Alumna, Isabel Smith C'20, Publishes First Research Paper

The chemistry department is proud of alumna Isabel Smith C’2020 who just published her first research paper in the Environmental Research Letters (Link). Isabel is working towards her PhD in Earth Sciences at the University of Southern California. She presented her current work to the Sewanee Chemistry Department last Fall (2023).

The Department is pleased to recognize three students for their outstanding achievement in Chemistry


First-Year Chemistry Achievement Award—in recognition of outstanding scholastic achievement in Chemistry during the first year.

Arthur Jacob Bennett of Tennessee


Grace Margaret Byron of Georgia


Louis George Hoff Memorial Scholarship—for attainment in Chemistry


Channita Keuk of Cambodia

Dr. Deon Miles invited to speak at Perspectives of African American Chemists

Professor Deon Miles was an invited guest on the panel “The Perspectives of African American

Chemists: A STEM Discussion Panel” at the Kentucky Wesleyan College.

Introducing Our Newest Professor

The Department is thrilled to announce that Dr. Alexandra Raeber will be joining the Sewanee community in the Fall of 2024 as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Raeber earned her A.B. in Chemistry from Bryn Mawr College in 2013. She then completed her Ph.D. at the University of Chicago under the direction of Prof. David Mazziotti in 2020. She is currently a Postdoctoral Associate at MIT working with Prof. Troy Van Voorhis. Her research is in computational chemistry focusing on electronic structure for rational design of molecular electrocatalysts for carbon dioxide reduction. She enjoys a variety of fiber arts and trying out new cooking and baking recipes with family and friends.

New Phi Beta Kappa Society Members

We are so proud of Channita Keuk (Chemistry Major), Patricia Ramirez-Miranda (Chemistry Minor), and Kaiwen Zheng (Biochemistry Major) for their induction into the Phi Beta Kappa Society.

Seballos chosen for national project to foster retention and advancement of diverse STEM faculty

Bethel Seballos, associate professor of Chemistry, was recently named a National Science Foundation ASCEND Faculty Fellow for 2020-2024.

Through the NSF ASCEND (which stands for Advancing STEM Careers by Empowering Network Development) fellowship program, Seballos will participate in an inter-institutional peer mentoring network to foster the retention and advancement of a diverse STEM faculty population.

The NSF ASCEND program is part of a $1 million grant that is being used to create peer mentoring networks of mid-career STEM women faculty and administrator allies across institutions and regions. The collaborative initiative involves nine project leaders, 60 faculty participants and 15 administrator participants from colleges and universities across the Northwest, the Midwest and the Southeast.

Over the next four years, the participants will be engaged in conversations and training opportunities to give them the tools they need to advance their careers. Seballos will attend monthly online meetings, as well as annual regional meetings.

More information about the NSF ASCEND program can be found at the following link:

Thinking Inside the Box

Prof. Deon Miles and Chemistry Laboratory Coordinator Dr. Grady Wells recently wrote an article published in the Journal of Chemical Education entitled “Lab-in-a-Box: A Guide for Remote Laboratory Instruction in an Instrumental Analysis Course”. The article was submitted in response to a call for articles in a special issue entitled “Insights Gained While Teaching Chemistry in the Time of COVID-19”. This paper describes a homemade kit for conducting remote laboratory instruction in the instrumental analysis course. The motivation behind the construction of the kit was in response to the lack of commercially available options for the instrumental analysis course.

The abstract for the article is provided below:

Hands-on learning in a laboratory is an integral part of the undergraduate experience for chemistry students. However, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, an opportunity for this approach was not possible. The pandemic has been forcing instructors to explore the remote setting instead of the laboratory. There are several commercially available kits for remote laboratory instruction in general chemistry, organic chemistry, and biochemistry. Kits provide students with a majority of necessary items to conduct scientific experiments in their homes. Unfortunately, there are no commercially available kit options for laboratory exercises in an instrumental analysis course. Here, we describe a homemade kit that focuses on two important pillars of instrumental analysis: spectroscopy and chromatography. The total cost of the kit is about 700 USD; this amount can be reduced significantly if a “do-it-yourself” spectrometer is employed instead of a commercial model. Details about kit contents and experiments performed are described.