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The 2015 Green Chemistry Award Winners

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Every year the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® (ACS GCI) awards students pursuing green chemistry and engineering research grants and travel funding to present their research at green chemistry and engineering conferences. This year, ACS GCI awarded four promising students the Joseph Breen Memorial Fellowship and the Kenneth G. Hancock Memorial Award.

2015 award winners.jpgThe Breen award is granted to students of all levels and early career scientists who demonstrate outstanding research or educational interest in green chemistry. Breen fellows receive financial support to participate in an international green chemistry technical meeting, conference, or training program. The 2015 winners are Lauren Grant, from South Orange County, California, an undergraduate chemistry student at the University of California Berkeley, and Zachary Wickens, a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology.

The Hancock award provides national recognition and honor for outstanding student contributions which further the goals of green chemistry through research and/or studies. The award is presented in conjunction with the annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference which is typically held in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

Two students were selected from a competitive group of applicants to receive the 2015 Kenneth G. Hancock Memorial Award.  Alan Medina-Gonzalez, a first generation Latino scholar and rising senior at Augsburg College, Minnesota, is pursuing a bachelor’s of science degree in chemistry (ACS-Certified) with minors in mathematics and biology, and Leah Rubin Shen, who studies at the University of California, Berkeley, is pursuing Ph.D. in chemistry. When asked about her research, Shen summarizes, “I am studying new fuel chemistries that we hope can be used directly in [polymer electrolyte membrane] (PEM) fuel cells without the need for hydrogen generation in situ. Because these fuels have to react electrochemically in order to work, I study them under different voltage and current conditions to see how they behave.” Medina-Gonzalez states, “As an awardee, this will help me share my experience and knowledge of the research I conducted with the green chemistry community. To add, this will also enrich me with the importance of sustainability through multiple perspectives by other undergraduate and graduate research presentations.”

Shen and Medina-Gonzalez were both in attendance at the 19th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference, July 14-16, 2015, where they were awarded the Hancock Fellowship. To learn more about the ACS GCI Green Chemistry awards and the 2016 deadlines, visit here.

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