Department of Chemistry at Illinois State University

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The faculty of the Department of Chemistry includes some of Illinois State University's most renowned teachers and researchers. Since 2000, Chemistry faculty have received nearly 20 teaching awards and nearly 20 research awards, including the 2009 Illinois Professor of the Year award.
Over $2 Million in active grants supports diverse areas such as forensics, nanotechnology, organic synthesis, education, materials chemistry, and biochemistry.
The Chemistry Department is home to more than 150 undergraduates, 30 graduate students, and 22 faculty members.

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Chemistry News

NSF Grant to Dr. Lisa Szczepura

lfszczeWith the help of a more than $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, Szczepura and her team are developing new ways for chemists to study metal complexes. The goal of this NSF grant is to formulate ways to study metal clusters containing carbenes, or neutral molecules that have two unshared electrons that can bond to another molecule. Her team, which began work this summer, identifies how carbenes bond to clusters and how the carbene influences the reactivity of the cluster. To view the entire article, please visit:


Faculty and Staff Receive Impact Awards

The Impact Award, a program organized through University College, recognizes the positive influence individual members of the Illinois State University community have on new students and student retention. This year’s recipients from the Department of Chemistry include Professor David Cedeno, Professor Rick Nagorski, and academic advisor Ally Cherveny. - See more at:

ISU Graduation Next Step for Nigerian Student

Subomi.2Subomi Aregbesola’s past is pretty remarkable. But it’s his future that may be the real story. The Illinois State University senior was born in Nigeria but moved to the U.S. in 2001 at age 10 after his family won the coveted visa lottery. Aregbesola won his U.S. citizenship just this semester and is now weeks away from graduating, eager to pursue a career in pharmaceuticals research and development. “I want to discover something that’s revolutionary,” said Aregbesola, a biochemistry major with a minor in chemistry and biology. “I truly feel like I’m destined to do something great.” To view the full article, please see:


CAS News

Climate Science Workshops Offered

climateThe climate science outreach program of the Illinois Heartland Local Section of the American Chemical Society is going strong. Two workshops on Climate Science will be held in the next three weeks–one at Illinois Central College (ICC) in East Peoria on October 25 and a second at Benedictine University in Springfield on November 8. The primary audience for these workshops is teachers and naturalists, but there is also an opportunity for interested students to enroll. The registration is through CeMaST, and the registration fee ($12) includes snacks, lunch, and a kit for doing climate science demonstrations. To register, visit

Educator-Workshops on Climate Science & the ACS Toolkit ($12 registration includes lunch)
October 25, 2014 at Illinois Community College, East Peoria, IL, 9:00 am – 3:15 pm
Registration, coffee and doughnuts in room 333C of the Academic Building 8:30 – 9:00
Contact Information:  Lena Yurs,

November 8, 2014 at Benedictine-Springfield University, 9:00 am − 3:15 pm
Registration, coffee and doughnuts in Dawson Hall Lounge 8:30 – 9:00
Contact Information:  Gwendalyn Baumann,

The group has also organized a Climate Science Speakers Bureau, which includes two Illinois State University faculty members, Frank Shaw and Michael Byrns. Speakers are available to make presentations to registered student organizations and to classes. For more information about the Bureau, contact Professor Emeritus of Chemistry Frank Shaw at



Ecological Economist to Deliver Talk
Eric Zencey

Eric Zencey

On Tuesday, March 25, at 7 p.m. in Room 214, Moulton Hall, the Department of Chemistry, in conjunction with the Illinois Heartland Section of the American Chemical Society (ACS), will be sponsoring a cross-disciplinary talk by ecological economist Eric Zencey. His talk, “Ostwald, Energy, and Ecological Economics,” is drawn from his essay, “Energy as Master Resource,” published as a chapter in The State of the World 2013.  Zencey is an advisor for the ACS Climate Science Outreach Program and serves on the United Nations International Expert Work Group for New Development Paradigms. 

Dr. Zencey holds a Ph.D. in Political Philosophy and the History of Science.  His dissertation, titled “Entropy as Root Metaphor,” looked at how the second law of thermodynamics revolutionized the sciences, including physics and biology and also found applications outside of science in such fields as history, politics, literature and economics.  He currently teaches Ecological Economics, a school of economic thought rooted in the perception that economic processes are at the bottom thermodynamic processes.  His most recent book is The Other Road to Serfdom and the Path to Sustainable Democracy, which critically analyzes traditional economic theory for its thermodynamically illiterate, infinite-planet assumptions. He is currently a visiting lecturer at Washington University in St. Louis.

For additional information, contact Professor Frank Shaw at



More CAS News

Climate Science and the ACS Toolkit

Register for a workshop!

ACS Logo with ToolkitThe workshops will introduce the ACS Climate Science Toolkit as a pedagogical resource. The Toolkit provides factual information including the nature of greenhouse gases, the mechanism of global warming, the history of earth's past temperature swings, and multiple lines of evidence that support the seriousness of climate change. Teachers will be provided with a complete set of the data in the Toolkit. Demonstrations for the classroom (adaptable for hands-on lab experiments) will be explained, and then performed by each attendee. Two guest lecturers, knowledgeable about climate science and its implications, will present a morning talk and will be available for informal discussion. Teachers will receive five CPDUs for attending the Workshop.

More information on ACS Toolkit Workshops


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