Chemistry and Biochemistry

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Chemistry and Biochemistry

Message from the Department Chair

Special announcement

NEW:  The CARES Act has made funds available to CSUN students to support them through the current COVID-19 crisis.  Many of Chemistry and Biochemistry’s students are eligible to receive this funding.  Please see this PDF document for details about how to apply.

The Chemistry & Biochemistry Department will continue to offer distance learning delivery formats through the end of the summer semester, 2020.  There will be no on-campus face-to-face classes or laboratories during this period.  We have no news on the Fall 2020 semester at present.

The Department’s main office, including student advisement, continues to conduct business remotely.  All general inquiries can be directed to or you can leave a voicemail message at (818) 677-3381.  We will respond as quickly as possible. 


May 2020: A new research article has been published by Dr Ye, in collaboration with Dr Jack Eichler at UC Riverside, and with CSUN student co-authors Alex Gilewski, Emily Mallory and Mikhail Litvak. The paper, titled "The impact of coupling assessments on conceptual understanding and connection-making in chemical equilibrium and acid–base chemistry" can be found in the Journal of Chemistry Education Research and Practice. The figure shown above (from the article) illustrates the students' perceptions of the similarities and differences between constructing concept maps and doing creative exercises as methods of improving learning.

May 15, 2020: Congratulations to Alex Gilewski, whose MS Chemistry thesis has been selected as one of only four recipients of the campus-wide 2020 Outstanding Thesis/Graduate Project Competition! Alex's research advisor, Li Ye, is very proud of his accomplishment, as is the rest of the department!

May 13, 2020: Congratulations to all of our undergraduates receiving their bachelor's degrees in Biochemistry or Chemistry this semester!  It is too bad that we cannot be there in person to celebrate with our students; normally we have a reception to honor all our graduates. As a small way to mark their accomplishments Dr Garrett has recorded a video to honor everyone. Your hard work has finally paid off - we wish all of you the very best in the next stage of your careers. Be sure to stay in touch and keep us updated on your future endeavors! 

May 12, 2020: Undergraduate students Mario Aguirre Cardenas, Nicole Babayans, Kristine Bislamyan, Jesus Cruz, Nicole Gardon, Alejandro Leon, Joanna Mae Ohide, Mehrnaz Siavoshi and Derek Stavich as well as graduate students Hafridha Hadi and James Nguyen have been given departmental awards for excellence in their academic and research endeavors. Graduate students Jane Odango and Joseph Yoon have also been given the graduate student teaching assistant award. Congratulations to all the awardees - the department is very proud of your accomplishments! In lieu of our usual departmental reception, Dr Garrett has recorded a video to honor each student.

May 12, 2020: We hit a new record this semester: nine graduate students successfully defended their theses! Benjamin Azmon (Minehan lab), Adam Freund (Eloranta lab), Alex Gilewski (Ye lab), Kevin Ng (Minehan lab), Nazaret Rptchian (Kelson lab), Cal Weeks (Kelson lab) and Joseph Yoon (Schrodi lab) are receiving their MS degrees in Chemistry, while Dane Geddes-Buehre (Crowhurst lab) and Benjamin Cordova (Tamae lab) will earn their MS degrees in Biochemistry. In lieu of honoring these students at our annual departmental reception Dr Garrett has recorded a video to give them their due credit. Congratulations, everyone! 

May 11, 2020: Congratulations to Dr Miao, who has been awarded CSUN's "Preeminent Scholarly Publication Award" for 2020. The four primary dimensions of this award are Originality, Professional Recognition, Significance, and Clarity. Professor Maosheng Miao’s publication, “Reactivity of He with ionic compounds under high pressure,” published in Nature Communications in 2018, stands out in all four dimensions. Miao’s publication on the “nanny” role of helium is lucid, impactful, and well-recognized by the scientific community.

May 11, 2020: Congratulations to Dr Nguyen-Graff, who has been awarded CSUN's "Extraordinary Service Award" for 2020. A faculty member in Chemistry and Biochemistry since 2006, Dr. Nguyen-Graff developed the Peer Learning Facilitators program for Chemistry 100 with 15 facilitators serving more than 300 students per semester providing small group discussion and problem-solving sessions. She also manages the chemistry tutoring center, and she spent spring break transitioning both programs online. An innovative and motivating instructor, she acts as a technology resource for her chemistry colleagues and has been recognized for her energetic embrace of technology by serving as a Canvas Insights early adopter. Dr. Nguyen-Graff has helped to organize Earth Day events at CSUN attended by elementary and middle school students. She has led chemistry workshops to prepare pre-credential students for the California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET). She also works with the CSUN Science Learning Collaboratory, which offers summer institutes and monthly presentations for middle school and high school science teachers. 

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