Department News

We are pleased to announce the following grants that have been received by the faculty in Spring 2017:

Dr. Ken Roberts, Department of Chemistry and Physics
“Validation of the Proposed Mechanisms for the 2,4’-Dihydroxyacetophenone Dioxygenase Reaction”

Dr. Nick Marshall, Department of Chemistry and Physics
“Layer-by-layer techniques for surface modification using aryl diazonium salts”

Dr. Ken Roberts, Department of Chemistry & Physics
“Anaerobic and Oxygen-Dependent Studies of the Mechanism of the 2,4’-Dihydroxyacetophenone Dioxygenase Reaction.”

Drs. Chad Leverette, Gerard Rowe, Nicholas Marshall, Ken Roberts, Department of Chemistry and Physics, and Nathan Hancock, Department of Biology and Geology
“Acquisition of a Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometer (LC/MS) for Materials Science and Biochemical Applications.”

The Department congratulates Spring 2017 graduate Tatiana Newsome

The department congratulates Emma Foerster and Spencer Tinkey at the December 2016 Academic Convocation ceremony as they both graduate with an ACS certified Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry, magna cum laude.  Best of luck Emma and Spencer!

A good time was had by all who attended the annual Chemistry Alumni/Student picnic, which was held this year on Saturday, October 22nd at Kalmia Hill Park.  Please make plans to join us next year!

Dr. Nicholas Marshall

The Department of Chemistry and Physics welcomes new Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Nicholas Marshall, to the department, Fall 2016.  Dr. Marshall received two B.S. degrees in Chemistry and Mathematics from Kennesaw State University. He received his Ph.D. in Materials Chemistry from the University of Georgia. Most recently, Dr. Marshall has been a Visiting Assistant Professor of Organic Chemistry at Berea College in Berea, Kentucky. Dr. Marshall will be teaching our organic chemistry sequence at USC Aiken. His research interests are in organic chemistry, materials chemistry, electrochemistry, and green chemistry. He and his wife, Katie, have three children (Brogan – age 6, Declan – age 3, and Brigid – age 3 months). He enjoys reading and martial arts. We look forward to the teaching and research experiences he brings to our department and are very glad that his and his family have joined us. Welcome Dr. Marshall!

The department congratulates Dr. Gerard Rowe upon his tenure
and promotion to Associate Professor!

Congratulations to our 2015-16 Chemistry graduates!

Alyssa Hugine
Trevian Loveless 

May (ACS graduates):  

Chitravati D. Choony – Magna Cum Laude
Manuel N. Dominguez – Cum Laude
Jasmine L. Ford
Victoria M. Leonard – Summa Cum Laude
Jeremy S. Weeks – Summa Cum Laude

Chitravati Choony with
Dr. Leverette

2015-16 Academic  Convocation
Victoria Shores and Jeremy Weeks were  honored as co-recipients of the 
Department of Chemistry's Stu dent of the Year Award
Pictured with Dr. Jordan and  Dr. Kenneth Roberts

The department congratulates Victoria Leonard on being chosen Student Employee of the Year for 2015-16 at USC Aiken!  Victoria, a graduating senior, and also co-recipient of the Chemistry Student of the Year award with Jeremy Weeks, was solely responsible for prepping the Organic Chemistry labs the past three semesters and did an outstanding job.  Congratulations, Victoria!

2016 South Carolina Academy of Science Annual Meeting

Our department was well-represented at the 2016 SCAS meeting at Winthrop University on April 16th, with six students presenting oral presentations or posters of their senior research:  Manny Dominguez, Jeremy Weeks, Jason Weeks, Victoria Leonard, Spencer Tinkey, and Emma Foerster.  Spencer Tinkey, mentored by Dr. Leverette, took 1st Place in the Chemistry/Biochemistry Oral Session and Victoria Leonard, mentored by Dr. Roberts, was the 1st place recipient in the Chemistry/Biochemistry Poster Session.  We are proud of all our presenters!

Manuel Dominguez, Massiel Payero-Garcia, and Dr. Chad Leverette

The American Chemical Society has named two USCA Chemistry majors, senior Manuel (Manny) Dominguez and sophomore Massiel Payero-Garcia, as recipients of their 2015 Scholars Program scholarship.  The ACS Scholars Program was established in 1994 to attract underrepresented minorities to pursue careers in chemistry or chemistry-related fields such as environmental science, toxicology, and chemical technology.  The department is very proud of Manny and Massiel and honored to have received two such prestigious awards.

News of Note

Dr. Ken Roberts The Department of Chemistry and Physics welcomes new Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Kenneth M. Roberts to the department, Fall 2015.  Dr. Roberts received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Washington State University in 2009 and comes to us from a Post-Doctoral appointment at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.  We look forward to the teaching and research experiences he brings to our department.  Welcome Dr. Roberts!

ACS logo

Our degree is now officially ACS certified!

The department celebrating ACS certification with Dr. Priest (left)
and Dr. Jordan (right)

Fall 2014

The 29th annual S.E.E.D. (Science Education Enrichment Day) was held October 11th and we had an awesome group of volunteers from the Chemistry and Physics Department.  Thanks to Dr. Gerard Rowe, Linda Zheng, Manuel Dominguez, Jeremy Weeks, Emma Foerster and Sommer Farmer for all their help in demonstrating the sweet side of chemistry!

During the summer of 2014, USCA student Brittany Jowers took part in an international student exchange program at the Low Level Waste Repository (LLWR) in Cumbria UK to learn more about the nuclear industry.  Her interest in nuclear science increased after taking a radiation physics course offered by Prof. Neil Miller in the spring 2014 semester.  You can read more about Ms. Jowers' experiences at


Fall 2013

Chemistry Freshman Friday - Friday, Oct. 11

SEED Day demos in the Science Building - Saturday, Oct. 12

Chemistry Alumni Reunion Dinner - Saturday, Oct. 12 at Gregg Park time: 4 - 7 (tentative) --Join other chemistry alumni, students, and faculty for a pizza and sub sandwich dinner in the park, networking opportunities, and fun USC Aiken memories. Bring the whole family, park games and pets a bonus! Please RSVP to Susan Glenn at or 803-643-6940.

Fall 2011

Join us for the 2011 Chemistry Alumni Reunion Friday, October 7, 2011 5:30 - 7:30 pm at the University of South Carolina Aiken, B&E Building, Room 122. Join other chemistry alumni, students, and faculty for a pizza and sub sandwich dinner, networking opportunities, and fun USC Aiken memories. Bring the whole family! Please RSVP to the Alumni Relations Office at 803.641.3408 or to by Thursday, September 29th. Please let us know of any dietary restrictions.

David Dragano is the winner of this year's travel award offered by the ACS-SR section. This is the second time Dr. Nandeo Choony's student has been awarded such a travel grant. David will be presenting his research work on Diels Alder reactions as a poster in the next ACS meeting in San Diego next year in March.

Spring 2011

3.28.11 Dr. Chad Leverette and students Jessica Moore, Mickie Killian, Rachel Strickhouser and Stephanie Hawkins attended PittCon 2011 in Atlanta, GA from March 13-16.. Pittcon is the world's largest annual conference and exposition for laboratory science. Mickie Killian also gave a presentation on SEIRA Substrate Fabrication by Physical Vapor Deposition.

2.11.11 Jessica Moore is working with Dr. Monty Fetterolf this year for her Senior Research and was awarded a Magellan Scholarship for her project titled, "Continued Investigations into the Solvatochromism of Methylene Violet: The Relationship Between Solvent Properties and Solution Color." Methylene violet exhibits different colors in different solvents and those color changes are identifies using UV-Vis absorption spectroscopy. Jessica will be investigating what physical properties of the solvent environment most strongly interact with the methylene violet molecule and are therefore most likely responsible for the color changes. Jessica is also including structural analogs of methylene violet in her work as well as computation to help determine which physical features of the molecule itself are responsible for the strong solvent interaction. Congratulations to Jessica for her receipt of a Magellan Scholarship.

1.7.11 Alumni in the Industry Reception will be held Thursday, January 20, 2011 from 6-8pm in the B&E building, Room 122. Speakers include Dr. John Tiffany, Southside Pediatrics, "The Science and Economics of Why Carbon is the Next Currency"and Mr. Chip Marvin, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, "Today's Professional and the Importance of Creating Your Own Personal Brand". Please RSVP at by January 17 if you plan to attend.

Fall 2010

10.23.10 Dr. Chad L. Leverette, Associate Professor of Chemistry, has just been selected as the 2010 South Carolina Governor's Professor of the Year. Each year, the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education solicits nominations from each four year college or university in the state. For the second year in a row, Dr. Leverette was chosen to represent USCA. A special luncheon/awards ceremony will be held for all nominees on Nov. 4, 2010 at the Capstone Building at USC Columbia.

09.23.10 Annual Chemistry Alumni and Friends Social will be held Friday, October 1, 2010 from 6-8 pm in the B&E building, Room 122. Please join as we share a meal and good fellowship. All current chemistry and pre-pharmacy majors are welcome to attend. Food and drink provided by the department. Please RSVP to Dr. Susan Glenn (Room 122) by Tuesday, Sept. 28 if you plan on attending.

09.23.10 Chemistry faculty receive coveted NSF MRI award. Congratulations to Drs. Leverette and Fetterolf on receiving an MRI award to purchase a state-of-the-art Raman microscope for spectroscopy and chemical imaging applications. The grant is a 3 year grant totalling $264,821. The instrument, once installed at USCA, will be the only one of its kind at any university or college in South Carolina. It will be used for research in nanoscience, hydrogen storage, and coral microbiology.

08.15.10 Welcome Dr. Gerard Rowe! Dr. Rowe is our new inorganic chemist. Dr. Rowe fills the position held by Dr. Kutty Pariyadath, who retired this year after 26 years of service to USCA. Dr. Rowe completed his Ph.D. from Boston University and most recently, he completed a post-doctoral appointment at Brandeis University. Welcome Dr. Rowe!

Spring 2010

06.01.10  The U.S. Department of Energy through the Savannah River National Laboratory will fund a 5 month grant (6/10-10/10) for research to Dr. Leverette in the amount of $33,354.

04.30.10 Congratulations to the 2010 Chemistry graduates! These students are Mr. Patrick Shaw, Mr. Daniel Johnson, Ms. Michelle Killian, Ms. Annie Whitley, and Ms. Tamiko Harris.

04.30.10 Congratulations! Mrs. Michelle Killian earned several honors this past Spring. She was selected as the 2010 USCA Outstanding Student and the 2010 Outstanding Chemistry Student. She also won "Undergraduate Research Award" for her session at the SC Academy of Science meeting in Charleston.

04.30.10 Congratulations, Dr. Leverette! Dr. Leverette was selected as the recipient of the 2010 USCA Scholarly Activity Award. This award follows Dr. Leverette's selection as the 2009 recipient of the USCA Excellence in Teaching Award.

01.22.10 Congratulations to Daniel Johnson and Dr. Nandeo Choony! Daniel Johnson, a senior Chemistry major, was awarded the American Chemical Society travel award from our local ACS-Savannah River chapter. The travel award is $500 to help cover the expenses of attending the National ACS meeting. Daniel will be receiving the award and a certficate at the next ACS-SR meeting on January 27th. Daniel will be traveling to the ACS 239th National Meeting in San Francisco, CA with Dr. Choony to present his work titled "Use of steric buttress to enhance Diels-Alder intramolecular cycloaddition reactions: Such reactions that otherwise do not occur"on March 23, 2010. Congratulations Daniel!

 01.22.10 Congratulations to Mickie Killian and Dr. Chad Leverette. Mickie, a senior Chemistry major, will be giving an oral presentation of her research with Dr. Leverette titled "Optimized SEIRA Substrate Fabrication by Physical Vapor Deposition: Influence of the Choice of Underlying Substrate, Film Thickness, Angle of Deposition, and Substrate Rotation on the Observed SEIRA Response" at the 2010 Pittsburgh Conference held Feb. 28-March 5, 2010 in Orlando, Florida. Pittcon is the largest international conference for Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy.

 01.22.10 Congratulations to Brent Peters and Dr. Chad Leverette. Brent, a 2009 chemistry graduate, will be giving an oral presentation of his research with Dr. Leverette titled "Physical Vapor Deposition vs. Electroless Deposition: A Comparison of Two Popular SEIRA Substrate Fabrication Methods" at the 2010 Pittsburgh Conference held Feb. 28-March 5, 2010 in Orlando, Florida. Pittcon is the largest international conference for Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy.

 01.22.10 Congratulations to Mickie Killian! Mickie was selected as a Spring 2010 Magellan Scholar. The Magellan Scholar program is the premier undergraduate research award for the University of South Carolina system. She will be conducting her research under the guidance of Dr. Chad Leverette. The award was funded in the amount of $2965. This money covers the cost of the lab supplies, travel to a conference, and pays the student a stipend to do the research. The title of Mickie's project is "Optimized SEIRA Substrate Fabrication by Physical Vapor Deposition: Influence of the Choice of Underlying Substrate, Film Thickness, Angle of Deposition, and Substrate Rotation on the Observed SEIRA Response".


SEED Celebrates More than Three Decades of STEM Innovations
October 5, 2016

The 31st annual SEED – Science Education Enrichment Day – on Oct. 1, was a “huge success,” with more than 3,600 attendees and more than 65 hands-on exhibits ...

Grant Funds USC Aiken Research Greenhouse
October 4, 2016

University of South Carolina Aiken students helped cut the ribbon during the university’s research greenhouse open house Sept. 30.  

This spring, members of the biology/geology ...

USC Aiken Students Showcase Research, Win South Carolina Science Awards
April 18, 2016

Aiken, S.C. -- The University of South Carolina’s ninth annual Research Day April 15, showcasing undergraduate research on campus, was the biggest yet.

USC Aiken’s 2016 Research ...

SRNL Awards Inaugural University Scholars Program to USC Aiken STEM Students
November 9, 2015

Aiken, SC – USC Aiken hosted corporate leaders and scientists to its campus from Savannah River National Laboratory. The event highlighted a new initiative, The Savannah River National ...

Two USC Aiken Students Named ACS Scholars for 2015
October 14, 2015

AIKEN, S.C. – Manuel Dominguez and Massiel Payero-Garcia, students at the University of South Carolina Aiken, were named 2015 American Chemical Society Scholars. Both students will receive a ...

USC Aiken, SRNL Sign University Scholars Agreement
August 12, 2015

Aiken, SC – The Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) and the University of South Carolina-Aiken are partnering in a new program to help students prepare for laboratory careers in science...

29th Annual S.E.E.D. – Science Education Enrichment Day to be held on the campus of USC Aiken
September 29, 2014

Aiken, SC - Imagine making slime, a potato battery, exploring windmills, talking turkey, making paper, driving a championship robot, becoming a TV meteorologist, or traveling through a virtual ...

USC Aiken Student Part of International Student Exchange Program Studying Nuclear Energy
September 10, 2014

Aiken, SC – When Brittany Jowers returned to USC Aiken in late August, she was both excited and dismayed.  She was excited because she graduates in December with her Bachelor of ...

USC Aiken Introduces the Archimedes Dialogue Project
September 9, 2014

Aiken, SC – The University of South Carolina Aiken is introducing a new website called the Archimedes Dialogue Project that is dedicated to sharing and archiving the research, ideas, and work...

USC Aiken is Certified by The American Chemical Society
September 2, 2014

Aiken, SC – The American Chemical Society (ACS) is a national organization for chemists that sets the bar for high quality education of future chemists and is an advocate for science to our ...