Fall/Winter 2021 Alumni Magazine

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FROM THE CHAIR Dear Alumni and Friends: It is my great pleasure to be writing to you amidst a campus that has come back to life and nearing completion of our first in-person semester since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our faculty are busier than ever, teaching the usual classroom-based and virtual seminar courses while accommodating COVID-related challenges such as absences and make ups. I have been constantly inspired by our resilient and fearless teaching colleagues, and they deserve to be celebrated and recognized for their heroic efforts. I want to express my sincere gratitude to this year’s retirees: Professors Max Berkowitz, Michael Crimmins, Joseph Desimone, Cynthia Schauer and Nancy Thompson. Each of these prominent figures started his/her career at UNC and retired after 30+ years of service. In their long career, they have taught many courses, mentored many of our alumni, and have significantly contributed to our excellent chemistry department. They will be sincerely missed. This year we welcomed Professor Elizabeth Brunk to our faculty and are excited to have her on board. You can read more about her research program on the pages that follow. As part of the sustainability plan for Chemistry, five new faculty positions and one new program coordinator position were allocated to the department this year. Search committees have been established, and we plan to welcome these new colleagues on July 1, 2022. Furthermore, I am very pleased to report that Ms. Misty Caffey (head of HR) and Ms. Laura Hoffman (head of admin) recently joined Chemistry and have played increasingly important roles in maintaining the operations of Chemistry with further improvements in progress. Additionally, CHASE (the $40 million DOE Hub managed by Chemistry) continues to establish their team with the welcome of Drs. Renato Neiva Sampaio and Stephen Tereniak. We continue to strive towards a diverse, equitable and inclusive community, and we have constructed new partnerships with our generous donors. Examples include piloting the Eastman Chemical Fellows program, launching the Slayton Student Recruitment and Diversity Enhancement fund, and supporting student led groups such as Allies for Minorities and Women in Science and Engineering (AM_WISE) and Women in Science Promoting Inclusion in Research Experiences (WINSPIRE). Particularly, we dedicate this edition of the magazine to women that have and continue to make UNC Chemistry an international leader in STEM. We hope you will enjoy reading this edition of our magazine. Stay safe and healthy!

Wei You Department Chairperson chemchair@unc.edu


Content & Design Editor


Alice Zhao

DEPARTMENT NEWS The Lab of the Future is here

Managing Co-Editors

Ralph House Laura Yurco

Department of Chemistry Department Chair

Wei You

Associate Chair for Research

Ralph House

Associate Chair for Business Administration

Laura Yurco

Donn Young/UNC-CH College of Arts & Sciences

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Let’s Connect! #uncchemistry

Sherri Elder '86

@uncchemistry Department of Chemistry University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 125 South Rd. CB #3290 Chapel Hill, NC 27599 chemistry@unc.edu 919-843-7100


IN MEMORIAM Arthur Woody Frederick Young

Donn Young/UNC-CH College of Arts & Sciences

ON THE COVER Students activate organic dyes in a light reactor for photoredox catalysis. (Donn Young/UNC-CH College of Arts & Sciences)


The Lab of the

is here By Alice Zhao The next-generation laboratory made for modern learning and chemistry laboratory training has arrived. The Lab of the Future, namely, sets the pace for the future of undergraduate laboratory spaces here at Carolina Chemistry. The multi-year renovation project brings undergraduate research into the 21st century through the creation of a space that nurtures collaboration, convergence and teamwork between students, setting the precedent for future renovations. Originally constructed in the 1980s, Morehead 4 | CHEMISTRY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL

Students measure the fluorescence spectrum of an organic dye at the instrument table located in the Lab of the Future. (Donn Young/UNC-CH College of Arts & Sciences)

Laboratories has housed generations of Carolina undergraduate students from disciplines spanning the University. The lab spaces have seen thousands of students perform their first experiments and inspired the pursuit of careers in chemistry. Modern-day research and learning are defined by convergence, collaboration and teamwork, and that is exactly what the new space has been designed to foster. “Instead of just working with a single partner or working individually on your lab exercise, there’s a real focus on the reality of what science is today, which is people from different disciplines working together to solve challenges we simply can’t address on our own,” explains Ralph House, associate chair for research. There are octagonal tables placed in the center of the space to encourage students to interact with

and Ralph House, associate chair for research. The project was managed by Joe Fenton, Registered Architect. The Department of Chemistry thanks the College of Arts and Sciences for their support and UNC Facilities for their tremendous effort in managing and coordinating the construction project.

Donn Young/UNC-CH College of Arts & Sciences

each other; students can simply stop by a table to interact with their peers and swiftly move back to their work location. The increased mobility sparks the collaborative spirit the space seeks to cultivate. The monitors that line the periphery of the lab allow students and instructors to connect their laptops to instantaneously visualize and share data. “Students and instructors can look at the monitors in the space during discussions. This facilitates discussion between groups at different tables,” says House. “With the collaborative spaces occupying the center of the room, it creates open sight lines so people can see and talk to each other easily.” The upgraded space is strategically designed to promote teamwork in research. Student fume hoods are where the bulk of experiments are performed and line the perimeter of the room. Spaces are strategically placed between the hoods to enable students, working independently or in groups, to take notes alongside their experiment. “When students are assigned to work in partners, there will be two people per hood. They then regroup to do their data analysis and data interpretation as a group,” says House. “The hoods are spaced out to allow room for laptops so it’s easy to collect data at each of the hoods.” To maximize the lab space efficiency, a modular bench is located in each lab and can be moved to accommodate a wide-range of scientific equipment. The versatility enables instructors to quickly adapt to changes in course needs. The renovation project comes complete with a new HVAC system, new lighting and upgrades to make the space compliant with The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Lab of the Future project was overseen by Nita Eskew, director of undergraduate laboratories

If you are interested in a tour of the newly renovated lab space, please contact Ralph House, associate chair for research, at rlhouse@email.unc.edu.

Special naming opportunities are available. If you are interested in these opportunities or would like to see how you can be a part of future renovations, please contact Jennifer Chandler, associate director of development, at jennifer.chandler@unc.edu.



Department life during the pandemic 2.0: Finding a new normal (Donn Young/UNC-CH College of Arts & Sciences)

By Alice Zhao


he COVID-19 pandemic redefined our definitions of “normal” and reshaped our daily routines. What we originally thought to be a two-week leave from campus in March of 2020, turned into barren halls, desolate classrooms and labs and physically distanced interactions. The news of the COVID-19 vaccines offered people around the world a glimmer of hope that “normal” is, in fact, within reach. The University’s strict protocols and implementation of the Carolina Together Testing Program brought reassurance as we ramped up our return to campus in the summer and fall semesters. In the past year, the Carolina Chemistry community has been innovative in our navigation of life during the pandemic. Despite the multitude of obstacles and obstructions that seemingly remain, our students, faculty and staff are resilient. Our faculty continue to work with students to make the transition from the virtual classroom to the physical classroom. Our faculty recognize the mental and physical stress surrounding the transition and continue to work with students to develop strategies for success. SWELL, Chemistry’s Student Wellness committee, continues to provide support to our graduate stu6 | CHEMISTRY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL

dents and postdocs by actively connecting students with mental health and wellness resources. Our Sustainability Committee has created a mask recycling program for our labs. Chemistry staff have been flexible and creative in implementing remote and on-campus support for students, postdocs and faculty. In the past year, the Department has continued to forge ahead by working together to implement and follow safety protocols. It is without a doubt that we will come face-to-face with uncertainty in our return to normal. We remain optimistic as the updates to our safety measures have led to an increase in in-person collaborations in the lab, created opportunities for our faculty to reunite with their students and, for some of us, the ability to meet familiar and new faces in-person. To the right, the Carolina Chemistry community shares a glimpse into their past year. Read on to learn how our department members are finding their new normal in the return to campus, job searching during the pandemic, the transition back to the physical classroom and the ups and downs of remote work. The article, “Department life during the pandemic,” was published in the Fall/Winter 2020 Alumni Magazine. https://issuu. com/uncchemistry/docs/alumni_newsletter_fall_2020

Photo courtesy of Tayliz Rodriguez

Tayliz Rodriguez Graduate Student, Co-President of the Allies for Minorities and Women in Science (AM_WISE) and Chair of the Graduate Committee for Professional Development (GCPD)

Navigating the return to campus As we continue to navigate the challenges of virtual programming, our organizations have leveraged connections and professional networks to execute our missions. AM_WISE, a student and postdoc advocacy organization in chemistry and physics, launched the Graduate Achievement through Mentorship (GrAM) program in August 2020. GrAM was designed to aid incoming students as they navigate graduate school through peer mentoring groups and additional resources. The Graduate Committee for Professional Development provides chemistry graduate students and postdocs with the resources they need to forge their careers. Recently, we led an industry seminar series, which connected top chemical companies with UNC graduate students! Kelsey Kean Postdoctoral Scholar

Job searching during a global pandemic For me, the pandemic meant continuing to carry out my reKelsey Kean (Photo by search, teach in a hybrid forLars Sahl) mat at North Carolina Central University, apply and interview for academic jobs in an unusual job market and order lots of take out to support local businesses. As I finish up my time at UNC, I am excited to be able to collaborate with graduate students in the Waters Lab and across Carolina Chemistry again. In January 2022, I will be moving down the road to join the faculty in the Department of Chemistry at High Point University in High Point, NC.

Anna Curtis Teaching Assistant Professor

Transitioning back to the physical classroom This semester has been both exhilarating and exhausting. I was eager to see my students in person Photo courtesy of Anna Curtis again but knew the transition back to in-person teaching would not be easy. My first day nerves were quickly dissipated by my students’ enthusiasm and energy. However, as the semester progressed, it was clear that students were not just learning chemistry; they were also relearning how to learn in person. With this extra content, the mid-semester slump came early. Nevertheless, I consistently saw more students in office hours than in previous semesters. It will take time for all of us to recover and approach “normal” but I believe we can do it together.

Laura Condie Proposal Specialist

Remote work For the past 25 years, normal was face-toface interacLaura behind her remote work set up. (Photo courtesy of Laura Condie) tions, a view of The Bell Tower, the spontaneous fire alarms in Caudill and other Chemistry Labs and the hustle and bustle of being on campus. Since the pandemic, normal has become watching the seasons change through my home windows, daily/weekly zoom meetings with staff that have created more interactions than pre-pandemic, no fire alarms and no problem finding a parking spot! Despite the abnormality of this situation, it is something that I’ve become accustomed to, and who doesn’t like an occasional pajama day? CHEM.UNC.EDU | 7

RESEARCH NEWS Hicks Lab: Mass spectrometric approaches for protein characterization By The Hicks Lab Proteins are submicroscopic macromolecular machines that are responsible for the initiation and regulation of most biological functions on earth. These proteins have evolved into intricately fine-tuned apparatuses which are spatially organized throughout vast networks to control cellular processes. Cells may contain more than 10,000 distinct proteins, many of which are post-translationally modified- an essential component to protein regulation that cannot be predicted by the cellular genome. The Hicks group seeks to reveal and understand both the protein networks governing cells as well as the exquisite patterns of regulation that determine

homeostasis and stress response. They leverage tandem mass spectrometry, a highly sensitive analytical technique, and bioinformatics to determine their sequence and modifications. These datasets are massive – often containing >50,000 spectra for a single sample! Collectively, the Hicks group is employing mass spectrometry-based proteomics to uncover the mechanism(s) of action for acquired antibiotic resistance, as well as deciphering the routes through which plants and animals survive extreme stress. Pictured: Recent work in the Hicks Group showed that antibiotic resistant Escherichia coli upregulate genotoxin production, resulting in increased DNA damage. This work was featured on the cover of ACS Chemical Biology. (Photo courtesy of Hicks Lab)

Brunk Lab: Multi-omic data integration for mapping heterogeneity in cancer By The Brunk Lab Our research focuses on genomics methods that address cancer variation between individuals and within tumors. Our fundamental question is: “How can we systematically identify molecular indicators that explain variation in a population?” We apPhoto courtesy of the Brunk Lab proach this question through the lens of machine learning, computational biology and advanced data integration of multiple different omics data types (such as transcriptomics, proteomics, single cell sequencing, etc). Taking advantage of publicly available data on thousands of cancer cell lines and primary tumors, we discovered mutational hotspots throughout the genome that explain cellu8 | CHEMISTRY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL

lar responses to specific drug treatments. Ultimately, we are interested in applying our methods to see if a patient’s therapeutic response can be predicted.  We have spearheaded multi-omic educational and training-based projects with Matt Verber from the Engineering Innovation Laboratory. Earlier this year, we created Sci-Omics, a “makerspace” learning hub for omics data analysis. This initiative received pan-university support and brings hands-on training to equip the next generation of scientists with skills to find biological meaning and actionable, translational outcomes from big biomedical data.

Chemical Complexity…simplified By Brandie Ehrmann Thousands of small molecules are in a single drop of biological fluid such as sweat or blood. Determining what those molecules are, what functional role they play in an organism and if they are important to an organism’s health are all key questions that many scientists aim to answer and understand using an analytical technique known as mass spectrometry.

Pictured, from left: Brandie Ehrmann and Diane Weatherspoon (Alice Zhao/UNC-CH Chemistry)

The core laboratories support researchers in the department of chemistry by providing services in data analysis, electronics and the characterization and quantification of materials. Mass spectrometry is used for molecular identification, quantification, and, when coupled to liquid chromatography, chemical separation. For over a decade, Carolina Chemistry’s Mass Spectrometry core lab has supported the department’s mission of research and education by providing undergraduates, graduates and post-docs with access and training to state-of-the-art mass spectrometry instrumentation. Dr. Brandie Ehrmann and Ms. Diane Weatherspoon work closely with graduate students and clientele to ensure the best outcomes for their research projects. Ongoing projects in the Core utilize high resolution and accurate mass measurements (measuring the molecular weight of an ion to the fourth decimal place) for de-

riving chemical formulas for novel compound synthesis publications, or separating chiral compounds for “active” characterization. The Core’s research scope is broad and serves as a valuable resource for many University investigators and clients in the Research Triangle Park area. For example, projects at the convergence of multiple disciplines at UNC-Chapel Hill include: • Examining Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids’ role in pain management • Examining bioreactor derived “breastmilk” to look for similarities to human breastmilk • Tracing adulterants and opioids in North Carolina’s drug supply to support public health efforts to reduce drug overdosing. The Core also supports multiple lab and lecture courses to introduce undergraduate and graduate students to cutting-edge instrumentation and research capabilities with a focus on hands-on learning opportunities to better understand mass spectrometry fundamentals, machine operation, and data output. Utilizing the Mass spectrometry Mass Spectrometry Core’s exis used for pertise, tools and molecular state-of-the-art identification, capabilities, helps quantification, ensure that askand, when ing complex scicoupled to liquid entific questions, chromatography, while challenging chemical and difficult, reseparation. mains a Carolina Chemistry tradition. Our Core strives to help you understand…one sample at a time. Interested in learning more about the mass spectrometry core lab? Visit mscore.web.unc.edu CHEM.UNC.EDU | 9

#Women inSTEM: Q&A with Jillian Dempsey Meet Jillian Dempsey, Bowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished Term Associate Professor, director of undergraduate studies and deputy director of the Center for Hybrid Approaches in Solar Energy to Liquid Fuels (CHASE). She is the program director for UNC’s Clare Boothe Luce Fellowship Program, which supports women in chemistry through graduate fellowships. Dempsey is a recipient of the 2021 University Award for the Advancement of Women.


Donn Young/UNC-CH College of Arts and Sciences



Jillian Dempsey (Photo by Lars Sahl)

Q: What does being a woman in STEM mean to you?

Interview by Alice Zhao Q: What sparked your interest to pursue a career in chemistry? A: I really enjoyed my chemistry and physical science classes I took in high school. I grew up in New Jersey, where there’s a large pharmaceutical industry footprint. I had one grandfather who worked in the warehouse at Ciba-Geigy Pharmaceuticals and another grandfather who worked in marketing for Pfizer. This gave me an awareness of drug development and manufacturing. Recognizing how much I liked chemistry, I thought a career in the pharmaceutical industry would be a great opportunity to do something I loved in New Jersey. I went to college with the intent to be a chemical engineer in pursuit of this goal. From my limited exposure, at the time, I thought the way to apply chemistry in industry was to be a chemical engineer. I didn’t know about other opportunities for chemists. But once I was in college, I took several chemistry courses and learned that I could actually major in chemistry. Ultimately, my interest grew from there. 12 | CHEMISTRY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL

A: It has been a complicated experience. When it comes down to my job, I identify first as a scientist. However, I recognize that as a woman in science, I have a unique identity that comes with a second set of responsibilities and barriers. As a woman in science, I feel responsible in my role as a mentor and as a role model for other women in science. I am acutely aware that I’m the only woman in the room in 80% of meetings I attend. Yet, often, I don’t realize until the last 5 minutes that I am the only woman in the room. Surprisingly, I often notice the demographics of a meeting more quickly when there is a gender balance among participants. When I’m in a room with a 50/50 distribution of men and women in chemistry, I ask myself, “What are the factors in play that allowed this to happen?” Then I think about all of the fantastic high school teachers and parents out there that helped cultivate and nurture an interest in science for the women I’m sharing the room with. I think about the advocates and mentors who went out of their way to be encouraging of women pursuing chemistry. Q: What does a typical day in your life look like? A: My day usually starts when my one year-old wakes up in the morning and then I corral my two kids and get everybody dressed and out the door by 8 a.m. I drop off my kids at day care, where I pass off care to the wonderful teachers that help them grow and thrive. Then I head to campus. When I get to my office, I have a cup of tea at my desk and find out how many emails arrived in my inbox since I closed my computer the night before. Then I take a few minutes to refine my schedule and review my task list before launching into the day. I have at least one to two meetings a day with students. They might bring their laptop with them to show me some re-

cent data, ask some questions, or maybe show me a shuts off. My research program focuses on integratpaper they just found that inspired some new ideas ing energy conversion and storage aspects with soto help them overcome a research hurdle. And if I’m lar photon capture. teaching that day, I head off to class. At least once a day, I have a meeting for a research center I’m part Q: As the director of undergraduate studies, what of. I’m involved in three collaborative research cen- do you see that contributes to the gender gap in ters; the CHASE Hub, the UNC Creativity Hub and STEM? What are some factors that are bridging an NSF-supported Center for Chemical Innovation that gap? called QuEST. If I’m lucky, I have a bit A: At the undergraduate level, we are of time between meetings, maybe a seeing 50% or more representation When it comes half hour or hour here or there, and of women in chemistry majors. You down to my job, I I typically fill that time with adminsee similar statistics in our graduate identify first as a istrative responsibilities as a director program, but representation deof undergraduate studies. I might be scientist. However, creases at the postdoc level and bereviewing a new course that’s being yond. Academic chemistry has a very I recognize that as proposed or looking into plans to inlow percentage of women. I do not a woman in science, tegrate a new textbook into a class. think women are fully represented in I have a unique If I have a larger block of time, I’ll industrial chemistry or other related identity that comes be sure to dedicate it to writing or chemistry career paths either. Many with a second set project development. On Wedneswomen may look at potential career days, I try not to schedule meetings of responsibilities options, project out their own life, and use the whole day to focus on and ask “Well, how can I do that job and barriers. As a writing manuscripts, searching the and do these other things I want to woman in science, literature, or developing new project do in life?” and “What does that look I feel responsible in plans and writing grant proposals. At like?” They don’t see many women my role as a mentor about 5 p.m., I run out and get my in these STEM jobs and that makes and as a role model kids and then get them fed, bathed it harder for them to picture themand in bed. After that, I come back to for other women in selves in a STEM position. Ultimatemy computer and have a few hours ly, having mentors, role models and science. to deal with my inbox (forever playrepresentation in STEM positions is ing “Whac-A-Mole” with my emails), important. It’s critical for women to review a manuscript for a journal, do see people that they can identify with and share exsome planning for one of our research centers, or periences with. For instance, it’s important for womprep for teaching. en to have someone who they can ask questions such as, “What does your day look like at work?” Q: Tell me about your research. “What does your day look like when you’re home?” A: Broadly, my research program is interested in im- “What sort of community are you part of?” I think proving efficiency in solar energy capture and con- that experiential exposure to women in science is version processes. We’re interested in how we can important and cultivating those sorts of informabest capture energy from the sun and convert that tional interactions are important. into a usable form of energy. Currently, solar energy technologies are based on solar panels (solar pho- Q: As a scientist and educator, what advice would tovoltaics), which capture sunlight, separate elec- you provide to the next generation of girls and trons and holes, and generate electricity. However, women in science? solar photovoltaics do not solve the energy storage A: Follow your curiosity and find a community in problem. When the sun is not shining, the electricity which you can do so! CHEM.UNC.EDU | 13

FACULTY NEWS Todd Austell and Frank Leibfarth receive University Teaching Awards

Photo by Lars Sahl

Todd Austell and Frank Leibfarth are recipients of the 2021 University Teaching Awards. The annual awards recognize faculty and graduate teaching assistants who go above and beyond in teaching and mentoring students. The awardees are nominated by students, and the awards process is overseen by The University Teaching Awards Committee. Todd Austell (pictured left), teaching professor of chemistry and associate director of undergraduate studies, has taught chemistry for 23 years at UNC. He is a recipient of the Chapman Family Teaching Award, which recognizes faculty members for excellence in undergraduate teaching. Frank Leibfarth (pictured right), assistant profes-

sor of chemistry, joined the faculty at UNC in 2016 and has received recognition for his early-career achievements in teaching, mentoring and research. He is the recipient of the Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. “Throughout a challenging year in the midst of a global pandemic, the winners quickly adapted to new ways of teaching. They persevered to maintain their focus on helping students become critical thinkers and problem solvers, while inspiring them to take on the most important challenges facing society,” said Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Robert A. Blouin. “Our award winners are shining examples of the University’s commitment to effective, innovative teaching.” Photo by Lars Sahl

By UNC-Chapel Hill Chemistry Communication

2021 Faculty Promotion: Thomas Freeman The Department of Chemistry is pleased to announce Thomas Freeman received a promotion from Teaching Assistant Professor to Teaching Associate Professor this academic year. The promotion appointment, approved by the UNC Board of Trustees, was effective July 1, 2021. Promotion is awarded to faculty members who have demonstrated excellence in teaching and service to the University.

Thomas Freeman

Promotion to Teaching Assistant Professor

Thomas Freeman (Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)


Dick, Knight and Zhukhovitskiy earn NSF CAREER awards

Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Dick

Photo courtesy of Abigail Knight

Assistant professors of chemistry Jeffrey Dick, Abigail Knight and Alex Zhukhovitskiy are recipients of the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award by the National Science Foundation (NSF). According to the NSF, the CAREER award is the NSF’s most prestigious early-career faculty award. It recognizes individuals who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department. Jeffrey Dick’s award will be applied to his research project, “Electro-Shock Synthesis of High Entropy Alloy Nanoparticles from Sub-Femtoliter Reactors.” The Dick Group was among the first to show that these materials can be made at the nanoscale at room temperature. The focus of their research project is on discovering ways to control important properties for energy storage and conversion through precise control of their shape and size. Abigail Knight’s award will be applied to her re-

search project, “Synthesis of Multiple Architectures of Decodable Biohybrid Polymer Libraries.” To identify materials with new capabilities, the Knight Group is developing a synthetic platform that enables hundreds of thousands of materials to be screened simultaneously – a scale orders of magnitude above current strategies for synthetic polymers and rivaling technologies like directed evolution. Alex Zhukhovitskiy’s award will be applied to his research project, “Bottom-up construction of re-configurable entanglements toward polymer networks with switchable toughness.” The Zhukhovitskiy Group’s research seeks to make soft materials more resilient to fracture by controlling how polymer chains are tangled in the material. Their project focus is on developing a platform method to make ultra-tough yet soft materials, with applications ranging from tires to soft robotics. Photo courtesy of Alex Zhukhovitskiy

By UNC-Chapel Hill Chemistry Communication

CAROLINA CHEMISTRY WELCOMES ELIZABETH BRUNK Elizabeth Brunk, Assistant Professor Elizabeth Brunk is an assistant professor of chemistry and holds a joint appointment with the UNC School of Medicine’s Pharmacology Department. She earned a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. Research in the Brunk laboratory focuses on developing computational methods that accelerate the clarity and utility of omics data in biomedical science. The group’s research focus is on understanding the link between genetic/molecular variation and phenotype, both in natural and engineered cellular systems. CHEM.UNC.EDU | 15



By Logan Ward, The Well ward-winning chemist Frank Leibfarth will deliver the University’s 2021 Winter Commencement address at 2 p.m. Dec. 12., in the Dean E. Smith Center. Leibfarth joined the College of Arts & Sciences’ chemistry faculty in 2016 and has since earned wide acclaim for his innovative research approaches to polymer and materials chemistry, teaching and mentoring. The Leibfarth Group at Carolina focuses on new methods for developing synthetic polymers, commonly known as plastics. The approach is rooted in the belief that the convergence of organic, continuous-flow and polymer chemistries holds the key to making materials smarter, more functional and more sustainable. After the 2016 discovery that perfluorinated alkylated substances, or PFAS, had contaminated North Carolina’s Cape Fear River Basin, Leibfarth, with support from the state-funded NC Policy Collaboratory, designed a fluorinated resin that soaks up PFAS the way the gel in diapers soaks up water — and at a rate more than four times higher than the best commercial technology. The PFAS research earned Leibfarth a spot in Popular Science magazine’s 2021 Brilliant 10 roster, which recognizes 10 early-career scientists and engineers across the nation who have the potential to transform the world with their innovative approaches to key issues. “Being named one of Popular Science’s Brilliant 10 for 2021 is an incredible achievement, and we’re 16 | CHEMISTRY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL

Frank Leibfarth (Photo by Lars Sahl)

Frank Leibfarth to speak at Winter Commencement fortunate to have one of those groundbreaking scientists here at Carolina in Frank Leibfarth,” said Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz. “His research on the removal of PFAS from drinking water is the embodiment of our commitment to serving the public good by solving the grand challenges of our time. Our graduates will benefit greatly from his guidance and encouragement as they prepare to embark on their careers.” Leibfarth said he was humbled by the invitation to address Carolina’s winter graduates. “I want to share what I’m passionate about and some of the universal lessons that I’ve learned — often the hard way — throughout my career,” he said. Among those lessons: Learn at least one thing really well; stay curious; and don’t fear failure. Leibfarth came to Carolina after a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He earned a doctorate in chemistry from the University of California Santa Barbara and a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from the University of South Dakota, where he was a placekicker on the football team. In his young career, Leibfarth has earned many awards and much recognition. In 2020 alone, he earned an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, a Cottrell Scholar Award and a Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award. He has also received a Beckman Young Investigator Award, an NSF CAREER Award and an Army Research Office Young Investigator Award. Until recently, for nearly 10 years, Leibfarth was the University of South Dakota football team’s all-time leading scorer.

Berkowitz, Crimmins, DeSimone, Schauer and Thompson earn faculty emeritus status Max Berkowtiz Faculty Emeritus 38 years with UNC-Chapel Hill Berkowitz made contributions to research in classical thermodynamics, modeling the effect of shockwaves on cells and neurons and coarse grain water models under high pressure.

Joseph DeSimone Faculty Emeritus 30 years with UNC-Chapel Hill DeSimone’s contributions include applying super-critical CO2 (sc CO2) as solvent to the synthesis of fluorinated polymers, specifically-designed materials for imprint or soft lithography, nanomedicine for cancer therapy, and synthesis and formulation of novel materials for Continuous Liquid Interface Production. He is the co-founder of Carbon, a 3D printing technology company.

Nancy Thompson Faculty Emeritus 36 years with UNC-Chapel Hill Thompson made contributions to the physical effects of biochemical reaction in small volumes, studies in phospholipid systems, secretory granules, and endosomes and the role of compartmentalization in the origin of life.

Michael Crimmins Faculty Emeritus 40 years with UNC-Chapel Hill Crimmins made contributions to the synthesis of complex bioactive natural products and development of photo-[2+2]-cycloaddition reactions. Crimmins served in the positions of department chair of chemistry, senior associate dean for natural sciences and director of the Chancellor’s Science Scholars.

Cynthia Schauer Faculty Emeritus 32 years with UNC-Chapel Hill Schauer made contributions to synthesis and coordination chemistry of metal clusters, computational studies of sigma-alkane complexes and electrochemical CO2 reduction catalysis, and the structure and dynamics of first observable transition metal complexes of methane and ethane.

What is Faculty Emeritus status? Faculty Emeritus is conferred to faculty who, at the time of their respective retirement, decide to continue to be active in their scholarship. We thank our Faculty Emeritus for their significant research contributions and dedication to teaching and mentoring.


Photo by Amanda Graboski


Morgan Walker wins WCC Merck Research Award By UNC-Chapel Hill Chemistry Communication Morgan Walker, fourth-year doctoral student in the Redinbo Research Group, is one of eight recipients of the WCC Merck Research Award. The award, presented by the American Chemical Society’s Women Chemists Committee (WCC), recognizes female chemists (*includes female-identified individuals and persons assigned female at birth) in their third or fourth year of graduate school with a focus in analytical, chemical biology, computational, medicinal, organic or structural chemistry. Walker’s research focus is on the therapeutic and endogenous compounds produced by the human 18 | CHEMISTRY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL

gut microbiome. “Our [Redinbo Research Group] overall goal is to understand how the products of gut microbial chemical reactions impact human health,” said Walker. “Morgan’s work on linking gut microbial enzymes to physiological outcomes continues to push the boundaries on what we know about microbial-mammalian mutualism. Her outcomes may lead to ways for us to realize the promise of personalized medicine and new therapeutic avenues for intractable conditions,” said Matthew Redinbo, Kenan Distinguished Professor of Chemistry. The awardees presented their research during the awards symposium of the American Chemical Society’s annual Fall National Meeting held in August 2021. Awardees were recognized at the awards symposium luncheon and the Women Chemists Committee luncheon. The mission of the WCC is to attract, retain, develop, promote and advocate for women to positively impact diversity, equity and inclusion in the society and the profession.

2021 Fall Banquet

Photo courtesy of Kathleen Nevins

Award recipients with Jillian Dempsey, director of undergraduate studies (far left) and Wei You, department chair (far right)

By UNC-Chapel Hill Chemistry Communication Carolina Chemistry’s annual Fall Banquet celebrates the achievements and strides made by juniors and seniors in their academic studies and research in the lab. This year, the banquet was held on Nov. 8 and the featured speaker was Abigail Knight ’10, assistant professor of chemistry. The following awards were presented by Jillian Dempsey, director of undergraduate studies and Bowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished Term Professor. The banquet concluded with closing remarks by Wei You, department chair of chemistry. David L. Stern Scholarship: This award is presented to top students from upper division lab courses. • Michael Marand • Kate Nicholson James H. Maguire Memorial Award: This award goes to outstanding and academically gifted juniors majoring in chemistry. • Siona Benjamin • Sydney Shapiro • Maya Spencer • Alan Wang • Chloe Wu • Melissa Yu Jason D. Altom Memorial for Undergraduate Research: This award recognizes research potential of

outstanding undergraduate chemistry majors. • Noel Archer • Elizabeth Karlsson • Christopher Kong • Shikun Wang Tanya L R. Ellison Scholarship: This award is presented to junior females majoring chemistry on the basis of character and academic commitment. • Siona Benjamin • Maya Spencer Alpha Chi Sigma Sophomore Chemistry Award: This award recognizes outstanding accomplishments in chemistry at the undergraduate level. • Melissa Yu CHEM.UNC.EDU | 19

STUDENT NEWS Lauren, Alexis, Andrew and Trevor earn American Chemical Society Undergraduate Awards

Photo courtesy of Lauren Brown


Photo courtesy of Alexis Glaudin


he American Chemical Society Undergraduate Awards recognize students who have demonstrated excellence in their studies and research in a discipline of chemistry at the undergraduate level. Lauren Brown, Alexis Glaudin, Andrew Morrow and Trevor Pharr are recipients of the 2021 ACS Undergraduate Awards in chemistry. Lauren Brown, chemistry senior and researcher in the Lockett Lab, is the recipient of the ACS Undergraduate Award in Analytical Chemistry. From Rutherfordton, NC, Brown always knew she wanted to be a scientist but could not choose a field. She credits her chemistry community and professors for encouraging her to pursue chemistry. “Honestly, at first, I came to UNC wanting to major in chemistry because I knew I wanted to be a scientist, but I just was not sure in what field. However, I stayed in the chemistry department not only because I ended up finding my own smaller community with my chemistry classmates who I loved, but also because of the great professors I met along the way. My professors always encouraged me to go further in chemistry and eventually even helped place me in research labs where I finally found my love for analytical chemistry.” In the fall, Brown will be pursuing a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry at the University of Washington.

Alexis Glaudin is the recipient of the ACS Undergraduate Award in Physical Chemistry. Chemistry senior and Chancellor’s Science Scholar Glaudin, from York, PA, found herself fascinated by how chemistry is used to explain the world and chose to pursue chemistry at UNC because of its high-quality research and STEM-centered diversity initiatives. She views this award as an attestation of her work in her courses and research as a member of the Aube Lab and the Papanikolas Group. “Receiving this award validates all the hard work I have put into my coursework at UNC and my chemistry research in the Aube and Papanikolas labs. This award gives me the encouragement to keep working hard in my studies and to keep loving chemistry.” After graduation, Glaudin has plans to pursue a Ph.D. with a focus on physical chemistry. In the future, she hopes to work with a national laboratory, like NASA, or a technology company and work to educate the public about the importance of science in our everyday lives. Andrew Morrow is the recipient of the ACS Undergraduate Award in Organic Chemistry. Morrow is a chemistry junior from Concord, NC and researcher in the Wilkerson-Hill Group. He has enjoyed chemistry since taking his first class in high school and chose to pursue Alice Zhao/UNC-CH Chemistry

By UNC-Chapel Hill Chemistry Communication

Photo by Trevor Holman

Student Spotlight: Samantha Litvin Samantha Litvin, graduate student in the Cahoon Group, is a recipient of the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP). Sponsored by the NSF, the fellowship program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines. What is your research about? My research is in the field of semiconductors and nanomaterials with a focus in solar fuel generation. I aim to better understand how we can use solar energy and affordable, earth-abundant materials to create fossil fuel alternatives. My project involves studying silicon nanowires and the water-splitting reaction to design a product that will produce hydrogen gas, a commonly used industrial fuel source, at a cost and accessibility that is com- Samantha in the CHANL cleanroom. petitive with present day fossil fuels. Photo courtesy of Samantha Litvin

Photo courtesy of Trevor Pharr

it at UNC because of the excellent chemistry department. Morrow feels honored to have received this award and views it as affirmation and encouragement to continue his chemistry career. “I feel very honored to receive this award. I was already planning on pursuing a career in organic chemistry. If anything, this award reaffirms this and makes me want to continue on.” In Fall 2021, Morrow began his Ph.D. in organic chemistry at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Trevor Pharr is the recipient of the ACS Undergraduate Award in Inorganic Chemistry. From Elizabeth City, NC, Chemistry sophomore Trevor Pharr credits his high school science instructors for bringing out his passion for the natural sciences. He believes the biochemistry track provided him with an interdisciplinary approach. During his time at UNC, Pharr was a peer mentor for inorganic chemistry, which allowed him to make meaningful connections with peers while also reinforcing his knowledge of chemistry. “I recommend to students who are passionate about chemistry to be a peer mentor for a chemistry class at UNC. It is a valuable way to get involved with the department and give back to your fellow students.” After graduation, he plans to apply to a medical school that offers an M.D.-Ph.D. program.

What do you hope to achieve with your research? I want to achieve a better understanding of the processes that dictate the conversion of solar energy into useful, transportable fuel sources. I aim to make a positive contribution to the field of energy materials research and help our society get one step closer to marketable solar fuels. My overall goal is to continue to develop my passion and knowledge for solar energy and sustainability that will lead to a fulfilling lifelong career in science.



Calvin Grant and Mandy Melton receive 2021 Employee Forum’s Perfect Addition Award By Alice Zhao Calvin Grant, undergraduate labs supervisor and Mandy Melton, administrative support associate, are recipients of the Perfect Addition Award. The Perfect Addition Award accepts peer nominations and is awarded annually by UNC’s Employee Forum. The award recognizes two staff members who consistently exemplify the University’s mission of integrity, collaboration, respect and high level of customer service. “Calvin and Mandy have both been wonderful additions to the Chemistry department since they began in September and December 2018, respectively. From their start until current day, they have made a far-reaching positive impact to faculty, staff, students and postdocs. Their helpful, resourceful and solution-oriented attitude has earned them the respect of many, making them the perfect recipients for the ‘Perfect Addition’ Award,” says Laura Yurco, associate chair for business administration. We are so lucky they are part of the Chemistry team and happy they can be recognized for their impactful contributions!” adds Ralph House, associate chair for research. Calvin Grant (pictured left) joined the department of chemistry in 2018. He earned a B.S. in chemistry from Oakwood University and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Michigan State University. In his role as undergraduate labs supervisor, he teaches large enrollPhoto by Lars Sahl ment labs and manages the general chemistry labs. “Calvin holds dearly to the mission of the department which is to equip students – helping them train to be the best scientists they can be. He is thought22 | CHEMISTRY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL

ful, an effective leader and highly professional. He is constantly seeking out new ways to bring the most positive experience for our students and department,” says Maribel Borger, undergraduate labs supervisor. Grant is thankful to his co-workers for their nomination and recognition of his contributions. “The people are awesome. My coworkers and my supervisor make this job a wonderful place to work. The students are bright and look forward to learning,” says Grant. Mandy Melton (pictured left) ’13 joined the department in December 2018 as an administrative support associate. In her role, she supports faculty, staff, graduate students and postdocs. Melton earned a B.A. in English and a B.A. in computer Photo by Lars Sahl science from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2013. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science in information science at her alma mater. “Mandy is very resourceful and has been extremely helpful to me throughout my transition to the chemistry department. She is a real team player and such a joy to work with!” says Gail Harris, administrative support associate. Melton was excited to first share the news of receiving the Perfect Addition Award with her parents. “I called my mom! I knew my parents would be really pleased and proud, and I wanted to share this with them first. I’m ridiculously proud to have received this honor. I really try my best to help the department, and it’s so nice to think that it’s appreciated,” says Melton. The Employee Forum honored all 2021 Employee Forum Award recipients in a virtual award ceremony held on June 9, 2021.

Undergraduate Lab Supervisors earn the Extra Mile Award By UNC-Chapel Hill Chemistry Communication


ndergraduate Lab Supervisors Maribel Borger, Calvin Grant, Tyler Motley and Kathleen Nevins are recipients of The Chemistry Extra Mile Award. The annual departmental award recognizes individuals for nurturing a positive environment, demonstrating crisis leadership, embracing collaborative problem solving and encouraging team-thinking. This team goes the extra mile in so many ways and their efforts are appreciated by faculty, staff, students and postdocs. “The lab supervisors in Morehead have gone above and beyond to prepare the building for [the Lab of the Future] construction and re-open for instruction. They were quick to volunteer with the move of chemicals, instruments, supplies and furniture to keep the project moving forward despite obstacles Top left: Maribel Borger, Calvin Grant Bottom left: Tyler Motley and Kathleen along the way,” said Nita Eskew, director of undergraduate labs. Nevins (Photos by Lars Sahl) The team of four oversee the undergraduate laboratories as well as teach and mentor students and train teaching assistants. Catherine Heyer retires after 12 years of service to UNC

Randy Simmons retires after 22 years of service to UNC

Catherine joined UNC-Chapel Hill in 2009. During her time with Chemistry, she was the Managing Director for CHASE, the North Carolina-based Center for Hybrid Approaches in Solar Energy to Liquid Fuels and the Assistant Director for the UNC Energy Frontier Research Center. Catherine will retire from UNC at the end of 2021.

After 22+ years of state service, Randy will retire from his role as Facilities Manager at UNC-Chapel Hill in December 2021. With responsibilities ranging from building maintenance to construction to advising labs on infrastructure needs, Randy was always available and ready to help during his time with Carolina Chemistry.

CAROLINA CHEMISTRY WELCOMES MISTY, RENATO, STEPHEN & LAURA Misty Caffey Human Resources Manager Misty oversees the department’s HR operations. She supports academic and research endeavors by managing hiring processes and the review and promotion of personnel.

Renato Neiva Sampaio Senior Research Scientist Renato Sampaio leads the CHASE Hub’s Spectroscopy User Facilities and Hub instrumentation and provides solar fuels product analysis expertise for collaborative research projects across the Hub.

Stephen Tereniak Senior Research Scientist Stephen leads the CHASE Hub’s Molecular Synthesis User Facility and provides chemical synthesis expertise for collaborative research projects across the Hub.

Laura Hoffman Administrative Team Leader Laura oversees the administrative team and implements administrative operational policies and procedures. She also provides support to the department chair, the associate chair for research and the associate chair for business administration. CHEM.UNC.EDU | 23

WHY I GIVE GIVING BACK: Sherri Elder ’86 My fascination with chemistry began strangely enough with a segment on the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite when I was in the eighth grade. The topic was a natural product under investigation for medicinal purposes. I began researching in the World Book Encyclopedia at the library, and a new world opened to me: Chemistry. All through high school, I continued to pursue STEM classes. My older brother was a graduate of the Eshelman School of Pharmacy at UNC, and it seemed natural to me to follow him and then pursue an advanced degree to

GIVE THE GIFT OF EDUCATION The Say Yes Funds allow the Chair to ‘Say Yes!’ to exceptional and urgent requests from Chemistry Faculty, Graduate Students and Postdocs for small yet valuable amounts of support, which contribute greatly to their research and education. By Saying “Yes!” many new and exciting ideas have ignited for Chemistry education and research. Not only did new ideas spark, collaborations formed that may have otherwise gone undiscovered. The funds provide necessary resources for the expansion of research 24 | CHEMISTRY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL

go into research. I vividly remember my excitement during those first-year chemistry classes with 400+ students, but it was the organic chemistry classes where I found Photo courtesy of Sherri Elder my passion. Between the classes and the labs - it was fascinating and fun! At the end of my sophomore year, with plans to apply for the School of Pharmacy, I found myself at office hours with Dr. Maurice “Brook” Brookhart. We discussed my desire to go into research and my passion for organic chemistry; with one simple line, he changed the trajectory of my professional life.

education and opportunities. This year, funds enabled undergraduate students to engage in summer research with our renowned faculty, supported the purchase of new instrumentation that increased research capabilities for student researchers and established a new student mentorship program. Your gifts to the “Say Yes” fund have already provided so many wonderful opportunities for our students and faculty. With your help, we can bring in the new year with the support needed for an exciting future ahead. Say Yes to Chemistry by contributing today, even the smallest gift will make a tremendous difference.

He said, “If you want to pursue R&D, you should go broad – B.S. Chemistry, B.S. Biology.” I had never considered that! He encouraged me to investigate further, and he, of course, was right. Chemistry was the natural choice for me – I loved chemistry, specifically organic, and I thoroughly enjoyed the professors I had. From there, I went to see Dr. Richard G. Hiskey, and he took me in as an undergraduate student for two years doing independent research. I had found my niche! Through my remaining undergraduate years and advanced classes, they continued to encourage me in pursuit of an advanced degree with excellence. Both were great mentors and consummate professionals. After earning my bachelor’s degree in chemistry from UNC, I went on to pursue my doctorate in organic chemistry and a postdoctoral fellowship. Eventually I ended up in Texas in the energy industry. Today, I partner with another UNC Chemistry Ph.D. alum, Dr. Robert McClain, in the green chemistry sector. There was a program at my first job, “Science is Fun,” where we performed science demonstrations to encourage third grade students in STEM. From there, my desire to encourage women in STEM led

me to serve on the engineering advisory board at the local school district, participate as a local and state judge in the “You Be the Chemist” program (under the Chemical Education Foundation), set up a scholarship for underrepresented students who choose to pursue STEM at the local high school and mentor young women, in the local area, pursuing STEM careers. I wanted to give back and encourage as my UNC chemistry professors had encouraged me. My husband, Todd, and I have been blessed in our lives and careers to be able to financially encourage others in STEM. Recently, we created an endowed fund in support of graduate students in the UNC Chemistry department, particularly for underrepresented minorities and women. I give to UNC Chemistry because I want others to experience the education, relationships and opportunities I had in the department. Specifically, I want to encourage women to pursue a fulfilling and rewarding career in STEM. Sherri Elder Principal Technical Advisor New Page Specialty Chemists

Say “Yes” to Chemistry today! Use your phone or tablet camera to scan the QR code! We thank you in advance for your generosity!

To learn more about gift options, please contact Jennifer Chandler.


Jennifer Chandler Associate Director of Development The Arts & Sciences Foundation E-mail: Jennifer.Chandler@unc.edu Phone: 919-843-5285 CHEM.UNC.EDU | 25


Frederick Nelson Young November 04, 1962-August 30, 2021



rederick Nelson Young, 58, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina died on Monday, August 30th at UNC Memorial Hospital. He was born at the same hospital on November 4, 1962, to Frederick and Kathie Whitt Young. He graduated from Chapel Hill High in 1981 and attended UNC-Chapel Hill studying Computer Science. As a young man Fred worked around Chapel Hill and Carrboro in restaurants and late-night haunts such as Slugs at the Pines, the Hardback Cafe, and Henry’s Bistro. In those places, Fred mastered both the front and back of the house. Fred traveled extensively in Europe including Germany, England, Finland, and lived in Spain for several years. No matter where he lived Fred seemed to acknowledge no barriers to communication and fellowship and connected with everyone no matter what language they spoke. He went on to work at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for the Chemistry Department for 14 years as a Facilities Maintenance Technician and was also appreciated for providing impromptu IT assistance to his coworkers. Fred was named the department employee of the year in 2014 and was recognized with the Chemistry Extra Mile Award in 2020. Both honors were tributes to his positivity, crisis leadership, and problem solving. Fred was especially resourceful during suspended operations during COVID-19. Fred is survived by his mother Kathie Whitt Young, his brother David Allen Young, extended family, and a host of friends who loved and treasured him. Fred Young (Photo courtesy of the He was a gifted artist, photographer, computer programmer, gardener, ori- Family of Fred Young) gami expert, and chef of many cuisines. Through his photography Fred gloriously and artistically documented the Chapel Hill music and restaurant scene in the 1980’s and 1990’s. A future show of his work is being organized. His eye for the most human details in us all will be on display. His portraits are incredibly moving captures of marvelous moments in otherwise everyday (and night!) situations. Fred was a lifelong learner with a thirst for knowledge and was moved to share it with grace and wit. He was a memory maker, rendering the most mundane beautiful, turning a million places into his clubhouse where everyone with a good heart and playful spirit was welcome. From the center of a packed party to a solitary cafe and his mother Kathie (Photo courtesy of the corner table, Fred beamed or grimaced or simply blended. Lan- Fred Family of Fred Young) guage was no barrier, nor was time or distance for Fred. Generous, gentle, and resourceful, his creativity increased as resources diminished. He was witty, broad and keen of mind, charming, and kind; he gave the best hugs. We recognize Fred in that most timeless, global, and multicultural adage… ‘Tis better to serve than to be served. Fred carries on in our hearts now as he did when he was among us. He is magic.

Obituary courtesy of Walker’s Funeral Home Pictured left: Fred Young (Photo courtesy of the Family of Fred Young) CHEM.UNC.EDU | 27


Arthur “Butch” Benjamin Woody June 25, 1942-September 20, 2021



rthur “Butch” Benjamin Woody, 79, of New Hill, died on Monday, September 20, 2021. Butch was born June 25, 1942 in Palatka, Florida to Felix Sr. and Marion (Atkins) Woody. Butch grew up in Apex, graduated from Apex High School and Kings College and was a lifelong member of Apex Baptist Church. He was an Eagle Scout and later in life, became a Scoutmaster with the Boy Scouts of America. He served in the U.S. Navy for 4 years which included a tour on the USS Independence. He traveled to many countries including the Holy Lands, Pompeii, Italy and Germany. In 1974, he joined the Apex Volunteer Fire Dept. where he served many administrative and officer positions. He was instrumental in hiring the first paid staff and establishing the Explorer club. He was Volunteer of the year in 1992. He passed on his love for firefighting to his son Sean. His hobbies were hunting, fishing and woodworking. Butch could build anything and loved to help others, which was clear in his service to the Handyman Ministry of Apex Baptist Church and the NC Baptist Men’s Disaster Relief. Art with his wife Marion (Photo courtesy of the Family of Art In addition to spending time with family and friends, Butch Woody) loved to work in his yard and maintained his beautiful home. He loved woodworking, was a master craftsman and loved helping people with projects. He also enjoyed relaxing on the front porch with a cup of coffee! Butch is survived by his wife of 31 years, Marion (Kershaw) Woody, his son, Sean Marshell Woody (Emily), Stepsons Bobby Blackford (Ashlie) and Jeffrey Blackford (Catherine), grandchildren, Bryson and Bree Woody, Blake, Catie, MacKenzie, Talen and Dylan Blackford and J and Tyson Tu. Brothers, Carrol (Patricia) Woody, Dennis (Debbie) Woody and sister, Shirley (Patrick) Donnelly and many nieces and nephews. He also had a special love for his princess, McKenna, her mom, Kari (Blondie) and his favorite lineman, Jordan Allen. He was predeceased by his parArt working at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Department of Chemistry (Photo courtesy of the ents and brother, Felix Woody, Jr. Family of Art Woody) A celebration of Butch’s life was held on Monday, September 27 at Apex Baptist Church. A graveside service was held at Apex Cemetery.

Obituary courtesy of Wake Funeral & Cremation Services, Inc. Arthur Woody worked for the Department of Chemistry from 1985-2013 as a Facilities Maintenance Mechanic. He played an instrumental role in the department and was responsible for furniture carpentry, maintenance of shop equipment and providing repair services to support faculty and graduate students. Pictured left: Arthur Woody (Photo courtesy of the Family of Butch Woody) CHEM.UNC.EDU | 29

Department of Chemistry University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 125 South Rd. CB #3290 Chapel Hill, NC 27599 chemistry@unc.edu 919-843-7100

Give the Gift of Education!

To learn more about gift options, please contact Jennifer Chandler, Associate Director of Development at Jennifer.Chandler@unc.edu or 919-843-5285.

Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill

Your gifts to the “Say Yes” fund provide so many wonderful opportunities to our students and faculty. With your help, we can bring in the new year with the support needed for an exciting future ahead. To make a gift today, you may use your phone or tablet camera to scan the QR code or visit chem.unc. chem.unc.edu/give edu/home/give/. We thank you in advance for saying “Yes” to chemistry!

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