From the Chair - Summer 2022

Submitted by Diana Knight on
Munira works in her ultrafast spectroscopy lab with graduate students Ben Poulter and Jason Sandwisch. Photo by Dennis Wise | University Photography

Dear Friend of Chemistry,

It is my pleasure to invite you to read about the happenings in UW Chemistry during the past academic year. In this issue, you’ll find introductions to new staff and faculty and learn about the many achievements in research, academics, service and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts by our students, staff and faculty. Take a quick glance at our department by the numbers or spend some time taking an in-depth look into the research of a few specific groups.

Research activities blaze ahead; our faculty secured $31M in external awards last year. David Ginger leads a new NSF Science and Technology Center for Integration of Modern Optoelectronic Materials on Demand (or IMOD) – a collaboration of scientists and engineers at 11 universities focused on developing new quantum optoelectronic devices and training the next generation of diverse and interdisciplinary scientific leaders.

As our program evolves, so does our departmental leadership. During the next academic year, Forrest Michael will continue to serve as Associate Chair of Undergraduate Education; Xiaosong Li and Alshakim Nelson will serve as Co-Associate Chairs of Ph.D. Studies; Stefan Stoll takes on a new role as Associate Chair of Research; and the MSACST program will be led by Co-directors Dan Fu and Rob Synovec. I am grateful to these colleagues for helping oversee various parts of our complex department.

It has been a roller coaster of a year. We started autumn quarter 2021 excited to be back in person, and then had to roll back to remote/hybrid instruction for all lecture components of our classes during the first month of winter quarter 2022. In spring quarter, we had our first in-person Awards Dinner since 2019. It was wonderful to celebrate all the incredible award winners and see our supporters in 3D (from head to toe!).

While some areas of campus are quiet and seemingly uninhabited, summer is the time we host myriad visiting researchers through NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates or Research Experiences for Teachers programs, as well as engaging more UW undergraduates in research through stipends made possible through donor-supported gift funds.

I look forward to welcoming the next cohort of Ph.D. and MSACST students to our beautiful campus and hope to see our classrooms and labs buzzing with creative ideas. The last two years have been a humbling lesson in the importance of investing in our personal and professional relationships to accomplish our shared mission of discovery and education for the global good. No matter what is in store for us, I remain confident in the care and tenacity I see demonstrated by our students and personnel daily and in the loyal support of our community of alumni and friends. Thanks for being a part of it.

Warm regards,

Munira Khalil

Munira Khalil
Professor and Chair