Undergraduate Student Awards

The department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is bestowing undergraduate students each year with awards listed below. Students are welcome to nominate themselves by filling out the form below.

  1. UWM biochemistry award to a chemistry major for outstanding classroom and laboratory performance in biochemistry.

This annual award is elected by the biochemistry division and is granted to the best student with outstanding performance in CHEM501, CHEM560, or CHEM601, CHEM602, CHEM603, CHEM604. Students taking multiple biochemistry classes and achieving outstanding grades are in a better position to receive this award.

  1. UWM inorganic chemistry award to a chemistry major for outstanding classroom and laboratory performance in inorganic chemistry

This annual award is elected by the inorganic chemistry division and is granted to the best student with outstanding performance in CHEM311 or CHEM511. Students taking multiple inorganic chemistry classes and achieving outstanding grades are in a better position to get this award.

  1. Ralf Vanselow award to a chemistry major for outstanding classroom and laboratory performance in physical chemistry.

This annual award is elected by the physical chemistry division and is granted to the best student with outstanding performance in CHEM561, CHEM562, or CHEM563. Students taking multiple physical chemistry classes and achieving outstanding grades are in a better position to get this award.

Prof. Ralf Vanselow, one of the Department’s several experts in surface chemistry, matriculated to UWM from Berlin in 1970. Prof. Vanselow was prominently involved in hosting the annual international surface studies summer conference (a major event) that was held at UWM for a number of years.  Ralf also served as Chair and made every effort to run proper meetings guided by Robert’s Rules.  During his time as Chair, he also made a great effort to host elegant departmental gatherings, including music provided by Milwaukee artists. He retired in 1996.

  1. Kovacic award to a chemistry major for outstanding classroom and laboratory performance in organic chemistry.

This annual award is elected by the organic chemistry division and is granted to the best student with outstanding performance in CHEM343, CHEM344, CHEM345, CHEM582, or CHEM584. Students taking multiple biochemistry classes and achieving outstanding grades are in a better position to get this award.

Prof. Kovacic is an emeritus professor of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He was one of the four research faculty hired in the 1960s by the Department to lead our development in graduate doctoral studies. Like many organic chemists, he was prolific, had a large group, and was nationally known.

  1. UWM analytic chemistry award to a chemistry major for outstanding classroom and laboratory performance in analytical chemistry.

This annual award is elected by the analytical chemistry division and is granted to the best student with outstanding performance in CHEM221 or CHEM524. Students taking multiple analytical chemistry classes and achieving outstanding grades are in a better position to get this award.

  1. Emeritus chemistry faculty scholarship to the outstanding junior chemistry major B. Richard Siebring award.

This annual award is elected by the undergraduate subcommittee and is granted to students in their first years at UWM with outstanding performance in chemistry.

 Dr. Siebring was director of the general chemistry program for many years, having come over from the Wisconsin State Teachers College. He and May Ellen Schaff co-authored a series of general chemistry texts. His scholarship focused on the “qualities of eminence” among great chemists.

  1. Outstanding senior chemistry award.

This annual award is elected by undergraduate subcommittee is granted to senior undergraduate students with outstanding overall performance in chemistry.

  1. Outstanding performance in introductory chemistry

This annual award is elected by the undergraduate subcommittee and is granted to undergraduate students student that achieve the highest grades for 100-level chemistry courses. .

  1. Duward Laye memorial Fellowship award

The Durward C. Layde Memorial scholarship recognizes chemistry majors and those UWM students with an interest in chemistry in their second or later year of college with a significant financial need. Traditionally, the chemistry department has given this award to students who are working full time to support themselves and their family and are enrolled in multiple classes each semester to achieve a higher education degree in chemistry. The eligible student should have reasonable academic success than can be improved by lifting time restrains due to outside work upon receiving this award. Former recipients also shared the lack of support by their parents or inability to receive student aid.

Duby was one of the founders of the UWM Chemistry Department, having served in our predecessor, the Wisconsin State Teachers College.  He taught general chemistry and served as Chair in the early part of the 1970s.  In looking back, UWM was created in the late 1950s by taking the faculty of the teachers college and making it the tenured faculty of UWM, conceived of as a completely different sort of institution.  Because of its origin, UWM had a difficult time making the transition to a research university because its starting faculty base had different interests and skills.  The result was that for 25 years or more, some departments struggled with their identities.

I realized at some point that Duby and the other founders had done a great service for the Chemistry Dept.   In the 1960s, instead of hiring more “teachers” like themselves,  they deliberately brought in four senior research faculty in order to provide a foundation for our transition to a research department.  These folks were George Sosnovsky, Peter Kovacic, Alex Hill, and Werner Brandt. They, in turn, insured that other faculty hires would be strong researchers.  As a result, we had a thriving graduate program when I arrived in 1971. (provided by Prof. Petering)