Division and Alumni News

Dr. Robby Petros joins International Network for Outcome-Based Education advisory board

Assistant Professor of Chemistry Dr. Robby A. Petros was recently selected for the International Network for Outcome-Based Education (IN4OBE) advisory board. According to the IN4OBE website, "his effort focused on methods for collecting data that could drive rational decision-making toward improving learning outcomes and student success in his sophomore-level course in Organic Chemistry... He is collaborating with other investigators at TWU to transform teaching in all undergraduate science courses, which has already garnered more than $3.5 M in support from the National Science Foundation."

IN4OBE exists to elevate and transform the paradigm of time-honored, conventional thinking and practice in the world’s education systems – from national policies to classroom interactions, and from the earliest years of life to mature adulthood.

Couple creates scholarship to honor legacy of longtime chemistry professor

Jay-lin Jane-Topel, MS ’78, and her husband, David Topel, have established a new endowed scholarship to honor the life of a beloved Texas Woman's chemistry professor.

The Dr. James Johnson Scholarship Endowment in Chemistry has been created to honor the memory of the longtime educator. Johnson attended the University of Minnesota for his undergraduate and graduate degrees in chemistry and received his doctoral degree in organic chemistry from the University of Missouri. He taught for more than 40 years in higher education, retiring as professor of organic chemistry at Texas Woman's in May 2019. He passed away July 5, 2019.

Congratulations to our TWU PRIME scholarship awardees of 2021-2022

Eight undergraduate students received a TWU PRIME scholarship over the academic year of 2021-2022. TWU and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offer other scholarship opportunities to undergraduate and graduate students.

Department faculty service updates 2021


Dr. Mary Anderson was re-elected as Councilor from Dallas-Fort Worth to the American Chemical Society. She was re-appointed to the ACS Membership Affairs Committee and its subcommittees. Dr. Anderson was re-appointed as an Executive Editor (one of only 22 worldwide) of Analytical Biochemistry (impact factor 3.365).

Dr. Nasrin Mirsaleh-Kohan was selected as a Fellow in the CAS Faculty Fellows Program in 2021-22.

Dr. Charles Riggs continues his service as a USA delegate/expert to International Standards (ISO). Dr. Riggs is also in his 15th year serving as chairman of an advisory committee to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

Science courses prepare alumna Breanna Ramos in her future career


After taking Physical Science and Sustainability from Prof. Alana Taylor, Breanna Ramos, an elementary education major with a focus on ESL has been hired to work at the Explorium Denton where she will guide STEM-related activities for children who visit the museum. Before taking the class, she said she was nervous about taking and teaching science.

Undergraduate chemistry degrees re-certified by ACS committee

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has received re-certification for its BS Chemistry and BS in Biochemistry degrees by the Committee on Professional Training of the American Chemical Society (ACS). (2021)

Biochemistry major Laura Ruemmele to participate in Nation Institute of Health summer program

Laura Ruemmele, an upcoming junior biochemistry major, has been admitted to the National Institute of Health summer research program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Laura started her research in May of 2021 in the laboratory of Dr. Elizabeth Fozo, Department of Microbiology.

TWU environmental chemistry student to organize IKE2 Alliance panel/workshop

In January, the National Science Foundation awarded a $99,786 planning grant to a team of TWU researchers to develop strategies to recruit and retain more Indigenous students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

The project's second gathering, IKE2, will take place June 28 and will be hosted by Humboldt State University and the University of Utah. TWU environmental chemistry student and IKE2 Alliance student representative Raven Gallenstein has been asked by the project's leadership to organize the IKE2 Alliance student core workshop/panel at 1:45 PM (PST).

TWU to celebrate new Scientific Research Commons April 13-14

Join TWU Biology, Chemistry & Biochemistry, and Nutrition & Food Science for a two-day event celebrating the NEW Scientific Research Commons (SRC) on TWU's Denton campus. SRC is located on the southeast corner of campus at Texas St. and N Bell Ave. Events to include:

Tuesday, April 13: 12:30-1:30 p.m. poster session; 2 p.m. dedication ceremony for the new installation, "Infinite"; and  4-5 p.m. poster session.
Wednesday, April 14: 1-2 p.m. and 4-5 p.m. poster sessions

Out of concern for your safety, this event is open to the TWU community only.

NASA remembers TWU alumna Millie Hughes-Ford

NASA is remembering Millie Hughes-Fulford, the first woman to fly as a NASA payload specialist, who died Thursday. Hughes-Fulford was selected as a payload specialist in January 1983 and flew in June 1991 aboard the space shuttle Columbia on the STS-40 Spacelab Life Sciences (SLS 1) mission, the first mission dedicated to biomedical studies.

In 1968, she began graduate work studying plasma chemistry at TWU as a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow, continued as an American Association of University Women fellow, and completed her doctorate at TWU in 1972.

Grant aims to increase STEM engagement in Indigenous communities

The National Science Foundation has awarded a $99,786 planning grant that will allow a TWU research team to develop strategies to recruit and retain more Indigenous students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

TWU alumna Teresa Brown reaches students and educators through innovative lab videos

TWU alumna Teresa Brown (MS '11), a Mississippi State University lecturer and general chemistry lab coordinator, is reaching students and educators with her videos designed to help provide lab instruction in the face of COVID-19. “Going online has helped me rediscover the beauty of chemistry for myself. I am compelled deep within to share my excitement and see others make a connection to the material. That is what drives me as a teacher. Being able to share it with other educators is just a bonus,” Brown said.

Nasrin Mirsaleh-Kohan, PhD, authors 'Three-Column Activity' article for Faculty Focus

"Every day, my students deal with many kinds of problems and difficulties. If aware, my students may feel more empowered to act, knowing they have a choice. In my physics class, I envision that my students will learn problem solving and analytical thinking skills they can employ in their daily lives," said associate professor Nasrin Mirsaleh-Kohan, Ph.D.

Texas Woman’s STEM project awarded $2 million grant

A team of Texas Woman’s University faculty have been awarded $2,448,091 by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to fund a project aimed at improving retention and graduation rates for students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.

Biochemistry major Grace Short provides warmth for cancer patients

Mother-daughter duo Amy and Grace Short, with the help of their loved ones, established their organization, Yarn for Hearts, where together they knit and crochet items in hopes of providing warmth for cancer and blood disease patients.

“[The goal of the organization is to] make people feel like there is actually people out there thinking of them, letting them know it’s not just them out there,” Hoffman said. “Not everyone has a family that’s there for them, that can make stuff like that for them.” 

Read the 2020 SENCER Symposium recap

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the SENCER Center for Innovation Southwest hosted the fifth annual SENCER Regional Symposium at Texas Woman’s University on January 31, 2020. Throughout the day, speakers presented information, innovation and ideas about the use of plastics in our daily lives, the impact that plastics and their degradation products have on our environment and our health, and what we can and cannot do about this critical, civic issue.

TWU to host citizen science symposium Jan. 31

Texas Woman’s University will host the Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities Center for Innovation Southwest Spring 2020 Symposium, titled “Citizen Science: The Impact on our Communities by Plastics in Our Environment,” Friday, Jan. 31. The event will take place 9 a.m.-6 p.m. in room 259 of the Ann Stuart Science Complex, located on TWU’s Denton campus.

TWU to host annual SCI-SW Regional SENCER Symposium Jan. 31

The annual SCI-SW Regional SENCER (Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities) symposium is scheduled for 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday, Jan 31, 2020, in ASSC 259. The topic of the symposium this year is "Citizen Science: The Impact on our Communities by Plastics in Our Environment" and will focus on this very critical issue from different views. This event will be held as a Zero Impact event.

In addition to an outstanding line up of speakers, KEM Club is sponsoring a competition for all TWU students to make 4-6 minute videos. The symposium will focus on the global crisis of plastic from multidisciplinary views including the science, environmental, economic, policies, and health related impacts of plastics.

Chemistry educator honored with 2019 Chancellor's Alumni Excellence Award

Texas Woman’s University alumna and internationally recognized chemist E. Ann Nalley, Ph.D., has been named the 2019 recipient of the TWU Chancellor’s Alumni Excellence Award. Throughout her career of more than 50 years, Nalley, the Clarence L. Page Endowed Chair of Mathematics and Science Education at Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma, has worked to advance the visibility of women in the traditionally male-dominated chemistry field.

TWU to host Pioneer Research at the Mall Nov. 2

Texas Woman’s University faculty and students will present their research to the public 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, in the Golden Triangle Mall food court. Pioneer Research at the Mall is an annual event designed to engage the Denton community in discussions about current and upcoming research projects taking place at TWU.

TWU to host eighth annual Celebration of Science

Texas Woman’s University will host its eighth annual Ann Stuart and Ray R. Poliakoff Celebration of Science Friday, October 18, on TWU’s Denton campus.

CalCon symposium held in honor of Richard D. "Doc" Sheardy, Ph.D.

In honor of Richard D. "Doc" Sheardy, Ph.D., a special symposium was held in recognition of his 70th birthday during the Seventy-fourth Calorimetry Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The symposium focused on Sheardy’s research contributions to the scientific community and his positive impact on his colleagues and students. The symposium, held on Monday, July 29, 2019, was organized by Nasrin Kohan, Ph.D., of Texas Woman’s University with help from David Remeta, Ph.D., and Conceição Minetti, the co-chairs of CalCon. The organizers invited esteemed collaborators, current and past undergraduate and graduate students who worked with Sheardy over the years at Seton Hall University and Texas Woman’s University.

Book cover for 'Citizens First! Democracy, Social Responsibility and Chemistry'

Faculty-edited book 'Citizens First!' now available in hardcover


The hardcover edition of the book Citizens First! Democracy, Social Responsibility and Chemistry, co-edited by Cynthia Maguire, Senior Lecturer, and Richard D. Sheardy, Cornaro Professor and Chair, of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has been released. This book is a collection of presentations given at Citizens First! symposia in the Division of Chemical Education of the American Chemical Society (ACS) at national meetings in 2016 and 2017. Maguire, Sheardy and associate professor Nasrin Mirsaleh-Kohan contributed chapters to the book.

Visit the ACS Symposium Series website to learn more>>

Texas Woman’s STEM project awarded $1 million grant

The National Science Foundation has awarded Texas Woman’s University a five-year, $999,794 grant to support scholarships and projects aimed at increasing the number of students and graduates in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.

TWU Chemistry presents at American Chemical Society meeting


Students and faculty from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry attended and presented at the 253rd National Meeting of the American Chemical Society held in Orlando, FL from March 30 to April 14. Faculty included Profs. Anderson, Mirsaleh Kohan, Petros, Maguire, Wilks and Sheardy and the participating students included both graduate students (Sara Williams, Skylar Wappes, Avione McGhee, Lindsey Haynes, Anna Stopper) and undergraduate students (Claudette Fraire, Ashik Patel and Alexis Christopher).

Biochemistry student Carissa Meyer accepted to national research experience program

Carissa Meyer, a junior biochemistry major, has been accepted to the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates at James Madison University (JMU) in Virginia for the summer. The research experience provides opportunities for deaf, hearing and sign language interpreting students to participate in chemical research as well as a series of professional development activities aimed at enhancing effective science communication with other chemists, scientists in other disciplines, the public and those with communication disorders. 

Associate professor Mary Anderson, PhD, receives grant for methane research

Associate professor Mary Anderson, Ph.D., is the co-principal investigator on a grant funded by the Robert A. Welch Foundation. "Hydridic Activation of Methane" will receive $65,000 for each of three years, for a total of $195,000.

Environmental chemistry class tests air and water for harmful pollutants

Students in an environmental chemistry class at Texas Woman’s University are learning first-hand how harmful pollutants are affecting air and water quality in their own community.

Professor and chair Richard Sheardy receives Cornaro Award

TWU Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry professor and chair, Richard Sheardy, Ph.D., received the 2019 Cornaro Award on April 11. Established in 1978, the Cornaro Award is presented annually to recognize an outstanding Texas Woman’s University faculty member for excellence in teaching, scholarship and achievement and in appreciation for service to Texas Woman’s University. 

TWU KEM Club to participate in TWU STEM Day @ Explorium Feb. 23

TWU's student chapter of Kappa Epsilon Mu (KEM Club) is partnering with students from the university's Sustainable Physical Science program for “TWU STEM Day at Explorium” on Feb. 23. The event is come-and-go, 10 a.m.-2p.m., and admission is $4 for children, $5 for adults.

Explorium is a Denton children’s museum dedicated to providing opportunities for children to experience the wonder and excitement of science, technology, engineering and math (or "STEM") through hands-on exhibits, multimedia and content-rich programs. The theme of the event is pollution, and TWU's mascot, Oakley, will be stopping by for a visit.

TWU hosts Spring 2019 SENCER Regional Symposium

Texas Woman’s University will host the SENCER Center for Innovation - Southwest Spring 2019 Regional Symposium Friday, Feb. 1 on the Denton campus. This year’s theme is “Democracy, Civic Engagement and Student Learning.” Nationally known leaders in the SENCER (Science Education for New Civic Engagement and Responsibilities) network will serve as plenary speakers, including Reid Bishop (Bellhaven University), Jessica Gullion (TWU), Cathy Middlecamp (University of Wisconsin at Madison) and Stephen Carroll (Santa Clara University). The meeting is free, but registration is requested. Attendees who wish to share successes in making civic responsibility evident in their teaching, research and community service are invited to bring a poster. You will be asked for a title and abstract when you register.

Page last updated 12:08 PM, May 17, 2022