Enock Arthur (Bloomfield, originally from Ghana) and Wendy Ramos (Passaic) have been awarded scholarships from the American Chemical Society (ACS) Scholars Program. The ACS Scholars Program supports students from groups underrepresented in the chemical profession (https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/careers/college-to-career.html) who are majoring in chemistry or a related science and who plan to pursue a career in a chemical field. The students will receive up to $5,000 per academic year (renewable for a second year). These funds may be used for tuition, university fees, and up to $500 for textbooks. Applicants were evaluated on:
- their academic record
- career objective
- leadership ability
- participation in school activities and/or academic research
- community service
Typically, only 350 awards are presented across the entire country each year; the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at MSU takes pride that two of our students received the awards in 2019.
Enock is majoring in Biochemistry at MSU and will begin his junior year in the fall. He has pursued independent research with Dr. Mark A. Whitener for the past two semesters. He synthesizes and crystallizes transition metal-imidazole-carboxylate compounds. Hydrogen bonds in these compounds resemble interactions found in proteins. Enock describes the importance of this scholarship,
The ACS scholar program will help me better understand the different pathways a degree in biochemistry provides, and it will help me make the decision on what kind of career I will pursue. Also, the scholarship will help me study without having to worry financially.
Wendy, also an MSU junior, is earning a degree in Chemistry and has been working in Dr. Yvonne Gindt’s laboratory since June 2018 doing independent research in biophysical chemistry. Wendy uses absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy to understand specific solvent / protein interactions important in the stabilization of thermophilic proteins at high temperatures.
The ACS Scholars award will help me to finish my undergraduate degree by allowing me to study and learn each semester. It will also give me the opportunity to better prepare for my future plan of earning a PhD in chemistry.
Wendy and Enock are exemplary examples of MSU students. The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry encourages chemistry and biochemistry majors to pursue this and other valuable scholarships.