* * *

Chemistry Seniors Class of 2015

Olja Simoska – Olja is a senior from Skopje, Macedonia. She has been a part of Chris LaFratta’s lab for the past three years and has been working on a microfabrication technique known as Direct Laser Writing (DLW) for the fabrication on lab-on-a-chip devices with sub-micron features. For her senior project, Olja is working on the synthesis and characterization of some novel photoinitiators, which she hopes to use in the LaFratta DLW system. In her free time, Olja enjoys baking, drawing and painting.

Emin (Berk) Atuk- Berk is from Ankara, Turkey but for high school he went to a boarding school in Pennsylvania. He played on the Bard basketball team for three years and he likes hiking and playing with his two cats. For his senior project, he is investigating Rhodium(II) catalyzed intramolecular N-insertion to form benzoxazinone and benzoxazipine derivatives.

Kody Chen-Kody is a Joint Major in Chemistry and Biology and works under Professor Craig Anderson with Ruthenium-Ferrocene chemotherapeutic compounds. These novel compounds are designed to be more selective towards cancer cells to avoid the severe side effects caused by current chemotherapy drugs that contain metal centers.

Matthew Greenberg – Matthew Greenberg hails from the scenic and majestic cultural mecca of Albany, New York. He is currently working on a senior project under Professor Craig Anderson exploring the mechanism behind the regioselective synthesis of five-membered and seven-membered cyclometalated platinum complexes. When not doing that, he enjoys playing guitar, exotic cuisines of the world, public transportation, and ken-ken puzzles.

Hannah Otto – Hannah is a native Chicagoan who likes to spend her free time cycling, cooking, and attending musical performances. At her time here at Bard, she has held numerous positions ranging from magazine distribution to event planning and of course as a Chemistry Research Assistant. She is also an active member of the International Student Organization Executive Committee planning large events for the international population at Bard. Hannah is the recent recipient of the Community Action Award which allowed her to travel this past summer to Peru to study recycling management systems. She currently researches under Christopher LaFratta on the miniaturization of ionic hydrogel actuators.

Brian McDonough – Brian is an up and coming young chemist from Glen Ellyn, Illinois. He is working with Professor Swapan Jain on the characterization of the mRNA xpt Riboswitch as it binds to novel guanosine analogs. His senior project involves the synthesis of these compounds, along with a series of immunoassays designed to test their bioavailability. In his spare time, Brian enjoys things like tennis, chess, books, and dancing.

Clare Wheeler – Clare Wheeler is from the great Pacific Northwest, more specifically Olympia, WA. She has been working under Chris LaFratta in the bard Physical Chemistry lab for over 3 years. Her research has included exploration of bacterial fluorescence sensors, impedance and electrochemistry, Direct Laser Writing (DLW), and more recently the study of photochemistry and electrochemistry of gold. Clare’s senior project involves research of photochemistry and electrochemistry of gold towards the devolopment of uPLATE which is a proposed mechanism combining DLW and electrodeposition to fabricate micro-scale gold wires. Outside of chemistry Clare enjoys playing her violin, banjo, and kalimba and dabbling in the arts of henna and knitting.


(Left to Right: Seoyoung Kim, Emin (Berk) Atuk, Hannah Otto, __, Olja Simoska)

Mildred Kissai

Seoyoung Kim

Anuska Shrestha

Julienne Sarabia