Chemistry & Biochemistry

Notable Faculty & Student Achievements

April 2020

  • Professor of Chemistry Emily Niemeyer, Jiyoun Ahn ’17, and Andie Alford ’17 published an article titled “Variation in Phenolic Profiles and Antioxidant Properties among Medicinal and Culinary Herbs of the LamiaceaeFamily” in the most recent issue of the Journal of Food Measurement and Characterization. Ahn and Alford grew 23 common and less-well-known Lamiaceaeplants during the SCOPE summer research program and then analyzed them for their chemistry capstone research. Niemeyer completed the project by conducting mass spectral analysis of the herbs during her spring 2019 sabbatical in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Texas at Austin. The research was supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), the Robert A. Welch Foundation, and the Herbert and Kate Dishman endowment.

March 2020

  • Professor of Chemistry Emily Niemeyer and Katie McCance ’15 published an article titled “Classroom Observations to Characterize Active Learning within Introductory Undergraduate Science Courses” in the March/April issue of the Journal of College Science Teaching. The authors discuss the analysis of observation data to characterize different instructional practices in science classrooms. McCance, a doctoral student in the Department of STEM Education at North Carolina State University, and Niemeyer collaborated on the study with Timothy Weston, a research faculty member at the University of Colorado, Boulder. The research was completed with support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI).

February 2020

  • Professor of Biology and Chair of the Pre-Med Advisory Committee Maria Cuevas was the recipient of the inaugural Advisor of the Year Award conferred by the Texas Association of Advisors for the Health Professions (TAAHP). The award was created to recognize a TAAHP member who has exhibited excellence in health professions advising over the past year. Cuevas added significant resources for students in her first two years as Southwestern’s chief faculty pre-health advisor and chair of the Pre-Med Committee, including a robust pre-health website, a physical home for pre-health students in the new science building, and an enhanced process for committee recommendation letters.

November 2019

  • Val Acosta ’22 and Luis Ramirez ’21 presented a poster and slide presentation about their SCOPE 2019 research, “The Synthesis of Sulfur, Nitrogen, and Oxygen Containing Ligand–Metal Complexes,” at the Capital of Texas Undergraduate Research Conference, at the University of Texas at Austin, on November 16.

September 2019

  • Professor of Chemistry Emily Niemeyer, Mei Earling ’16, and Triston Beadle ’18 published an article in the September 2019 issue of the journal Plant Foods for Human Nutrition.The article, titled “Açai Berry (Euterpe oleracea) Dietary Supplements: Variations in Anthocyanin and Flavonoid Concentrations, Phenolic Contents, and Antioxidant Properties,” was based on Earling and Beadle’s chemistry capstone projects. The research was completed with support from the Robert A. Welch Foundation and Southwestern’s Dishman endowment and Faculty–Student Projects fund. You can read it here.

  • Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Maha Zewail-Foote recently published an article on using computer simulations to teach chemical kinetics in the journal Trends in Chemistry. Southwestern graduate Jace Venters ’13 is a coauthor on this paper.