Chemistry Graduate Students Welcome Carl Lineberger for the First Chemmy Seminar

W. Carl Lineberger

On Wednesday, February 8th, the graduate students of the Department of Chemistry will welcome W. Carl Lineberger, E. U. Condon Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at the University of Colorado, Boulder, for the first-ever Chemmy Award Seminar. Dr. Lineberger is a recent winner of the NAS Award in the Chemical Sciences, a member of the National Science Board and the National Research Council Laboratory Assessments Board as well as a fellow of JILA and a member of the editorial board of Chemical Physics Letters. His Wednesday seminar is entitled “Once Upon Anion: A Tale of Photodetachment.”

The “Chemmys” are a seminar program developed and hosted by graduate students in the department. The aim of the seminars is to allow students to recognize scientists who they feel are doing the most exciting work in the field from year to year. In addition, the Chemmys give students an opportunity for professional development, interacting with top scientists from outside Emory to develop a visit schedule and discuss current research.

In its inaugural year, chemistry graduate students will welcome four Chemmy speakers. In addition to Dr. Lineberger, they are Daniel Nocera (Harvard), Ruben Abagyan (UCSD), and Alex Dunn (Stanford). The recipients were chosen through a nomination and voting progress open to all graduate students.

Asked why made time for the Chemmy visit, Dr. Lineberger said: “The answer is a simple truth which is likely shared by 95% (or more) of your seminar visitors. You have to look very hard to find a faculty member who does not respond favorably to flattery, and there is nothing more flattering than having a collection of students contact you asking you to speak! Now you know that you are speaking to an audience that really matters, and they invited you. This is simply too appealing an invitation to be able to decline, unless finding a suitable date is impossible!”

When he isn’t adventuring as the first-ever Chemmy Awardee, Dr. Lineberger sometimes spends time at the South Pole! He is pictured here with France Cordova, then an NSB Colleague and now the Director of the NSF.

Amanda Dermer (Heaven Group) spearheaded the development of the Chemmy program. “The goal of the Chemmys is to encourage more students to participate and have a say in deciding on some of the seminar speakers who speak to the chemistry department,” she says. “I am very appreciative of the department’s support in the new student-hosted speaker program!” Anthony Sementilli (Lynn Group) the current Outreach Coordinator for the Pi Alpha Chemical Society was also key in bringing the new seminars from idea to reality.

Continuing the theme of student involvement, Mallory Theis (Heaven Group), the current president of PACS, designed the glass Chemmy Award that will be presented to Chemmy speakers. “We expect it to become a coveted item in the field of chemistry!” says Outreach and Seminar Coordinator Kira Walsh.

As part of catering to student interests, Dr. Lineberger will focus a portion of his seminar on explaining the fundamentals of his research program in a graduate-level overview. In addition, he looks forward to meeting with students to talk research. “I feel that I am coming to Emory to see students, much more than faculty,” says Dr. Lineberger. “While I have many friends on the faculty, I would be extremely pleased and flattered to spend the time at Emory meeting with students individually or in larger groups and speaking about anything from science, to science policy, or to choosing a career.

Dr. Lineberger’s seminar will take place at 2:00pm in Atwood 360 and will be followed by a reception.