Florida Tech Students Honored for Excellence in Chemistry

One Recipient is Grant Resident

MELBOURNE, FLA.—At the University’s recent Spring Honors Convocation, two students received the Florida Institute of Technology Dr. J. Clayton Baum Chemistry Award. They were Melissa Mitchell and Ross Russell. Named for a current Florida Tech professor, the award recognizes outstanding junior chemistry majors based on academic and research achievements.

Mitchell, from Grant, Fla., is in the general chemistry option. Her research, under the direction of Associate Professor Andrew Knight, has been in the area of organic chemistry. This semester, she has started research using scanning tunneling microscopy to investigate potential anti-malarial agents. Her adviser in this work is Associate Professor Joel Olson. After graduation, Mitchell would like to purse chemical research in a graduate or industrial program.

Russell, from Lafayette, Ind., is a biochemistry major and member of the varsity cross country and track teams. His research, also with Knight, is a study of the photocatalysis of pesticide degradation using porphyrins. This project is related to research Russell has conducted during summers as an intern at the Naval Research Laboratories in Washington, D.C. Russell plans to attend medical school after graduation.

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: Head of the Department of Chemistry Michael Babich with Melissa Mitchell and Ross Russell

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