Chemistry Alumni Connect with Current Students
As part of BU’s September 2012 annual alumni weekend celebrations, the Department of Chemistry invited four distinguished alumni to describe some highlights of their varied careers in science and technology and how their BU education launched them on these career paths. The speakers ranged in fields (theoretical chemistry to organic chemistry to physical chemistry) and careers (academia, entrepreneurship, law, industry) and BU educational experiences (undergraduate to Ph.D.). The symposium proved to be both practical in terms of career advice and touching in the tribute speakers paid to their advisors, and demonstrated the substantial impact that their BU Chemistry training had in helping to shape these successful careers. The photo shows the speakers with their advisors: Dr. Victor Battista, GRS ’96, now Professor of Chemistry at Yale, with Prof. John Straub (standing in for Victor’s advisor, David Coker); Dr. Les Dakin, GRS ’03, now scientist at Constellation Pharmaceuticals with advisor, Jim Panek; Dr. Jack Driscoll, GRS ’67, founder of HNU PID with advisor Professor Emeritus, Morton Hoffman; and Dr. Matt Zisk, CAS ’85, now partner and patent counsel at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates with advisor, Professor Emeritus Gil Jones.
Based on student response, the event was a great success. Andrew Little (GR 5, Porco Group) said, “I thought the selection of speakers was great because it shows the variety of career paths available to students with chemistry backgrounds. It was also encouraging to hear how much each speaker valued their education from BU and how they use that in their work.” Recent PhD graduate, Dr. June Lum (Doerrer Group) said, “As a recent graduate of BU Chemistry, I really appreciated the Alumni Symposium. It was a great opportunity to see how other alumni have established their careers after BU. I definitely had a good time interacting with other students and seeing former professors. I think that an annual symposium would be a great idea to keep the alumni relations strong.”
The symposium was the first alumni outreach effort by the new Chair of Chemistry, Professor Larry Ziegler. The encouraging responses of both the alumni and the students to this inaugural event assures that there will be more such events to follow.