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Gray-Hill Seminar Series


We are pleased to introduce the Gray-Hill Lecture Series at Occidental College (Oxy). Caltech CCE students will have the opportunity to present their research to chemistry undergraduate students at Oxy this summer. The series is named after Caltech Chemistry Professor Harry Gray and Occidental Chemistry Professor Michael Hill in recognition of their passion for undergraduate education. Mike Hill is a former CCE postdoc and currently a Professor of Chemistry at Oxy, where he has developed a strong research program for undergraduates. The seminar series is designed to provide students participating in the summer research program exposure to new research topics and the graduate school experience.

Christine Morrison, a student who had the opportunity to participate as apeaker in this seminar series said, "It was stimulating and rewarding to present my research and journey to Caltech to an audience as engaged as the Occidental summer undergraduate research scientists. I took great delight in more in-depth conversations with several of the students and professors in a tour of their labs after the talk. A year after my presentation, I am still reminded of the benefits of a program such as the Gray-Hill seminar series when students from the audience write to me for assistance in preparing applications for graduate school or fellowships."

The seminars will provide Caltech students the opportunity to develop crucial skills in presenting scientific findings to a general chemistry audience. We feel that this opportunity will be of interest to students who:

· Want to improve their communication skills

· Are interested in teaching

· Would like to practice presenting their job talk or thesis seminar

· Do not have the opportunity to present elsewhere

· Would like to reach out to a broader scientific community

· Like to share their exciting research with others

Selected students will present an hour-long seminar (including Q&A), followed by a casual discussion with students where they can answer questions about graduate life. The seminars tentatively will be held on Fridays at 3:30 pm over an 8-week period during the summer, starting May 29, 2015.

We are also pleased to announce that there will be an honorarium.

Applications to participate in the lecture series this summer are due on Friday, May 1st, 2015.

Questions can be addressed to Melanie Pribisko Yen at



Upcoming Seminars


May 29th:  Bryan Hunter, Gray Group, 
"Mechanistic Understanding of [NiFe]-LDH-Mediated Water Oxidation Catalysis by Novel Operando Spectroscopies"

June 5th:  Michael Post, Dougherty Group,
"Binding Interactions at a Nicotine Receptor Subtype Involved in Addiction and Parkinson's Disease"
June 10th:  Kelly Kim, Stoltz Group,
"Synthesis of Novel Cyanthiwigin Derivatives via Late-Stage C–H Functionalization and Other Strategies for Oxidation"
June 19th:  Sid Creutz, Peters Group,
"Design and synthesis of new iron complexes for nitrogen fixation"
June 26th:  Adam Nielander, Lewis Group,
"Graphene at the Silicon/Electrolyte Interface"
July 10th:  Brendan Quigley, Grubbs Group,
July 17th:  Alyson Weidmann, Barton Group,
"Biological Activity of Rhodium Metalloinsertors and the Design of Bifunctional Conjugates"

July 24th:  Ryan Henning, Heath Group,
"Targeting undruggable oncoprotein epitopes using protein catalyzed capture agents"