From the Chair - Autumn 2022

Submitted by Diana Knight on

Season’s greetings! I hope this message finds you well and enjoying some time for quiet reflection as the year draws to a close. In the Department of Chemistry at the University of Washington, we have savored our time together – in person.

On a rainy day in June, our community gathered with many friends and relatives at the Hec Edmundson Pavilion to celebrate the graduation of the Classes of 2022, 2021, and 2020. Our alumni community grew by 358 baccalaureates in June and 19 graduates of the MSACST program. It continues to grow quarterly as doctoral candidates successfully defend their dissertations. Our students and trainees move on to begin careers in industry, government, business, or academia all over the world.

Our students and faculty have been enjoying in-person “face time” with seminar speakers who once again travel to spend a day in the department. Together, we celebrated the achievements of our students, postdocs, faculty and staff at the Awards Dinner in May, and are celebrating milestones at departmental receptions, most recently in honor of Teaching Professor Debbie Wiegand and Professor Charlie Campbell as they retire this quarter.

We also welcome new members to our community. Assistant Professor Douglas Reed joined our faculty in July, and I’m pleased to announce that Dr. Nicholas Riley will join our faculty later in 2023 in time for the next academic year. We have also hired another thirteen staff members in 2022! We are thrilled to have our new colleagues on board with us on-site, and we are breathing a collective sigh of relief that we are no longer understaffed. Fifty-one PhD students and 30 of MSACST students started in autumn 2022.

You, too, are a valuable part of our community. As chemists, we are used to interactions occurring on multiple length- and timescales and thinking deeply about how microscopic interactions result in macroscopic changes. It’s true not only in the lab. Microscopic interactions among small groups of folks often result in macroscopic changes. I’ve seen it in the hallways. I’ve seen it at lectures and events. I’ve even seen it in my inbox! Your membership as alumni and friends of the Department of Chemistry plays a crucial role of facilitating both the microscopic interactions and the macroscopic structural changes that enable the successes achieved by our students today. Thank you for joining us as we work together to build a better world through new discoveries in the chemical sciences.

Wishing you and your loved ones all the best of what the holidays and the New Year have to offer,

Munira Khalil signature

Munira Khalil
Chair and Leon C. Johnson Endowed Professor of Chemistry

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