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					                 Superior Performing Department Application
                          Department of Chemistry
                          Submitted: March 5, 2010

The Department of Chemistry currently consists of twenty-one faculty members,
whose make-up is composed of one Endowed Chair (Welch Professor: Wes
Borden), one Research Professor (Paul Bagus), three Regents’ Professors
(Jeffry Kelber, Paul Marshall, and Martin Schwartz), seven Full Professors
(William Acree, Oliver Chyan, Thomas Cundari, James Marshall, Michael
Richmond, LeRoy Theriot, and Ruthanne Thomas), four Associate Professors
(Teresa Golden, Diana Mason, Mohammad Omary, and Angela Wilson), three
Assistant Professors (Stephen Cooke, Trent Selby, and Guido Verbeck), and two
Permanent Lecturers (Sushama Dandekar and Jean Schaake). The department
offers four different undergraduate chemistry degrees: a B.A. degree with a major
in Chemistry, a B.A. degree in Chemistry with Teaching Certification, a B.S.
degree in chemistry with American Chemical Society Certification (meets the
requirements for professional training of chemists ), and a B.S. degree with a
concentration in Forensic Science. Both M.S. and Ph.D. chemistry graduate
degrees are offered, with the former one available as a traditional research M.S.,
a M.S. specializing in Industrial Chemistry, or a M.S. specializing in Chemistry
Education. The Ph.D. degree may be obtained with specialization in either
research or Chemistry Education. The department presently serves as host to
10 postdoctoral fellows, and has 76 graduate and over 156 undergraduate
chemistry majors (spring 2007 numbers). The number of SCH generated over
the last three years is shown below:

                 Semester      Undergraduate   Graduate     Total SCH
                                   SCH           SCH
                   2004           10,476        1,361         11,839
                   2005           12,627        1,410         14,037
                   2006           13,443        1,374         14,817

Scholarship and Performing Artistry

Chemistry is doing extraordinarily well in both the quantity and the quality of
scholarly activity. The 122 peer-reviewed publications that appeared in print in
2006 are excellent for a faculty of our size, with the number not limited to only a
few productive people. As a collective group, the chemistry faculty out publish
other UNT faculty and departments. In fact, Dr. Bill Acree leads the entire CAS
faculty with 433 career publications in refereed national and international
journals; Dr. Wes Borden has 236 refereed publications, Dr. Michael Richmond
has 189 refereed publications, Dr. Tom Cundari has 152 refereed publications,
with Drs. Jeffry Kelber (122 refereed publications) and Martin Schwartz (110
refereed publications) each having more than 100 published articles.

The quality of the chemistry personnel is even more impressive and is not
concentrated within one group of individuals or one type of research. Angela
Wilson (computational chemist) and Mohammad Omary (experimentalist)
received prestigious NSF CAREER grants. Wes Borden and Mohammad Omary
were each given national or international awards this year by professional
societies. Wes Borden is the first UNT scientist inducted as a fellow into the
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). UNT
computational chemistry is now recognized as the most comprehensive
computational chemistry group in the southwestern region of the country. Dr.
Stephen Cooke received a Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award
given by Oak Ridge National Laboratories. The award is extremely competitive
in that there were only 30 such awards given last year. Recent publications have
made a significant scientific impact. Publications by Drs. Omary and Jim
Marshall have been singled out for national recognition. For the past two
consecutive years, Bill Acree in 2005 and Michael Richmond in 2006 had a
publication listed one of the top 15 “Most Cited Articles” that were published in
the American Chemical Society journals of Chemical Research in Toxicology and
Organometallics, respectively. These citation acknowledgments by the
Publication Department of the ACS are significant insomuch as they represent
research having immediate and far-reaching chemical interest.

Excellence in scholarship has been demonstrated in the form of several highly
competitive national awards received by our graduate students for their chemical
research. Oussama Elbjeirami, a doctoral graduate student with Mohammad
Omary, received a 2006 Young Investigator Award from the American Chemical
Society Division of Inorganic Chemistry. This was one of only eight national
awards given to Ph.D. students and post-doctoral fellows in U.S. universities.
Scott Yockel, a doctoral student with Angela Wilson, won a 2005 American
Chemical Society Division of Computers in Chemistry Excellence Award. This
was one of only twenty such national awards given in 2005. For two of the past
three years, UNT chemistry graduate students Tom Grimes, a doctoral student in
the Tom Cundari research group (summer 2005) and Scott Yockel, a doctoral
graduate student in the Angela Wilson research group (Summer 2005), and Ben
Mintz, a doctoral graduate student in the Angela Wilson group (Summer 2007)
applied for and each received a highly competitive National Science Foundation
East Asia and Pacific Summer Institute (EAPSI) Fellowship to study abroad in
the research laboratory of either a renowned Japanese or South Korean
scientist. In 2006, Kerri Etchison, a doctoral student in the Stephen Cooke
research group, applied for and received one of several ACS/Eli Lily Womens
Travel Awards for travel to a national ACS meeting (Boston, August 2007) where
she will present a research seminar based on dissertation work.

Student Learning

Several of the Chemistry Department’s new academic programs are now
reaching fruition. The department’s program in Chemistry Education graduated
its first doctoral student this last fall. The first undergraduate students in the
Forensic Science Program (joint with Biology and Criminal Justice) graduated
this past year as well. The department recently graduated its first M.S. students
from the on-line Chemistry Education program, whose targeted audience largely
derives from professionals in education or the chemical industry. Considerable
growth of this particular degree program is expected in the years to come. All of
these programs were implemented to better meet the needs of local business,
industry, and today’s non-traditional students.

Chemistry is working to improve the education for undergraduate students in
general at UNT and is an active member in the QEP program, including a QEP
grant awardee (Diana Mason), a member of the QEP advisory board (Ruthanne
Thomas), and the QEP committee (Diana Mason).

Chemistry faculty members continue to provide research experience and
mentorship of students in the UNT Trio (McNair, Upward Bound Math and
Science) and TAMS programs. TAMS students working in chemistry have
continued to receive regional and national recognition. This past year Mr. Evan
Gawlik, a TAMS student working in the Angela Wilson research group, placed in
the top 10 nationally in the Intel Science Talent Search in 2006. Profs. Bill Acree
and Tom Cundari currently mentor scholars in the UNT McNair Program, which
targets first-generation college students, individuals from low-income
backgrounds, and other traditionally under-represented groups. Angela Wilson
was recognized as an “Outstanding Mentor” by Siemens Westinghouse in 2004-
2005 and 2005-2006 for her work with undergraduate students. Bill Acree
received the 2004 UNT McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program
Outstanding Service Award and the 2006 UNT Upward Bound Math & Science
Program Outstanding Mentor Award for his continued participation in the Trio

Chemistry students have continued the long tradition of demonstrable success at
presenting their research results at regional and national scientific meetings.
TAMS students working in chemistry received regional and national recognition.
Several students have been placed and sundry current students hold internships
this year at prestigious government labs and industrial research labs. Several
graduate students have won prestigious NSF awards to study abroad. Multiple
graduate students have been recognized by the American Chemical Society the
past two years for their research accomplishments.

Research Funding (where applicable)

External funding in Chemistry continues to be on order of $1.5–2 million per year.
This does not include grant monies to PIs in other departments or colleges where
chemistry faculty function as contributors or chemistry money resulting from
external consulting duties. With the increase in grant proposal submissions and
recent awards not yet listed as received, the external funding amount in
chemistry is expected to increase to ca. $2.5 M for the year 2007. In any given
year, several chemistry faculty remain among the highest externally funded
faculty in the College. Prof. Mohammad Omary’s grant of $1,569.867 (including
a $541,364 subcontract to UT-Dallas) for 2006-2009 from the U.S. Department of
Energy represents the largest single Principal Investigator award received by a
UNT chemistry faculty member to date.

More significant than the total amount of funding are the types of funding and the
amount within particular programs. For example, Wes Borden’s grant is the
second highest funded grant for an individual NSF grant within his program area
at NSF. Mohammad Omary and Angela Wilson have received very prestigious
NSF CAREER grants (vide supra), considered the gold standard for up and
coming new scientists in the country. Angela Wilson and Tom Cundari received
a grant from the Department of Education to establish the Center for Advanced
Scientific Computing and Modeling (CASCAM). Many faculty continue to actively
contribute to successful multi-investigator proposals both within the department
(computing facilities, NSF REU summer research program) and across
departmental lines (computing equipment, research instrumentation, grants to
support students).

Chemistry faculty members have been very successful in obtaining external
funding from both private and industrial sources in order to support graduate
student research. Industrial funding establishes a strong faculty-industrial
partnership that benefits both the university and company. The research that
emanates from such funding is performed almost exclusively with the assistance
of our chemistry graduate students. The research training received by our
students provides them with a valuable foundation for a successful career in
private-sector employment, post-graduate study, academic posts, etc. Strong
university-industrial partnerships facilitate technology transfer from the university
to the private sector. Oliver Chyan and scientists from Texas Instruments were
awarded a U.S. Patent for an apparatus and method for detecting impurities in
wet chemicals. Jeff Kelber received a 2004 Inventor Recognition Award from
Semiconductor Research Corporation, a company that has funded Prof. Kelber’s
research for several years.


Most interdisciplinary research activities are collaborations among individual
researchers. For example, Mohammad Omary recently received a multi-million

dollar grant from the Department of Energy for work having a strong
interdisciplinary collaboration with materials scientists at the University of Texas
at Dallas. Angela Wilson was part of a successful joint effort with the Department
of Computer Science that successfully secured NSF funding for computer
resources. Dr. Wilson’s group is responsible for the up-keep and maintenance of
that equipment. Prof. Teresa Golden has had an active and extensive
collaboration with Prof. Nandika D’Souza of the Department of Materials Science.
Prof. Guido Verbeck has an active collaboration with Drs. Kent Chapman and
Barney Venables in the Department of Biological Sciences on research projects
pertaining to nanomanipulation-coupled mass spectrometry for biomaterials and
intra and extracellular characterization, and to electrophoretic extraction of
proteins and peptides from archeological pottery. Tom Cundari is collaborating
with biochemists at TWU. Drs. Wilson and Cundari are currently seeking joint
funding with collaborators at the UNT Health Science Center. Prof. Diana Mason
was one of five individuals from five departments to receive a prestigious NSF
grant, whose funds will help promote improved instructional effectiveness of math
and science teachers. Drs. Chyan and Kelber hold joint appointments in
Materials Science and collaborate with various faculty in that department.

The most significant multidisciplinary academic program is the new Forensic
Science Program, a joint effort of Chemistry, Biology, and Criminal Justice,
whose office is housed in the chemistry department. Prof. Teresa Golden
functions as the director of this new program. The external accreditation team
that evaluated the program in 2005 cited the interdisciplinary nature of this
program as a particular strength of the forensics program at UNT. Accreditation
of the Forensic’s Science Program is expected in the coming year; the successful
accreditation of this program by the Forensic Science Education Programs
Accreditation Commission (FEPAC) will bring the total number of such programs
in the country to 16, which in turn will facilitate our goal of becoming the premier
forsenic’s program in the country (note: the total number of institutions having a
formal degree in Biology, Chemistry, or Biochemistry is currently 3). The
program is already building a national reputation through the participation of
faculty and students in national meetings and in the appointment of nationally
recognized forensic scientists to its advisory board. As part of their formal
education and introduction to the methodology associated with forensic research,
all of the forensics students will work as summer interns in local private and
government laboratories. Monetary support for the summer internships was
realized through the groundwork laid primarily by Prof. Teresa Golden.


Chemistry has long worked to recruit quality international students to UNT. One
such example involved a cooperative exchange program with several of the
universities in Saltillo, Mexico, where the visiting undergraduate students have
been provided research opportunities in the laboratory of chemistry personnel
over the course of the summer. This program led to the application of several of

the visiting students to our graduate program, resulting in two graduate degrees
and one student still in residence with an anticipated graduation date of 2008.

Chemistry’s activities in internationalization now go considerably beyond bringing
international students to our graduate program. During the past year, our faculty
published more than two dozen papers with scientists residing in foreign
countries. Over the last few years, faculty and their international collaborators
have presented their research work at scientific meetings and conferences held
the following countries: Canada, Mexico, Taiwan, Brazil, Poland, Japan, Iran,
Italy, Belgium Denmark, Germany, and the Republic of China. Multiple faculty
(Borden, Wilson, and Bagus) have spent extended periods of time overseas
conducting research with their collaborators, while several other faculty (Cundari,
Omary, and Richmond) made extended seminar trips to international locations in
an effort to further raise the profile of UNT and to recruit high quality graduate
students to the chemistry progam. Prof. Oliver Chyan has an ongoing research
collaboration with researchers at the Institute of Atomic and Molecular Sciences
of Taiwan Academia Sinica in areas of semiconductors and nanotechonology;
this is the highest academic research institution in Taiwan. Chyan and his
Taiwanese colleagues have recently published four journal articles and
presented three conference papers on metal nanoparticles and carbon
nanotubes as new catalysts for fuel cell applications. International recognition for
UNT was further promoted by Angela Wilson’s visibility as the U.S. Chair for the
National Academies (U.S. and China) meeting on Chinese-American Frontiers
that was held in Irvine, CA in 2006. Prof. Omary won an international award and
gave the award presentation in Brazil this last summer for his innovative research
in photochemistry. Research Professor Paul Bagus maintains active
collaborations with colleagues at Ruhr University (Germany), University of
Groningen (The Netherlands), Fritz-Haber Institute Berlin (Germany), and the
Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK-CEN) in Mols, Belgium.

There has been a major push to broaden the horizons of our domestic students
by encouraging their attendance and participation in international chemistry
meetings. Prof. Paul Marshall took a contingent of students to meetings in
Cambridge, England. The large number of international postdoctoral fellows in
the department notwithstanding, more foreign scholars are choosing UNT
Chemistry as a destination of choice for their work, including a Fulbright scholar,
Prof. Hassan Rabaa from Ibn Tfail University (Morocco), who worked in the
research laboratories of Tom Cundari and Mohammad Omary during 2005. This
past year, Prof. Oscar Jiminez-Halla, who hails from the University of Girona
(Spain), elected to take his 2006 faculty development leave at UNT and work
with Prof. Cundari.

Faculty Evaluation Processes that Recognize and Reward Faculty for the
Full Range of Activities that Support the Mission and Goals of UNT

The Chemistry Department’s faculty evaluation process remains openly
transparent and robust. This is underscored by the fact that many of the
practices in the department were highlighted and cited as best practices in a
recent Faculty Council study. Part of what makes the evaluation process
equitable and faculty fair is the large amount of data that are made available to
all faculty on a continuing basis, including the annual Chemistry Department Fact
Book, end-of-semester summary of student teaching evaluations for each faculty
member, and the tabulated summary of differences in faculty performance
(without names) as determined by the PAC for levels within each of the three
categories of teaching, research and service.


Chemistry has several successful ongoing advancement projects, including the
Donor Periodic Table ( The
department is in the early planning stages and is doing preliminary work for a
major fund-raising campaign to be made public later on in 2008 that will focus on
the upcoming centennial of the department in 2010. Chemistry’s approach
continues to be three-fold: (1) connect and maintain close alumni contact, (2)
provide an array of naming opportunities at different giving levels (benches,
elements on the Donor Periodic Table, lectureships, rooms, endowed chairs) and
different target projects, and (3) seek and solicit companies or foundations
interested in Chemistry’s ongoing research and academic programs that might
be a source of funding, especially if there are alumni within these organizations.
A similar approach was successfully employed in the funding the Welch Chair by
primarily targeting older alumni. The department is now specifically reaching out
to younger alumni, those in their 40’s and 50’s, by providing an array of activities
that are not necessarily fund-raising in nature but that encourage them to
participate in departmental activities (faculty retirement receptions, annual
holiday party, Homecoming open house and reception, invitations to seminar
presentations or to give seminars, speakers to classes or student organizations,
advisory board members, alumni honorees on Alumni Appreciation Day). The
renewal and cultivation of relationships with this particular group of alumni will
produce future financial dividends.

Other Activities that Contribute to the Mission of the College and UNT

The chemistry faculty continue to serve the university through active participation
on many college and university committees and serve the local community
through outreach programs such as chemistry magic shows by the Mean Green
Demo Machine. Magic shows at elementary, secondary, and high schools
showcase UNT chemistry in action on an elementary or laymen’s level. The
principal goals of this service are 1) to help educate the public concerning the

pervasiveness and everyday occurrence of chemistry in common materials, food
additives, etc. and 2) to assuage the fear of chemistry that is held by the general
population. The elimination/diminution of this phobia will lead to a society that is
capable of making rationale and intelligently informed decisions on nationally
important science-related issues.

Several Chemistry faculty members hold important and highly visible leadership
positions in various chemical organizations, which positively reflect on the
University, the College and the Chemistry Department. In particular, Prof. Diana
Mason has served as the director of the Fort Worth regional science fair for the
past two years. Most noteworthy are the highly visible roles chemistry faculty
play nationally and internationally with respect to service to the discipline. Prof.
Wes Borden (Chemistry Welch Chair) is the Associate Editor of the Journal of the
American Chemical Society (JACS). This particular journal, which is undoubtedly
the world’s most prestigious chemical journal, has the name and locale of UNT
prominently placed on the masthead page of each weekly published issue. Prof.
Diana Mason has held a long-time post as the Secondary School Section Editor
of the Journal of Chemical Education until February 2007. This journal is
recognized as the world’s leading journal for chemistry teaching professionals.
Prof. Mason has also served on both the ACS examination committee for the
Advanced High School Exam and on the General Chemistry concept
examination committee. The exams that are written by these committees are
administered to high school and college students worldwide. Bill Acree is
currently a member on the editorial advisory boards of both the Journal of
Chemical and Engineering Data and the Journal of Chemical Thermodynamics,
Wes Borden is on the editorial advisory board of the ACS Journal of Chemical
Theory and Computation, and Tom Cundari serves on the editorial advisory
board of the Journal of Molecular Structure: THEOCHEM. Membership on an
editorial advisory board is a prestigious honor that is bestowed on those
individuals, by their peers, who are acknowledged to be among the leading
scientists in their field. Angela Wilson was on the organizing committee for a
joint Chinese-American Frontiers of Science Program and served as the U.S.
director this past year.

Chemistry faculty members are committed to improving science education in the
Texas public school system. Profs. Diana Mason, Lee Hughes (Department of
Biological Sciences) and Pamela Harrell (Teacher Education and Administration)
hold an NSF Noyce grant that supports pre-service science and mathematics
teachers. Diana Mason, along with Lee Hughes and Linda Hodges (College of
Education), received a grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating
Board titled “Preparing 'High A' Science Teachers II (PHAST2),” whose funds
enabled teachers to enroll in college chemistry courses geared towards teaching
new science methodologies and classroom pedagogy. The UNT Chemistry
Department served as the host for the state association of chemistry teachers’
meeting in 2005, and will host the national organization of chemistry teachers this
summer (2007). Plans have just been finalized for the Chemistry Department to

serve as host for the upcoming American Chemical Society Biennial Conference
on Chemical Education (BCCE) in 2010. The conference this summer and in
2010 will attract over 1000 professional educators and their families to the
campus of UNT and Denton. All of the above work is in addition to the many
faculty that have organized chemical symposia at local and national ACS
meetings, regularly edit scholarly work, referee journal-submitted manuscripts,
and function as external reviewers on a multitude of privately and federally
submitted grant proposals.


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