to UC Berkeley. Cuk earned her Ph.D. in 2007 in the lab of physicist Zhi-Xun Shen at Stanford, where she studied solid transition metal oxide materials and their superconducting properties. In the Shen lab she also explored materials physics and became skilled at advanced spectroscopic techniques. Next Cuk came to UC Berkeley and LBNL as a Miller Research Fellow. These highly selective fellowships bring the world’s best young scientists to Berkeley for threeyear postdoc appointments. Many are later invited to join the Berkeley faculty. “I came to Berkeley on a Miller Fellowship to explore renewable energy problems,” says

College of Chemistry, UC Berkeley

Cuk, “and it was at LBNL that I became interested in artificial photosynthesis. I was fortunate to be able to work with Robert Schoenlein and Heinz Frei.” Says Frei (a former Pimentel postdoc), “Tanja’s experience in the Shen lab at Stanford familiarized her with materials and spectroscopic tools that we can apply to energy problems. Still it was courageous of her to switch fields and apply herself to artificial photosynthesis.” A major goal of artificial photosynthesis research is to produce a liquid fuel from sunlight, water and carbon dioxide. The catalysts and other materials involved must be abundant and robust, and the processes used must be capable of being expanded to commercial scale. “We know light-driven photosynthesis is possible,” says Cuk, “because plants have been doing it for millions of years. However, plants are not an ideal model.” Plants combine water and carbon dioxide to produce sugars. Although parts of their biological photosystem display very high efficiency, deriving usable energy from biomass is not as efficient. Plants must use energy to grow, reproduce and fight pests. An artificial photosynthetic system has none of these requirements. “I liken the difference between natural and artificial photosynthesis to the differences between birds and airplanes,” says Cuk. “At some very fundamental level, both birds and airplanes must rely on the same laws of physics, but airplanes don’t fly by attempting to mimic the movements of birds. “To make artificial photosynthesis a reality, we still need a better fundamental understanding of how highly active catalysts work, which could lead to faster, longer-

lived catalysts made from cheap, earthabundant materials, ” she says. “By applying fast, time-resolved spectroscopic techniques to catalytic reactions, we can resolve the dynamics of the intermediate steps that produce products from reactants. “This is an underexplored area. Working with my colleagues at the college and LBNL, I’d like to explore this area further, with emphasis on catalysts that allow us to use light to produce liquid fuels.” Cuk’s new faculty position is a great example of the synergies between the college and the “hill.” She holds a joint appointment with joint funding from the college and LBNL’s Solar Energy Research Center. The center is led by Berkeley chemistry professor and LBNL director Paul Alivisatos. The deputy directors are Elaine Chandler (the spouse of Berkeley theoretical chemist David Chandler) and Cuk’s mentor, Heinz Frei. Says Frei, “I have been working on solar photochemistry and artificial photosynthesis for many years. We now have analytical tools that didn’t even exist 20 years ago. In principle, we can get all the way there—all the way to commercial-scale production of solar fuels. “What we need most of all is the energy of young researchers like Tanja, who are willing to plunge into this field. Their contribution is our number-one hope.” born Huntington Beach, California undergrad B.S.E., Princeton University graduate Ph.D. Physics, Stanford University postdoc UC Berkeley/LBNL research Renewable energy/artificial photosynthesis

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Spring/Summer 2011 Catalyst

A l u m n u s M o r r i s o n C h u n o n W W II i n C h i n a

Coming home to Cal Some memories stay with you for a long time. Sixty-six years after World War II, one memory in particular still haunts College of Chemistry alum Morrison Chun, now 90. It was early 1945, and Chun was an American-born 23-year old lieutenant in the U.S. Army. A few months earlier, he had completed his UC Berkeley chemistry B.S. degree. Chun had been assigned to be a liaison to the Nationalist Chinese Army led by Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek. He was driving a jeep near the town of Guiyang in Guizhou (Kweichow) Province, a poor mountainous region in southern China, where at an altitude of 4,000 feet, a bone-chilling winter had set in.


Chun’s family never owned a car, so he had learned to drive by navigating the jeep along the hilly roads, doing his best to avoid the stream of desperate and dying refugees retreating from Operation Ichigo, the last futile Japanese offensive of the war in China. As one of the few Americans in the region he stood out, and he had quickly learned that any show of sympathy or favoritism to a hungry refugee could lead to a small but dangerous riot. Chun trained himself to ignore the river of human misery around him as he carried out his duties. Once Chun let down his guard. “One day I was driving back to Guiyang,” says Chun, “when I saw a refugee walking along the road. He was unusually tall, almost six feet, so it was easy to spot him. I looked for him a few hours later as I headed out along the same road, and I saw him again, lying dead beside the road.” Chun noted with sadness that the refugee had a terrible leg wound, as though a vehicle had struck him, or he had been attacked by bandits. “The wound looked like someone had sliced off the flesh,” says Chun. “That image has stuck with me all these years.”

College of Chemistry, UC Berkeley

The on-the-ground experience of American soldiers like Chun in China in WWII has largely been forgotten. During early years of the Cold War and the McCarthy era, much was made of “how we lost China,” while little respect was paid to our soldiers who had been stationed there. So like many others, Chun returned from China without fanfare and quietly reentered civilian life. He married his undergraduate sweetheart, returned to the College of Chemistry for graduate studies, started a satisfying career and raised four accomplished children (all Berkeley alums). He has returned to China many times, and he still occasionally visits a unique place in the Sacramento River delta, the town of Locke. Built in 1915, just five years before Chun was born there, it is the only farm town in American history built for its Chinese residents.

Early Years

Chun was born in Locke in 1920, the oldest of eight children who arrived over a span of 17 years. “In Chinese characters,” says Chun, “Locke, or La-Key meant ‘happy living’.” In its heyday in the 1930s and ,40s, the town was home to 2,000 people, consisting of bachelor Chinese farmworkers, a few families, and the businesses— including gambling halls and bordellos— that catered to the men. Chun’s father ran the local dry goods store, stocking the boots, clothing and other essentials needed by the farmworkers. Says Chun, “I attended the local segregated public school, the Walnut Grove Oriental School. My classmates were Chinese, Japanese, Filipinos and a few Indians.” In 1926, a Chinese-language school opened in Locke, and Chun attended after school and on Saturdays. He was the only one of his siblings to attend Chinese school throughout his childhood. As the Great

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would eat together, and we’d each buy a dish and share. Rice was free—no tax, no tip.” Chun was a chemistry major, taking Chem 1A with Joel Hildebrand. At the end of his freshman year, he returned home to Locke for a summer of work in the pear orchards. He totaled all his expenses for the school year. “My first year at Cal I spent $250—food, books, fees, everything,” he says. (left) Morrison Chun holds a panoramic photo, taken in 1934 when he was 14, of delegations from several rural Chinese-American towns in the Sacramento River delta. The occasion was the fund-raising visit of a Chinese general who had helped lead the defense of Shanghai during the 1932 battle with the Japanese Army. (above) In this enlargement from the center of the panoramic photo, Chun sits at base drum.

Depression set in during the 1930s, his parents couldn’t afford the $2 per month for each of his three brothers and four sisters. “I was the lucky one who got to go for eight years,” says Chun. For high school, Chun walked to Walnut Grove and boarded a bus to an integrated school in Courtland, eight miles from Locke. Following advice from friends and relatives, Chun applied to UC Berkeley and was accepted. He arrived in Berkeley in August 1940, only to discover that housing was difficult to find for a Chinese freshman. “I had heard about the Chinese Congregational church at 1917 Addison,” says Chun. “They had a Chinese school there and rooms to rent for $4 month. They asked me if I wouldn’t mind taking charge of moving tables between school and church activities on weekends. I agreed, so I stayed for free. “I ate most of my meals at the Canton Café, which was located on University Avenue next door to where the MacDonald’s is now. For $5, you could buy a meal ticket good for 24 dishes. Three to four students

The War Begins

Chun returned to Berkeley the next fall, and he remembers an unusually mild, sunny winter day—Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941. “I was studying for an organic chemistry final on Monday. We heard on the radio that Pearl Harbor had been bombed. After that I remember walking up Bancroft Avenue at night, seeing the black-out shades drawn, the storefronts dark, and no street lights. “After the war started, I joined ROTC. I stayed in school year-round and officially graduated in December, 1943, with a B.S. in chemistry, Phi Beta Kappa. But by then I was already in officer candidate school at the army’s Aberdeen Training Grounds in Maryland. “After Maryland I moved on to language school at Yale. I was there for about four months in the spring and summer of 1944. For me, it was a lark. Most of the students were Caucasians who had to start from scratch. I was very glad for all those years I spent in Chinese school back in Locke. The Mandarin language sounds were different than Cantonese, but the characters were the same.” From Yale the army sent Chun on a convoluted journey that took him more than halfway around the world. In Norfolk, VA, he boarded an unescorted troop ship. At Gibraltar, the dull thud of depth charges greeted him as the ship entered the Mediterranean. The ship sailed on past Algiers and into the Suez Canal.

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On board the ship he became ill and was transferred to a U.S. Army hospital in Mumbai (Bombay). After recovering, he boarded a train across India to Kolkata (Calcutta), and then on to the Assam frontier in the far northwestern corner of India. A narrow-gauged railroad deposited him at the U.S. air base in Ledo, the beginning of the famous “Hump” air transport route that took him across the Himalayas to Kunming, China. From there he traveled to Guizhou via train and truck. “There is an old Chinese saying,” notes Chun. “‘In Guizhou, the weather does not have three days of sunshine. The land does not have three leagues of level ground. The people do not have three coins in their pocket.’ Even by that standard Guizhou in 1945 was a God-forsaken place. Along the roads refugees had dropped and died like leaves from trees.” Chun learned an ugly truth about the source of refugees when he was scouting the road to the town of Dushan, where the Japanese advance had halted with the onset of winter. “I remember coming down the hill to Dushan,” says Chun, “But it was gone. There was nothing left over a foot off the ground. It had been burned and destroyed, not by the Japanese, but by the Nationalists. It was part of their scorched-earth policy.” By the end of the war, the Nationalist army under Chiang Kai-shek would seldom confront the Imperial Japanese Army. Instead, the Nationalists would strategically retreat, burning what was left behind, sending refugees fleeing, and stockpiling the lend-lease supplies given to them by the Americans. This policy infuriated the American military leaders working in China. The generalissimo, they believed, was betting on the United States to defeat Japan, so that he could save his Nationalist army and Americansupplied weapons for the post-war struggle

Spring/Summer 2011 Catalyst


against the Communists. Helpless in the midst of this four-way political and military struggle were the Chinese civilians, whose deaths in the war, if counted from the start of the brutal Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931, numbered well into the millions. By spring of 1945 the Japanese were retreating to the north, and Chun was assigned to a traveling ordnance repair team that slowly made its way across Hunan province by truck and boat. Says Chun, “Some nights we slept on a river bank, some nights in abandoned temples. One day hired laborers were not available on the river, so I slipped into an empty harness and helped tow the boat. Man, that was hard work. “The team of mechanics spoke a Cantonese dialect similar to what I had spoken in Locke, and I got to know one of them pretty well. We became good friends, but I lost track of him in the days after the war ended. I’ve often wondered what became of him.”


In Changsha, a major city in northwestern Hunan province on a tributary of the Yangtze River, Chun heard the Japanese had surrendered. It was Aug. 14, 1945.

simple to find the department store where my uncle worked. It was like getting off a ship at the Embarcadero in San Francisco and making your way to Union Square.”

Going Home

He had lunch and dinner with his uncle and two aunts and returned to the ship that night. He sailed away from Shanghai across the Pacific to California in May 1946. Chun didn’t know it at the time, but it would be 30 years before he returned to China.

Chun stayed on a few weeks in Changsha and then began the long, complicated journey home. As his ship left Kolkata, instead of turning west to head back to Mumbai, it turned east, headed south through the straight of Malacca, crossed the equator before rounding the tip of Malaysia, and headed back up the coast of Vietnam and China. Says Chun, “We stopped one morning in Shanghai.” The captain of the ship announced that any passengers with relatives in Shanghai were free to go ashore for the day but must return that evening. Chun knew somewhere in the city lived an uncle and two aunts on his father’s side whom he had never met. Says Chun, “Downtown Shanghai was designed by the Europeans, so it was

Says Chun, “World War II in China turned out to be a sideshow. The war was won in the Pacific. But by keeping China in the war we tied down a million Japanese troops who would have been available to fight somewhere else.” Chun passed under the Golden Gate Bridge after circumnavigating the world and was discharged in Yuma, California. In fall 1946 he was back at the College of Chemistry studying for his master’s degree. Morrie Chun had come home.

During his trek, Chun got word that the war in Europe had ended on May 8, 1945.

(above) Copies of Chun’s 1946 U.S. Army discharge records. In 1973, a major fire at a records center in St. Louis, MO, destroyed 80 percent of U.S. Army veterans’ records from WWII. These copies were located in the National Archives in Washington, DC. (far left) Morrison Chun with his parents and two younger sisters, about 1928. (l. to r.) Edna (B.S. ’47, Public Health), Kan Chun, Amelia, Shee Lum, Morrison. (left) Chun poses with his wife Helen and four children at his 90th birthday celebration. (l. to r.) Stephen, a Berkeley optometrist; Douglas, a water quality engineer; Madeline, an attorney; and Brian, a dentist. All four children are Berkeley alums.

College of Chemistry, UC Berkeley

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S u n i l P a te l o n g i v i n g b a ck

Inspiring the next generation Sunil Patel has been watching the financial woes of UC Berkeley and its students with a growing sense of concern. As a biotechnology industry executive, he attributes much of his success to his chemistry education at Berkeley. But he wonders if Berkeley will be able to provide the same inspiration for his children’s generation. “Before I came to Berkeley back in 1989, I didn’t even know what biotechnology was,” he says. “Although my degree was priceless, I acquired it at a very low cost. I did earn some money during my undergrad summers, but I felt fortunate to emerge from UC Berkeley in 1993, chemistry B.S. in hand, debt-free.” What first drew Patel to chemistry was not a sense of financial opportunity, but a sense of wonder. “I was excited to get into Cal and had a strong math background. I thought I’d follow in my father’s footsteps and become an engineer, but it wasn’t until I took Chem 1A that I caught fire academically. “I still remember the Big Game tradition in Chem 1A when a tall flask is set up on stage containing a mixture that is red on the bottom and clear on the top. When the professor stirred the concoction, the red and white layers turned blue and gold. I was captivated because I couldn’t see what was happening or why. Things were going on that I just didn’t understand—and I wanted to understand them. So I switched to chemistry. “I made that decision at the right time. I arrived at Cal in 1989, during a boom wave in the biotech industry. I did summer internships at Genentech and Affymax, and after I graduated in 1993 I worked for three years as a protein chemist at ZymoGenetics and ProCyte.”

In 1996, Patel returned to graduate school at Seattle’s University of Washington. “I earned my master’s degree in an interdisciplinary molecular bioengineering/biotechnology program,” says Patel. Upon graduating, he shifted his focus to the business side of biotech and went to work for the consulting firm McKinsey and Company. He consulted for many biotech and pharmaceutical companies and eventually evolved back to working directly in biotech companies in the Bay Area, including Gilead, Abgenix, Connetics, and BiPar Sciences. Patel is now the senior vice president of corporate development for OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, a private Bay Area startup. The company’s approach to drug development focuses on targeting especially virulent tumor-initiating cells. OncoMed’s monoclonal antibodies are designed to reduce or eliminate these tumor-initiating cells, cells that conventional chemotherapy can miss. “My career has moved away from the bench and toward the business end of the biotechnology industry, but I still find my chemistry training invaluable,” Patel says. “Chemistry taught me to see problems at different levels. In chemistry you can study the sub-atomic level, the nuclear level, the atomic level and the molecular level. I find that multilayered understanding of the world valuable in business, too.” Patel is a supporter of the college’s undergraduate lab renewal project. “The teaching labs look pretty much the same as they did when I was a student,” says Patel. “When you are struggling with tough experiments, a modern, well-lighted lab makes the job easier and helps keep your spirits up.”

Sunil Patel chats with Doug Clark, the college’s executive associate dean, at the Synthetic Biology Institute’s inaugural forum.

He also stresses the centrality of green, sustainable practices to the pharmaceutical industry. “Sustainability is not just a side interest for pharma,” he notes. “To maintain profitability, pharma needs to learn how to manufacture drugs in chemically efficient and environmentally sustainable ways.” Although Patel is confident that UC Berkeley will survive, he feels it is time for him to give back. “Berkeley opened doors for me that I didn’t even know existed,” he says. “It’s been wonderful to be part of California’s technology-driven economy, and I want Berkeley to inspire the next generation the way it inspired me.”

Spring/Summer 2011 Catalyst


Class Notes John S. Killian (B.S. ChemE) retired from Boeing Aircraft in 1994. A tournament bridge player since 1944, he has achieved Gold Life Master status in the American Contract Bridge League. He has served as president of the ACBL of Balboa, CA, and of the Los Angeles District, and he is currently president of the Long Beach League.


José M. Riveros (B.S. Chem) is now an emeritus professor in the Institute of Chemistry at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.


In 1968, after earning his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon, Gordon W. Gribble (B.S. Chem) joined the Dartmouth College chemistry faculty as an organic chemist. Since 2005, he has held an endowed chair as the Dartmouth Professor of Chemistry. His group has synthesized the compound, bardoxolone methyl, which recently entered Phase 3 clinical trials for the treatment of chronic kidney disease in type 2 diabetes patients. He writes that “this synthetic triterpenoid is the most potent known inducer of the Keap1-Nrf2 pathway to enter clinical development.”



James M. Silva (Ph.D. ChemE with Foss; B.S. ’71) received AIChE’s Process Development Division Practice Award at the November 2010 AIChE meeting in Salt Lake City. He is a senior chemical engineer in R&D with General Electric Global Research in Niskayuna, NY.


Larry J. Sue (B.A. Chem) established his own online music company choraegus.com in 1995, has tuned pianos for a couple of decades, performs on multiple instruments and as a vocalist, and teaches music privately. His biggest area of expansion has been in handbells. He has been ringing since 1987, directs bell choirs at two

churches in the South Bay Area, and has become a published handbell composer. He is enthusiastic about the possibility that music might become a viable second career. For over 15 years, Ray E. Aquitania (B.S. ChemE) has had a solo private practice, specializing in neurology in San Diego. His recently published book, Jock-Docs (booklocker.com), is a series of contemporary biographies of rare Olympians who successfully entered the medical field. He recently enjoyed traveling in Dubai and Moscow.


In July 2010, Robert J. Doerksen (Pdoc Chem with Head-Gordon) was promoted to associate professor with tenure in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy at the University of Mississippi.


Artem Khlebnikov (Pdoc ChemE with Keasling) recently left MedImmune Vaccines in Santa Clara, CA, to take a position as the senior scientific director of research with Dannon Company in White Plains, NY.



ExxonMobil recently promoted Angus C.P. Lam (B.S. ChemE with Katz) to the position of

interface coordinator for Esso Highlands. He will be responsible for coordinating environmental, regulatory, and socioeconomic issues between Esso’s engineering and construction departments as well as between external stakeholders. He will be based in Port Moresby, Papua, New Guinea, and he is looking forward to diving and exploring that part of the world. Since 2005, Chun Liang Yu (B.S. Chem with Long) has been doing graduate work in chemistry at Harvard University. Last January, he took a ski trip to Salt Lake City.


Vladislav I. Afanasevich (B.S. ChemBio) received his M.D. from Saba University School of Medicine in the Netherlands-Antilles this year, and is starting a medical residency in psychiatry at Saint Louis University Hospital in Saint Louis, MO.


Wayne E. Sackett (B.S. ChemE) is now an associate at American Infrastructure MLP Funds, a private equity fund based in the Bay Area. He writes, “Despite working in a field dominated by finance and economics majors, I remain proud of my Berkeley chemical engineering education and continue to find new ways to apply the engineering ‘way of thinking’ and find innovative solutions to complex problems.”


College of Chemistry, UC Berkeley

Mike Cheng (B.S. ’77, ChemE), Peter Foller (Ph.D ’79, Chem), and Fred (B.S. ’83, ChemE) and Cynthia Lam (B.S. ’83, Business) catch up at the Dean’s Dinner, April 21. The Dean’s Dinner reunites Cindy and George Fosselius (B.S. ’64, Chem), Robby and Tim Montgomery (B.S. ’73, ChemE) and Virginia (B.S. ’66, Chem) and Bill Schultz.


Gregory S. Doerk (Ph.D. ChemE with Maboudian) is doing postdoctoral research at IBM in San

Jose, CA. After studying for a semester in Osaka, Japan, Wui Sum Willbe Ho (B.A. Chem) traveled throughout the country, from Kyuushuu to Hokkaido. She is now working at Amyris Biotechnologies in Emeryville, CA. Last September, Tae Kyung Kim (B.S. ChemE) took a job as a quality assurance engineer in the Mobile Energy Division of LG Chemical Research Intitute in Cheongwon, Chungbuk, Korea. Nisita S. Wanakule (Ph.D. ChemE with Balsara) is doing postdoctoral research at ESPCI Paristech in Paris, France.

expected degrees Francisco Antonio (B.A. Chem) wrote that he will celebrate his graduation in either the Philippines or Spain.


Xin Chen (B.S. ChemBio) has been admitted to UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy. She will visit England this summer and celebrate her grandmother’s 80th birthday. Ya Huei “Cathy” Chin (Ph.D. ChemE with Iglesia) has accepted a position as assistant

A young scientist conducts a hair-raising experiment at the Cal Science & Engineering Festival, a satellite event of the USA Science & Engineering Festival (usasciencefestival.org).

professor in the chemical engineering department of the University of Toronto. Felipe De Jesus Cortez (Ph.D. Chem with Sarpong) will be doing postdoctoral research in the chemistry department of UC San Francisco. Linh M. Do (B.S. ChemBio) is working as a volunteer for the Urgent Care and Allergy Clinics at UC Berkeley’s Tang Center. Laura N. Driscoll (B.S. Chem) will begin her graduate studies in neuroscience at Harvard University. Yael S. Elmatad (Ph.D. Chem with Chandler) has received a fellowship to study in New York University’s Postdoctoral and Transition Program for Academic Diversity. Madalee M. Gassaway (B.S. Chem) will be doing graduate studies in chemistry at Columbia University. William Harman (Ph.D. Chem with Christopher Chang) is a postdoctoral fellow in chemistry at Caltech in Pasadena, CA. Jonathan “Jon” Ida (B.S. ChemE) has taken a position as a project engineer with BP. Nicholas B. Johnson (B.S. ChemBio) is working as the administrative coordinator for the Cal Student Orientation (CalSO) Program.

Graduating students gather at the college’s annual Springfest event, held at Berkeley’s Jupiter beerhouse.

Joshua R. Laber (B.S. ChemE) begins graduate studies in chemical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin this fall.

Rosanna Lim (B.S. ChemE) will enter the chemical engineering Ph.D. program at MIT this fall. Byung Ok Na (B.S. Chem) has a job as a business analyst with McKinsey & Company in Seoul, Korea, and is getting married this June. Kevin Victor Ng (B.S. ChemE) will work as a process engineer with Dow Chemical Company. Advaith Rao (B.S. ChemE) has taken a position with Dow Chemical at its Hahnville, Louisiana, plant. As graduation approached, Amy C. Register (B.S. Chem) was in the process of choosing a graduate school, with the University of Washington, the University of Michigan, and the Scripps Research Institute as options. Amanda M. Stockton (Ph.D. Chem with Mathies) is a postdoctoral fellow at NASA, working on developing miniaturized microfluidic instruments. Joe Thompson (B.S. ChemE) is taking a trip to Europe after graduation and, in July, will move to Houston, TX, to start a job in the chemical industry. Sara Triffo (Ph.D. Chem with Groves) will join the chemistry faculty at Elon University in North Carolina in August. Jonathan Wong (B.S. ChemE) starts a job as an associate process engineer with Valero Energy this summer.

Spring/Summer 2011 Catalyst


In Memoriam Friends of the college joyce e. davis Joyce E. Davis and her late husband, John “Gort” Davis, funded the John Gorton Davis Endowed Undergraduate Scholarship to assist students in financial need. She passed away on February 14, 2011. Dorothy M. Johanson Lyon Dorothy M. Johanson Lyon, widow of the late chemistry professor David N. Lyon, established a fund to help undergraduate students with financial emergencies threatening to interrupt their studies. Together, the Lyons helped support the College’s wellbeing over the years. She passed away on March 16, 2011, survived by her son, Gary Johanson, and her stepdaughter, Louise Quenon. 26

Margaret Ann Miller Margaret Ann Miller, the wife of chemistry professor William Miller, passed away peacefully on Dec. 28, 2010, of leukemia. She spent her final weeks in her home of over 40 years with her beloved family, friends and dog. Born in Arkansas in 1941, she obtained her medical technology certificate from the University of Mississippi Medical Center and worked as a medical technologist for more than two decades. She and Bill married in 1966, living a life of adventure together that spanned 44 years. She is remembered for her devotion to the wellbeing of her family and community and for her love of animals. She is survived by Bill; daughters Alison and Emily; and four grandchildren, including twins born in February 2011.

College of Chemistry, UC Berkeley

Alumni ’34 Edmund Thelen (B.S. Chem) passed away December 18, 2010.

’38 Wayne C. Hazen (B.S. Chem)

passed away August 30, 2010.

’40 Kenton Atwood (Ph.D. Chem

with Rollefson) passed away on March 21, 2011. Harold V. Mackey (B.A. Chem) retired from a long, successful career with the U.S. Army in 1962, and then taught chemistry for 23 years as a renowned instructor at Hanford Union High School in California. He passed away on March 1, 2011, survived by his wife, Caroline, and their two children. Donald B. Zilversmit (B.S. Chem; Ph.D. ’48, Physiology), professor emeritus of nutritional sciences at Cornell and an expert on the relationship between diet and cardiovascular disease, died Sept. 16, 2010, predeceased by his wife and survived by three daughters. Recipient of a Career Investigator Award from the American Heart Association, he also held an honorary degree from Utrecht University and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.


Richard D. Rowland (B.A. Chem) passed away January 4, 2011.

Charles E. Scruggs (B.S. Chem) passed away January 30, 2011. Gordon Walker (B.S. Chem) passed away December 4, 2010.

’42 Fred S. Arimoto (B.S. Chem) passed away July 21, 2010.

’44 Albert Simon (B.S. Chem) passed away October 31, 2010.

’47 Richard A. Reinhardt (B.S. ’43;

Ph.D. Chem with Wendell Latimer) worked on the Manhattan Project and at Los Alamos during World War II, taught chemistry at Cornell University, and worked as a research chemist at Wright Air Development Center. He joined the chemistry faculty of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey in 1954, where he served until his retirement. He passed away on August 30, 2010. While the nuclear power industry was in its infancy, Edwin L. Zebroski (Ph.D. Chem with Melvin Calvin) worked at SRI and at the new GE plant in San Jose, where he became known as an authority on nuclear fuels and plutonium. He helped found the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) in Atlanta and served as the chief nuclear scientist at Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) in Palo Alto, as well as working with the engineering company APTECH. For his many contributions, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. He passed away on October 19, 2010, survived by his wife, Gisela; their three children; and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

’48 James J. Fritz (Ph.D. Chem with

William Giauque), a Penn State University emeritus professor of chemistry, retired to Oceanside, CA, where he passed away on July 1, 2010, survived by his wife, Helen. Lawrence Wallcave (B.S. Chem) worked as a researcher at the Eppley Institute for Research in Cancer at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and retired to Union City, CA. He passed away on April 16, 2010.

’49 Helen J. Wolfhagen (Ph.D. Chem

with James Cason) lectured in chemistry at the University of Maine in Oron, where her husband, James Wolfhagen (Ph.D. ’51, Chem), was on the faculty. He died in 2006, and she passed away on

i n

February 19, 2011, in Westbrook, ME, survived by their three children, as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

’50 James A. Struthers (B.S. ChemE)

worked for Dow Chemical Company for 32 years and remained in Midland, MI, after retirement. He passed away on March 8, 2011, survived by his wife, Carol, and their children and grandchildren. Cum Fong Young (B.S. ChemE) passed away on February 28, 2011. Myron G. Andrews (B.S. Chem) worked in Berkeley’s Radiation Lab as a new graduate, had a long career with Menasha Corporation and, together with his wife, Barbara, was a generous donor to the College of Chemistry. He passed away on August 21, 2010. Barbara, their three children, nine grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren survive him.


Donald E. Buse (B.S. Chem), who rowed crew for Cal in 1947-48, worked for Phillips Petroleum in Bartlesville, OK, retiring in 1986 and working briefly for Petroserv in Saudi Arabia. He passed away July 21, 2010, survived by his wife, Sylvia; four children; three grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. The family very kindly suggests that memorial gifts be given to the College of Chemistry. Kenneth H. Campbell (B.S. ChemE) passed away November 13, 2010. George L. Haley (B.A. Chem) passed away February 19, 2011. Frank B. Krivohlavek (B.S. Chem) passed away July 13, 2010. Frederic S. Siu (B.S. Chem) passed away September 22, 2010.


Lavern J. Ahles (B.S. Chem) passed away November 25, 2010.

Giles F. Carter (Ph.D. Chem with David Templeton) worked for 12 years at DuPont and then joined the chemistry faculty at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, retiring in 1990. He passed away on August 10, 2010, survived by his wife, Dorothy; three sons; and three grandchildren.


Walter M. Fitch (B.A. Chem) passed away March 11, 2011.


Yury J. Axinoff (B.S. Chem) passed away July 25, 2010.

John W. Buckman (B.S. ChemE with Tobias) passed away February 11, 2011.

’59 Downey R. Mosier (B.S. Chem) passed away February 11, 2011.

’61 Lawrence V. Gregor (Ph.D. Chem

with Kenneth Pitzer) worked for IBM for three decades, was awarded over 50 patents, and wrote many scientific articles. After his 1991 retirement, he taught astronomy and physics at SUNY-New Paltz and nearby community colleges. He died on December 6, 2010, survived by wife, Louise; three children; and four grandchildren.

m e m o r i a m

’67 Hylan B. Lyon (Ph.D. Chem with Somorjai) passed away July 20,

2010. Peter H. Syben (B.S. ChemE) passed away August 29, 2010.

’70 Michael D. Burrows (B.S. Chem) passed away October 4, 2010.

Jay F. Stearns (B.A. Chemistry with Henry Rapoport) earned his Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry from UC San Francisco and did postdoctoral research at the UCSF Brain Tumor Research Center. He founded Seres Laboratories, serving as its president and CEO for 25 years. As president of Contour Molecular, which he founded in 2003, he oversaw an anti-cancer drug discovery program and had plans to extend their drug discovery efforts to include antiviral agents, as well as to study novel materials. Diagnosed with multiple myeloma, he made and administered his own chemotherapy for a time, but passed away on August 4, 2010, survived by his dear companion, Elizabeth, and his daughter and granddaughter.


’72 Alan B. Harker (Ph.D. Chem with

Johnston) passed away January 17,


’66 Alan D. Pasternak (Ph.D. ChemE)

worked at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory on the development of new energy technologies and was one of Jerry Brown’s original appointees to the California Energy Commission in 1975. After leaving the commission, he worked as a consultant and as the lobbyist and technical director of the California Radioactive Materials Management Forum. He returned to Livermore to resume his work on energy policy and authored the paper, “Global Energy Futures and Human Development: A Framework for Analysis.’’ He died on September 24, 2010, survived by his wife, Meta; three children; and two grandchildren.

’74 Tang-Hua Chen (Ph.D. Chem with Jura) passed away December 12,


’92 Wesley D. Burrows (Ph.D. Chem

with Strauss) passed away March 17,

2011. compiled by dorothy read

Spring/Summer 2011 Catalyst


2011 commencement c o l l e g e o f c h e m i s t r y, u c b e r k e l e y m ay 1 4 , 2 0 1 1 • Z e l l e r b a c h H a l l

e x c e r p t s f r om commencement address by R obert Langer

“If I had any advice, any words of wisdom for the graduates in the audience it would be to dream big dreams: dreams about how you can do things to help people and to improve the world. And there may be many times when you try to do something, when you try to develop a new product, or create a new chemistry or chemical engineering principle or whatever your dream is, that people will tell you that it’s impossible, that it will never work. But I think that is very rarely true. I think if you really believe in yourself, and if you are persistent and work hard, there is very little that is truly impossible.” robert langer The David H. Koch Institute Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

for full text of speech, please visit: chemistry.berkeley.edu/commencement/ address/2011_address.php


nonprofit org. u.s. postage paid sacramento, ca permit no. 195

university of california berkeley

College of Chemistry 420 latimer hall #1460 berkeley, ca 94720-1460

Upcoming 2011 Fall events Homecoming Weekend (October 13–16) October 13

Time TBA Cal vs. USC football game AT&T Park in San Francisco

October 15

9–9:30 a.m. Continental breakfast Latimer Hall lobby

9:30–10:30 a.m. Lecture Pitzer Auditorium, 120 Latimer Hall

Heino Nitsche, Berkeley chemistry professor and LBNL faculty senior scientist, will present a lecture entitled “The Post-Japan Tsunami Era: Is Nuclear Energy Still an Option?”

10:30–11:30 a.m. Bixby South

Join fellow College of Chemistry classmates, parents and friends for a casual reception following Professor Nitsche’s talk.

+ Reservations are not required for the above complimentary receptions. AIChE Reception for Alumni and Friends October 18 7–8:30 p.m. Location TBA, Minneapolis, MN Newly appointed chemical & biomolecular engineering chair Doug Clark will host this annual reception held in connection with the AIChE annual meeting. Continue to check online for more details as the date draws closer.

“Alumni of the G. N. Lewis Era” Luncheon November 17 Noon–2 p.m. Howard Room, The Faculty Club Alumni and friends from the pre-1945 graduating years are invited to this annual luncheon. Watch for a separate mailing in the fall.

+ To see a complete listing of campus events, go to homecoming.berkeley.edu + For alumni events, visit chemistry.berkeley.edu/alumni/events.html

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Profile for CATALYST MAGAZINE College of Chemistry, UC Berkeley

Catalyst Magazine V 6.1  

SP/SU 2011: Chem 1A Keeping chemistry’s service course running; Bob Bergman on Berkeley’s public service mission; A forgotten war: An alum r...

Catalyst Magazine V 6.1  

SP/SU 2011: Chem 1A Keeping chemistry’s service course running; Bob Bergman on Berkeley’s public service mission; A forgotten war: An alum r...