Students Honored for Excellence in Chemistry

MELBOURNE, FLA.—At the university’s recent Spring Honors Convocation, three students were recipients of the Florida Institute of Technology Dr. J. Clayton Baum Chemistry Award. They were Nicole Clark, Katarina Huba and Monica Price. Named for a current Florida Tech professor, the award recognizes outstanding junior chemistry majors based on academic and research achievements.

Clark, from Abingdon, Md., is a biochemistry major and member of the varsity cross country and track teams. Her research, under the direction of Nasri Nesnas, Ph.D., involves the design and synthesis of modified neurotransmitters that can be activated by light. After graduation Clark would like to pursue biochemical research in a graduate or industrial program.

Huba, from Ascona, Switzerland, is a chemistry major and member of the varsity tennis team. Her research, under Mark Novak, Ph.D., involves developing and optimizing a novel synthetic procedure for the selective one-step monofunctionalization of polyamines. Huba would like to continue her studies in graduate school either in Europe or the United States.

Price, from El Paso, Texas, is a chemistry major and a member of the varsity tennis team. Under the direction of Assistant Professor Kurt Winkelmann, Monica developed a new experiment for synthesizing iron nanoparticles, measuring the rate of the reaction between the nanoparticles and a colored dye. How the reaction changes under different experimental conditions is then observed. Approximately 400 Florida Tech students have successfully performed this experiment during the past year. Price will participate in a summer internship at Freeport-McMoRan, an international mining company. She plans to attend graduate school after graduation from Florida Tech.

The Dr. J. Clayton Baum Chemistry Award was established by friends, students and colleagues of Baum in recognition of his continuing dedication, devotion and service to Florida Tech and the Department of Chemistry. Baum has been with the university since 1979.

PHOTO: From left with Clayton Baum are Katarina Huba, Monica Price and Nicole Clarke.

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