FACSS Student Award and the Tomas A. Hirschfeld Award Presented at SciX 2015

October 7, 2015

At the 2015 SciX conference held September 27–October 2 in Providence, Rhode Island, two students were awarded the FACSS Student Award, and two scholars were awarded the Tomas A. Hirschfeld Award.

At the 2015 SciX conference held September 27–October 2 in Providence, Rhode Island, two students were awarded the FACSS Student Award, and two scholars were awarded the Tomas A. Hirschfeld Award. The awards recognize the most outstanding papers submitted to the conference by a graduate student. Recipients, who must be graduate students at the time of application, receive economy travel to the meeting, complimentary registration, and up to six nights complimentary hotel accommodations.

Marie Richard-Lacroix and Lynn X. Zhang each received the FACSS Student Award.

Richard-Lacroix received her B.Sc. in chemistry in 2011 and is currently a PhD candidate under the supervision of Christian Pellerin at the Department of Chemistry of the University of Montreal in Québec, Canada. Her research focuses on the characterization of molecular orientation and structural aspects of electrospun nanofibers by confocal Raman spectroscopy. She was the first to demonstrate that quantitative information can be obtained on individual nanofibers and to establish a quantitative correlation between the diameter dependence of molecular orientation, chain disentanglement, and mechanical properties in these materials. She also developed a new, experimentally simplified method to quantify orientation by Raman spectroscopy with improved accuracy. She currently works on several side projects involving the characterization of ultrathin films by attenuated total reflection infrared spectroscopy. Richard-Lacroix has published nine peer-reviewed papers and coauthored more than 35 presentations in scientific conferences. She received several national scholarships from NSERC-Canada and FRQNT-Québec and has received multiple awards, including the SAS Barbara Stull Award in 2013 and two poster awards at SciX in 2014.

Zhang earned her B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering at the Shenyang University of Chemical Technology in Liaoning, China. After graduating, Zhang continued her education in chemistry. In 2011, she received her Master’s degree in chemistry focusing on plasma temperature study at Murray State University (Murray, Kentucky). She joined the graduate program to pursue an analytical chemistry PhD in the Chemistry department at Clemson University (Clemson, South Carolina). She is currently a PhD candidate under R. Kenneth Marcus, focusing on the development and evaluation of the liquid sampling-atmospheric glow discharge (LS–APGD) and its application in analytical chemistry to solve current challenging analytical problems. Since 2011, Zhang has authored or co-authored seven peer-reviewed articles and presented seven poster or oral presentations at various conferences, including SciX and Pittcon. She has been awarded the Technical Division on Reference Materials student award in 2015 from the Association of Official Agricultural Chemists International for her research accomplishments. Zhang is currently serving as the president of the Clemson University Student Chapter of Society for Applied Spectroscopy, and as a member of the SAS website committee.

Stephanie DeJong and Patrik K. Johansson each received the Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Award.

DeJong earned her B.A. degree in Chemistry from Trinity Christian College (Palos Heights, Illinois) in 2011. While an undergraduate, she spent summers participating in undergraduate research programs focused on atmospheric chemistry at Washington State University (Pullman, Washington) and Brookhaven National Laboratory (Upton, New York). Currently, DeJong is a PhD candidate in analytical chemistry at the University of South Carolina (Columbia, South Carolina), working with Michael L. Myrick. Her research has focused on the application of chemometric techniques to vibrational spectroscopy. She has investigated the application of gap derivative transformations to spectral data in the context of multivariate calibration, demonstrating how the selection of gap sizes can dramatically influence calibration results and provide unique information about the spectra. These calibrations have been used to estimate detection limits for blood on fabric using diffuse reflection infrared spectroscopy as part of a larger project to develop a field-ready instrument to detect blood in forensic investigations. DeJong has also recently facilitated the establishment of a student chapter of the Society of Applied Spectroscopy at the University of South Carolina, and is the founding vice president. She has also received a first place FACSS student poster award at SciX 2014, the international travel grant to attend the 2013 International Council for Near Infrared Spectroscopy Conference, and the Presidential Fellowship from the University of South Carolina.

Patrik Johansson performed his undergraduate studies at Linköping University (LiU) in Linköping, Sweden, where he also earned his M.S. degree in Engineering Biology in 2013. He did his diploma work as a visiting student intern in the NESAC/BIO group at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle, Washington, where he used sum frequency generation, time of flight secondary ion mass spectrometry, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and atomic force microscopy to characterize protein surface interactions. In the spring of 2014, Johansson received a scholarship for returning to the UW as a visiting scientist, where he applied vibrational sum-frequency scattering (SFS) for analysis of collagen fibers in aqueous environments. This was a first demonstration of this technique on protein fibers and it opens up new possibilities to better understand their structure and physic-chemical properties. In the fall of that year, he worked at LiU as a research assistant in the laboratory for biomolecular and conductive polymer PEDOT-S within lipid membranes. He is a graduate student in the department of bioengineering at the UW, supervised by Patrick Koelsch. His research focus is to develop and demonstrate nonlinear optical techniques-such as SFS, SFG, and SHG-for detailed characterization of biomaterials.