CLEMSON – The College of Science’s department of chemistry held its 2017 Student Honors and Awards ceremony on April 10 in Daniel Hall.

“Our awardees can remember the hours they spent in the lab and all the experiments they’ve had to do over and over again. They can remember struggling with material in their textbooks and feeling like they might never fully grasp it,” said Karl Dieter, chair of the department of chemistry and professor of organic chemistry at Clemson University. “But today is the day to honor them and reinforce in their minds that all their efforts were worth it and will pay many dividends in the future. So, let’s give the awardees a round of applause for their achievements and hard work.”

Rebecca Pontius, winner of the Mark Bernard Hardin Prize in Chemisty, said that the award was special to her because it was named after Clemson University’s first-ever chemistry professor.

“My dream is to become a research professor at a university as wonderful as Clemson,” Pontius said. “I’m very honored to have my name associated with Professor Hardin’s. This fall, I will be heading to graduate school to pursue my doctorate in chemistry.”

Andrew Poveromo, winner of the Outstanding Chemistry Senior Award (Western Carolina ACS Award), said that rolling up his sleeves and putting in a lot of time and effort is what has led to most of his achievements.

“I know that while my grades are good, I’m not necessarily the top student and I’ve had to work hard to earn those grades,” Poveromo said. “I was also very active outside the classroom, such as giving tours of the chemistry department to perspective students. Because of this, I feel like I’ll be leaving a great impact on the chemistry program. After graduation, I’ll be attending grad school in the fall at Penn State to pursue my Masters in Food Science.”

Here is the entire list of award winners:

Outstanding Student in General Chemistry

Thomas Birdsong

Thomas is majoring in General Engineering and is a member of the Calhoun Honors College. He’s currently the new vice president for the Clemson University Virtual Reality Club as well as conducts research in the Prosthetic Sockets Creative Inquiry. Thomas also likes to spend his spare time hiking, playing soccer and rock climbing. In the future, he plans to transition into Computer Engineering, then after graduation push the boundaries between physical and digital phenomena and experiences.


Outstanding Student in Introductory Chemistry

Elizabeth Brown

Elizabeth is majoring in Environment and Natural Resources. Elizabeth has volunteered for the Martha’s Table as a food preparation volunteer, Swim Across America and Clemson University Singers. Her hobbies include singing and running. In the future, she plans to travel and then go to the Graduate School for Sustainable Business Management.


Chemical Rubber Company Award

Spencer Temples

Spencer is a B.S Chemical Engineering major and also in the Clemson University Honors College. Spencer is involved with the Scuba Club and the Skydiving Club. In his spare time he enjoys scuba diving, skydiving, rock climbing, running and swimming. After he graduates in the future, she plans to pursue a Doctorate.


Outstanding Student in Organic Chemistry

Sarah Baum

Sarah is majoring in Chemical Engineering. Sarah is currently a PEER/WISE tutor, a private tutor and a leadership training program with LINC. She’s involved with Creative Inquiry: Inorganic Biomaterials, NSF REU: Engineering and Nanoscience of Materials in Biotechnology and Medicine as well as Physics Research. In her spare time she likes playing Ultimate Frisbee and classical piano. In the future she plans to attend medical school to become a Pediatric M.D.


The Houghton Mifflin/ICUC First Year Chemistry Award

Joseph Ondus

Joseph is working toward earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. He is currently involved with Dr. Hwu’s Creative Inquiry, involved with lab work that synthesizes compounds for analysis. When he can find extra time, he likes to build and maintain computers as well as exploring chemistry and other sciences. He plans to attend graduate school, pursuing a career in chemical research.


Outstanding Sophomore Chemistry Major

Tyler Dindinger

Tyler is majoring in Chemistry and is a current Student Affiliate of the American Chemical Society, involved in the Clemson University Math Club, and involved in research under Dr. Pennington and Dr. McMillen currently studying synthesis of cocrystals with sulfur structures. He’s interested in reading, studying game design and researching new interesting developments in the field of chemistry. He plans to go to graduate school and into a research career or a professorship.


Undergraduate Award in Analytical Chemistry

Kaylee Clark and Laura McCann

Kaylee, BS Chemistry major, is currently the Moderator/President of the Presbyterian Association and Vice President and Varsity Player for Clemson Women’s Rugby. After graduating this semester, she plans to pursue the Ph.D program in Analytical Chemistry. She’s accepted at and is deciding between Colorado State University, Oregon State University and Virginia Tech.

Laura, a BS Chemistry major, is currently a College of Science Student Ambassador in the Chemistry Department. She’s also involved with swim meets in the Clemson Swim Club as well as Poster Presentation, the latest called Protein Absorption with Cellulose Fibers. She’s very interested in photography and swimming. She plans to attend graduate school following graduation, and then plans to pursue a career in research.


Undergraduate Award in Inorganic Chemistry

Emory Burns

Emory, B.S. Chemistry major, is currently serving as a Senator, Chief of Development for the cabinet on the Clemson Undergraduate Student Government. He’s really enjoyed research with Dr. Thrasher, co-author of an article about salts in the Journal of Fluorine Chemistry. In his summer free time, he enjoys concerts, movies, and reading. His future plans include graduating and then pursuing a degree in law to become a patent lawyer.


Undergraduate Award in Organic Chemistry

Lauren Evey Adams

Lauren is majoring in Bioengineering and minoring in French Studies. Lauren is currently involved with volunteer work at the Mauldin Miracle League, working at the Clemson Campus Recreation teaching group fitness classes. She loves her Creative Inquiry program in Orthopedics. In her spare time, she enjoys sailing, running, hiking and playing with her dog. After she graduates this semester, she plans to attend medical school.


Undergraduate Award in Physical Chemistry

Dan Fetterolf

Dan is majoring in B.S. Chemistry. Dan loves being a violinist as well as being a DJ at WSBF FM in Clemson. He’s also participated in electiochemical research with Dr. Stephen Creager. In his spare time he’d like to continue playing violin or drums in multiple music groups as well as hiking in the area.


Outstanding Chemistry Senior at Clemson University

Award (Western Carolina ACS Award)

Andrew Poveromo

Andrew is receiving his B.S in Chemistry as well as an Honors Certificate this semester. He has been involved with leading meetings in the Central Spirit as well as being the College of Science Student Ambassador, giving tours of the Chemistry Department and Hunter Labs. Andrew’s loved working in Dr. Pennington’s lab on his PCDA and TRCDA project. In his spare time he enjoys running, playing sports, attending Clemson sporting events and walking his dog. After graduating this semester, he plans to attend graduate to pursue a Master’s Degree in Food Science.


American Institute of Chemists Award

Victoria Haberman

Haberman is majoring in Chemistry. Victoria is has been involved within the Phi Kappa Phi Honors Fraternity as well as the NCAA Women’s Rowing Team.  These last few semesters she worked on poster and slide presentations. In her spare time she enjoys playing soccer, puzzles, reading, and enjoying her family & friends. She plans to attend graduate school to pursue a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry.


Merck Index Award

Jennifer Haines

Jennifer is a B.S. Chemistry major and Biological Sciences minor. She’s currently the president of Gamma Sigma Sigma as well as a PAL Leader in Peer Assisted Learning and volunteering in in the Clemson and surrounding community. Jennifer loves hiking, exercising and spending time with friends. After graduating, she plans to attend medical school, hoping to become a surgical physician.


Senior Researcher Award

Amanda Owen

Amanda is majoring in Chemistry. She was involved with a summer internship and five semesters of Creative Inquiry themed in Organic Chemistry. She’s also a Resident Assistant, an Academic Mentor in the Gamma Phi Beta Sorority, and a Public Relations Chair in the Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Society. Her hobbies include watching movies and certain TV shows, as well as knitting and painting canvases. In the future, she plans to attend graduate school to earn a Ph.D in Analytical Chemistry. After graduate school, she hopes to work in the crime scene laboratory of a federal agency.


Chemistry Faculty Award

Matthew Case

Matthew has been a PAL Leader in the ASC: PAL Program, organizing organic chemistry review sessions. He’s also participated in various church groups as well as Medical Physics Creative Inquiry which researched into the effectiveness of various radio-sensitizing agents. He’s enjoyed long-distance running, playing basketball, fishing, and spending time with friends. His definite future goal is to attend a MD/PhD program in order to practice, research and teach medicine.


American Chemical Society Award

Kinsey Lee

Kinsey is a Chemistry major and Spanish minor. She is a Peer Assisted Learning Leader as well as a Student Affiliate of the American Chemical Society. She’s involved with Alpha Epsilon Delta and Women in Science and Engineering. She also enjoyed researching in Dr. Whitehead’s lab and then presented a poster at the Clemson Chemistry Department Annual Research Symposium. In her spare time, she exercises at the gym, hikes, and is learning to play the guitar. After graduation, she plans to attend medical school with aspirations to become a surgeon.


Chemistry Outreach Award

Edward Hoegg

Edward, a Chemistry major, has been involved as an electrical engineer in the Solar Decathlon, the treasurer in the Chemistry Graduate Student Organization, and a committee member in the Chemistry Department Research Symposium Committee. Edward has also had a number of journal entries published, as well as posters presented. Outside of his chemical research, he spends time traveling and exploring the great outdoors, particularly locations with great scuba diving.


The Graduate Teaching Assistant Award in Chemistry

Yimei Wen, Xiaoyan Yang

Wen is a graduate student pursuing a Ph.D. in Chemistry. In the last four years, she’s participated in various roles in the Clemson Graduate Student Government. She’s also had at least seven publications, oral sessions and poster sessions, the latest one titled “Bipolymer Strips for Organic Vapor Sensing.”  In her spare time, she visits the gym, museums and zoos, as well as reads books and follows fashion blogs. After graduation, she plans to work as a research scientist in a world-leading chemical company.


is also a graduate student pursuing a Ph.D. in Chemistry. She’s enjoyed being the treasurer in the Clemson University Electrochemical Society Student Chapter, as well as volunteering in the Habitat of Humanity. She’s been able to give many oral presentations, as well as publications these past few years. In her spare time, she loves to cook. After graduating, she plans to pursue a career in industry.


The Graduate Researcher Award in Chemistry

Xiaoyan Yang

Yang’s publications have been in the area of Polymer Chemistry and of Materials Chemistry C. She’s also enjoyed oral presentations, particularly on Thermal Properties and Film Morphology. She’s looking forward to a career in industry. (See more above.)


The Warwick Chemical Foundation Prize in Chemistry

Taron Bradshaw

Taron is a Bachelor of Science major in Chemistry and a minor in psychology. Taron is currently a Public Affairs Coordinator in the Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society as well as the Peer Assisted Learning Leader in the Peer Assisted Learning Program. She’s also enjoyed participating in Clemson’s Psychology Club and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars group. Her hobbies include cooking, watching Netflix, reading, as well as spending time with family and friends. She plans on pursuing graduate school as her interests are in analytical chemistry, hoping eventually to work in industry.


Mark Bernhard Hardin Prize in Chemistry

Rebecca Pontius

Rebecca is a Chemistry major with a minor in Spanish. She’s really enjoyed being a Peer Assisted Learning Leader in the Academic Success Center. When she has spare time, she hikes, runs, gardens, plays soccer, reads, crafts and cooks. She’s still in the process of selecting a graduate school for a P.hD program, either in nanochemistry materials, chemical biology or organic chemistry. Her ultimate goal is to become a research professor in a field that synthesizes multiple disciplines.