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Graduate Students


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Graduate Student News

May 18, 2020


Gracielou Klinger


Gracielou Klinger, an MSU graduate student in the Chemistry (Jackson Group) and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology departments is the recipient of the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center’s (GLBRC) 2020 Jennifer L. Reed Bioenergy Science Award.

The award recognizes an early career woman who has made notable contributions to the GLBRC research portfolio.  As part of her Ph.D. research with Professors Ned Jackson (Chemistry) and Eric Hegg (BMB), Gracielou has been developing novel, bio-inspired ways to break down lignin for conversion into biofuels.

Gracielou Klinger likes to describe the sulfur-based chemicals she uses in her research at Michigan State University as “smelly.” Lignin has a high energy content and many potential uses, but it is most often burned in factories as fuel. Other uses would require breaking the tough molecule apart into smaller molecules. The challenge is to do this without decreasing the energy content, and that’s where Klinger’s research and the smelly chemicals come in.

In her graduate work, Gracielou has developed an organic catalytic reaction to cleave key ether linkages in lignin, and has filed a patent on the method.

In addition to excelling in the lab, she also completed a science communication internship at the Shedd Aquarium and worked in the patent office of MSU Technologies, helping other researchers get their ideas patented.

May 5, 2020


Ilias Magoulas


Ilias Magoulas (Piecuch Group) received the College of Natural Science's 2020 Tracy A. Hammer Graduate Student Award. Ilias’ doctoral research covers a wide range of topics in theoretical and computational chemistry and physics. They include important methodological advances in electronic structure theory, especially in combining the stochastic Quantum Monte Carlo and deterministic coupled-cluster methodologies to produce numerically exact solutions of the electronic Schrödinger equation and the development of high-accuracy methods for strongly correlated systems, to applications of ab initio quantum chemistry to high-resolution molecular spectroscopy, ultrafast science, and photochemistry. The Tracy A. Hammer Graduate Student Award for Professional Development is presented to outstanding graduate students pursuing degrees in the College of Natural Science in support of their professional development. See https://natsci.msu.edu/alumni-friends/awards/tracy-hammer-grad-student/ for more information.

March 2, 2020


Keenan Noyes


Keenan Noyes (Cooper Group) has been selected to receive MSU's 2020 Undergraduate Research Supervisor Mentor of the Year Award. This award is presented annually and recognizes undergraduate research supervisors who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to mentoring undergraduate researchers. Keenan is a graduate student in the Cooper group and he was nominated by undergraduates Matthew Neumann and Robert McKay. Notably, Keenan is the first graduate student recipient of this award and the first awardee from Chemistry or the College of Natural Science. The award will formally be presented at the University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum (UURAF) Award Ceremony on Wednesday, April 15