Chemistry Graduate Students Win Top Honors in University-wide Graduate Research and Creativity Showcase

Posted: March 2nd, 2015

Colorado State University held the first annual campus-wide Graduate Showcase (Grad Show) on February 25, 2015. A collaboration between the Graduate School and the Office of the Vice President for Research, the Grad Show featured more than 300 graduate student presenters from all areas of campus, including creative artistry, the sciences and the humanities. The event focused on innovation, collaboration and interdisciplinary approaches to research and scholarship at CSU, and included presentations by Alan Rudolph, Vice President for Research, as well as community leaders, the International Office, and the Career Center. By all accounts, the inaugural event was an astounding success.

The Department of Chemistry was well represented with 22 of our students participating in the judged Grad Show poster session. Over 100 faculty and staff judges (including some from Chemistry) evaluated the posters in a truly interdisciplinary manner, as judges were randomly assigned to the student entries. Outstanding presentations were recognized with numerous achievement awards in both research and creativity. Notably, three outstanding Chemistry graduate students were honored for their work with cash awards sponsored by various campus units.

bella_crop Bella Neufeld, a second year graduate student in Prof. Melissa Reynolds’ group was honored with first place in the “Drivers of Innovation: Experimental Sciences” category, sponsored by CSU Ventures, which highlights the leading edge of the most innovative research originating from CSU capable of solving commercial needs that benefit society. Awardees must also demonstrate an ability to communicate their science clearly and to visually represent their research in a superior manner that is accessible to all audiences. Bella’s work, a collaboration between the Reynolds and Fisher groups, focuses on plasma surface modification of nitric oxide releasing polymers for biomedical applications such as vascular stents and wound healing meshes.


michelle_webMichelle Mann, a second year graduate student in Prof. Ellen Fisher’s group was also recognized with first place in the “Distinction in Great Minds in Research” category, cosponsored by the Vice President for Research’s office and the Graduate School. This award recognizes work that contributes to the excellence and advancement of research, scholarship, and entrepreneurial efforts at CSU. Michelle’s poster featured recent results from her work to create antimicrobial hydrophilic porous polymeric materials for both environmental and medical applications, along with an interactive demonstration of her latest results.


morganMorgan Hawker, a fourth year graduate student in Prof. Ellen Fisher’s group received third place in the “Distinction in Great Minds in Research” category, cosponsored by the Vice President for Research’s office and the Graduate School. Morgan’s studies center on creating 3-dimensional, bioresorbable substrates with tailored surface properties that are either bio-reactive or bio-nonreactive for tissue engineering, wound healing and drug delivery systems. Her presentation also included videos of dynamic contact angle measurements, highlighting differences in her tailored substrates.