Alumni News, Spring 2001

by Steve Sciamanna, Ph.D., '86, ChE

  ear Fellow Alumni:

On behalf of the Alumni Steering Team, let me extend a hearty welcome to a new millennium.

I would like to introduce you to Marissa Drouillard (B.S. 2000, Chemistry), a recent addition to the alumni steering team. As a newly minted graduate, now working for Accenture, Marissa brings a fresh perspective of the needs and wants of new alumni employed in nontraditional technical roles. We also welcome Ron Quezon (B.S. '96, ChE) to the steering team. Ron currently works at IBM in San Jose and will be joining us at our upcoming meeting. Our desire is to have the demographics of the steering team match that of our alumni. If you have an interest in helping to shape the college for the future, please consider joining the steering team. An active alumni base is critical to the long-term success of the College of Chemistry. It has been awhile since I have mentioned and thanked (in print) the dedicated folks who make up our steering team. They are: Bud Blue, Tom Delfino, Marissa Drouillard, Fred Lam, Curt Munson, Laurie O'Connor, Carolyn Orelli, Daisy Quan, Michael Yang, and Sheila Yeh. I would also like to thank Scott Clarke, who served on the steering team and left in the fall to begin an MBA program in London. We wish him the best!

John Scott (B.S. '41, M.S. '51) and his wife, Jane, at the Alumni of the G. N. Lewis Era luncheon, left.

There have been many activities over the last year to report on and new ones on the Y2001 radar screen. So let me bring you up-to-date and inform you of upcoming events.

Dean Clayton Heathcock has been very active in bringing Cal to our alumni who live outside of the Bay Area. He has hosted several alumni receptions over the past year in Wilmington, DE, Houston and Philadelphia. Clayton reported that the guests were pleased with the opportunity to learn what was happening in the College. Closer to home, our College "Era" alumni events have been positive and well-attended. The "G.N. Lewis Alumni Era" luncheon (pre-1945), the "Cupola Era" luncheon (1946­1963), and the "Free Radicals" brunch (1964­1979) have been wonderful functions and provided the opportunity for alumni, faculty and friends to do a bit of reacquainting and reminiscing, and to hear a faculty speaker.

Free Radicals Tom Meyers (Ph.D. '71, Chem), Mark Wegner (Ph.D. '77, Chem) and Carlo Alesandrini (Ph.D. '71, Chem E) at the annual brunch in November, right.

(left) Chemistry Chair Klinman and alumna Marjorie Evans (Ph.D. '45) spoke at the Lewis Era luncheon.



Over 350 alumni, faculty and friends gathered for the ACS Alumni reception last spring at the City Club in San Francisco. And in Los Angeles this past November, over 300 people attended the reception during the AIChE conference.

Rüdiger Faust (Ph.D. '93), Dave Brown (Ph.D. '93) and Donna Brown at the ACS Alumni reception in San Francisco.



Last year's Cal Day was a great success, with several college faculty presenting programs. Professor Angy Stacy gave a presentation on "The Magic of Chemistry," Associate Dean Herb Strauss gave a presentation on The Undergraduate Program, and there were tours of Jean Fréchet's lab and the new undergraduate labs.

Professor Jean Fréchet explains the intricacies of organic synthesis during a tour of his lab on Cal Day.




Last June, the College held a discussion in Palo Alto on microfabricated chemical analysis entitled "Smaller is Better." Professors Paul Alivisastos and Richard Mathies gave presentations on the future of micromachines in the chemical industry and Professor Kristie Boering presented a lecture titled "Studying the Ozone Layer: The View from Satellites, Balloons, and U-2 Spyplanes" at the annual Homecoming, Reunion & Parents Weekend last October, and the Dean hosted a breakfast for alumni, parents, and students.

Chemistry Professor Kristie Boering talked about current research on the ozone layer for a packed house during Homecoming Weekend.


Fast-forwarding to the near future, the Cupola Era luncheon will be on Saturday, March 10, 2001, 12 - 2:00 p.m. in the Heyns Room at The Faculty Club. Chemical Engineering Professor John Prausnitz will be the speaker for the event. I encourage all friends and alumni from the 1946­1963 era to attend!

Cal Day is on April 21, 2001. This is a worthwhile event for prospective and newly admitted students and their parents. Professor Alex Pines and Dr. Mark Kubinec will present "Chemistry: Molecules, Materials and Us," and Associate Dean Strauss will discuss the Undergraduate Program. We would like to achieve and hopefully exceed last year's attendance. So if you are visiting in the area or want a break from mowing the lawn, this event is the perfect fit for you either way.

An issue I would like to mention is that of "Mentorship." This subject is discussed often both in academia and industry and is even more of a hot topic in recent years because of shifting population demographics. Currently the College has an on-line mentorship program for undergraduates, but its use has been limited. The feeling seems to be that a mentorship program is a good idea, but we have not seen the participation to substantiate it. The college's new editor is in the process of redesigning the on-line mentorship form and directory. The mentors are grouped by area of specialization, which will definitely make the directory more coherent and usable! Please check it out here.

Lastly, we are forming two new Alumni Era groups with the suggested time intervals of 1980-1989, and 1990-1999. As yet these groups need catchy names, so if you are the clever sort, do drop us a line with your suggestions.

In closing, let me reiterate that if you are interested in joining the steering team, please contact Camille Olufson via e-mail at or call her at (510) 643-7379. As ever, you have my standing invitation to visit the College whenever it suits you. Camille is at the ready to facilitate your visit. I look forward to seeing you at our many activities.

Steven F. Sciamanna, Ph.D. '86, ChE

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