Careers & Student Outcomes

Celebrating Student Excellence and the Stewards Who Inspire Them

Stevens’ Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology holds its third annual holiday dinner

Amid the stunning Manhattan skyline views peeking through the windows of Bissinger Hall at the Howe Center, more than 80 people gathered at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology’s (CCB) Third Annual Holiday Dinner on Friday, December 8, 2023, to celebrate the accomplishments of Stevens Institute of Technology students and faculty. The attendees included faculty, staff, students, alumni and their families and friends.

Photo of Woo Lee in a red suit speaking into a microphoneWoo Lee welcomes guests to the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology’s Third Annual Holiday Dinner.

Themed “Celebrating the Stewardship for Student Success,” the event began with a welcome message from chemistry and chemical biology department chair Woo Lee, the event’s organizer. Throughout the evening, awards were presented by Kenny Wong, associate chair for graduate studies, Patricia Anne Muisener, associate chair for undergraduate studies, and Yong Zhang, professor of chemistry and chemical biology. Schaefer School of Engineering and Science Dean Jean Zu closed the evening’s event. 

“In celebrating the successes of Stevens students, we also honor the stewardship of our faculty in inspiring students and nurturing the next generation of innovators and leaders,” said Lee.

William Windsor, adjunct professor of chemistry at Stevens and vice president of Discovery Biology at Innovimmune, presented Nicholas Murgolo, adjunct professor of biochemistry and bioinformatics at Stevens and distinguished scientist at Merck Research Laboratories, with an award for his 35 years of adjunct service with commitment and dedication.

“Dr. Murgolo is a brilliant scientist who exemplifies dedication to stewarding Stevens students forward to achieve high levels of success in their academic careers,” Windsor explained.

Photo of four people: Bose's son and his familyThe Bose family

Doctoral students Daniel Centeno (advisor: Marcin Iwanicki) and Ishira Samarasinghe (advisor: Athula Attytgate) received the 2023/2024 Ajay Kumar and Margaret Logan Bose Memorial Scholarship Award, presented by Wong. Centeno, a Ph.D. candidate in the Stevens chemical biology program, focuses on ovarian cancer research. Samarasinghe, a Ph.D. candidate in the Stevens chemistry program, is an analytical chemistry researcher. 

The 2023/2024 Ajay Kumar and Margaret Logan Bose Memorial Scholarship Award is a scholarship established by Birendra “Ben” Pramanik to support graduate-level research education in honor of former George Meade Bond Professor and Department Chair Ajay Bose and his wife. Bose served on the Stevens faculty from 1959 to 2007. Bose’s son and his family attended the holiday party to help celebrate the student awards. 

Photo of three men standing and talking, with Denver Baptiste in the middleDenver Baptiste (middle), CCB lecturer, speaks with colleagues at the holiday event

Wong also presented this year’s Person of the Year Award, which honored Denver Baptiste, CCB lecturer, for enhancing student training in laboratories. Baptiste, who grew up in St. Lucia, where he became curious about how to apply engineering to produce and grow crops in stressful conditions, shares his passion for merging cellular molecular biology, bioinformatics and programming languages to interpret biological data to drive interdisciplinary curiosity among his students.

Melissa Pathil B.S. ’23 M.S. ’24 received the 2022/2023 Senior Research Project First Place Award, presented by Muisener. This award is given to a graduating senior who has demonstrated excellence in their undergraduate research project. Pathil’s advisor, Abhishek Sharma, CCB associate professor, was also honored at the ceremony for Academic Excellence and Leadership. Yong Zhang, professor of chemistry and chemical biology, presented Sharma with the award. Recently, Sharma and Zhang had their research on boron-based molecules featured in distinguished scientific journals. Their pioneering research is opening pathways for healthcare breakthroughs.

Yong Zhang and Abhishek Sharma standing together holding an awardYong Zhang presents Abhishek Sharma with the Academic Excellence and Leadership Award

Lee reflected on the event and its importance to the Stevens community. “The remarkable individuals we celebrated have utilized their distinct leadership and dedication to bolster student achievement significantly. Their contributions have profoundly transformed and enhanced the fabric of Stevens’ Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology,” he said.

View photos of the event here.

Learn more about academic programs and research in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology: