UMSL chemistry alumna praised for research excellence
Bandrowksy, a resident of St. Peters, Mo., is a product of UMSL, having also earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the university. UMSL even played a supporting role in securing her employment. She met officials from Jost Chemical at the St. Louis Institute of Nanomedicine and Nanoscience Symposium, which was held in May at UMSL.
And even as she was completing her tenure at the university she continued to impress those around her.
She is the 2013 recipient of the Center for Nanoscience Ciel DeGutis Award for Research Excellence. The award was endowed by George Gokel, Distinguished Professor of Science and director of UMSL’s Center for Nanoscience, in honor of his wife’s grandmother. The award is presented annually to a student associated with the Center for Nanoscience who has made a significant contribution to the field of nanoscience. It comes with a $500 prize.
Bandrowsky was nominated for the honor by her adviser Janet Wilking, associate professor of chemistry at UMSL.
“It was really nice to know that my work was being considered for the award,” Bandrowsky said. “I was surprised and honored.”
Wilking said she nominated Bandrowsky for her research efforts in developing fluorescent germanium containing nano-materials that can be used in such applications as light-emitting diodes, novel lighting systems and as biological imaging agents.
“Thanks to her efforts, a patent application has been submitted based on the reactions she developed,” Wilking said.
Bandrowsky was going to use the $500 prize to buy a new computer, but instead splurged on some much deserved R&R.
“After five long years of graduate school, I decided to use it for a well-deserved vacation,” she said.
This is the second year the Ciel DeGutis award was presented to a UMSL student. Last year’s winner was Saeedeh Negin, MS 2011 and PhD 2012 chemistry. She is a postdoctoral fellow who works in Gokel’s lab.
“The first student chosen was one of mine, and I was delighted about that,” said Gokel of Negin having received the inaugural award. Gokel is not involved in the selection process.
At the time Negin received the award she had six publications in prestigious journals and had given a number of presentations at national and regional scientific meetings. Negin was also awarded a Graduate School Dissertation Fellowship, and she received the Graduate Student Research Award from the Chemistry Department.
Gokel said he endowed the award because he wanted the Center for Nanoscience at UMSL to recognize its own participants just as some academic departments do. In addition to the award and financial prize the awardee receives an individual plaque and his or her name is also inscribed on a large plaque housed in the lobby of the William L. Clay Center for Nanoscience building.
“I hope it serves as incentive for other people,” Gokel said. “I think it’s important for students to have recognition among their peers that they’ve done a good job.”
Plus, he added, “I’ve never met a graduate student who couldn’t use 500 bucks.”
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