Coblentz Student Awards

2018 Coblentz Student Awardees

Kajari Bera, University of Minnesota, Professor Renee Frontiera

     Kajari Bera is currently a third-year graduate student working in Dr. Renee Frontiera’s group at the University of Minnesota. She received her master’s degree in Chemistry from IISER Bhopal, India and the University of Minnesota, USA. Her current research includes understanding the fundamentals of charge transfer processes using the ultrafast vibrational spectroscopic technique called femtosecond stimulated Raman spectroscopy (FSRS). More specifically, Kajari is interested in probing the ultrafast dynamics during solar energy conversion in organic semiconductors that possess the ability to improve the efficiency of photovoltaic cells. Ultrafast FSRS provides a unique vibrational technique to study the time-dependent evolution of a system in its excited state by monitoring the molecule’s Raman modes on a very fast timescale. She has one first-author publication in The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters which demonstrates the use of this ultrafast Raman microscopic technique to reveal the rapid structural dynamics that occur in organic semiconductors. She initiated a collaboration with an organic synthetic group at the University in order to apply this ultrafast vibrational spectroscopic technique to a wide-variety of systems.

During her graduate studies at the University of Minnesota, Kajari excelled in her course work securing an overall GPA of 4.0 in 2016, along with scoring the highest grade possible in her analytical spectroscopy course. She enjoys teaching and has received the best teaching assistant award out of 40 potential candidates, for teaching general chemistry to undergraduate students at the University of Minnesota in 2017.  She also served as a teaching assistant for a graduate level Laser Spectroscopy course, where she prepared and graded the solutions to quizzes and homework assignments. She is actively associated with various student groups at the department as well as at the University level.

Santosh Kumar Paidi, Johns Hopkins University, Professor Ishan Barman

     Santosh Paidi is a doctoral student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. His current research efforts in Dr. Ishan Barman’s lab are directed towards application of Raman spectroscopy and multivariate data analysis to develop novel quantitative approaches for addressing unmet needs in the molecular study of cancers. His recent work in this area has resulted in the creation of a new landscape for spectroscopic monitoring of stromal adaptations in the lungs of animals bearing breast tumor xenografts, prior to the arrival of metastatic cancer cells. He demonstrated this by exploiting the unique Raman markers stemming from the stromal modifications (induced by factors secreted from the primary tumor) to develop a decision algorithm for accurate differentiation of pre-metastatic lungs in mice bearing high metastatic tumor xenografts from those in mice with low metastatic tumor xenografts and normal controls. In addition to applications in cancer, a major focus of Santosh’s graduate study is the development of a detection framework based on label-free plasmon-enhanced Raman spectroscopy for rapid identification of closely related human and murine antibody drugs during their manufacturing, with the ultimate goal of translation to fill-finish sites. Prior to commencing doctoral study at Johns Hopkins, Santosh graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay in 2014 with a B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Aerospace Engineering. As an undergraduate, his research was directed towards understanding the effects of inert gas dilution on the characteristics of hydrogen combustion. Overall, his research efforts have resulted in ten peer-reviewed publications in journals such as Cancer Research, Analytical Chemistry and Scientific Reports. He has received several awards including an SLAS Graduate Education Fellowship Grant, the Tomas A. Hirschfeld Scholar Award, the Tony B. Academic Travel Award, an SPIE Optics and Photonics Education Scholarship, and an Undergraduate Research Award by IIT Bombay in recognition of his work.


Call for the 2019 Coblentz Student Awards and William G. Fateley Award

    The Coblentz Society has for many years encouraged young scientists to pursue studies in spectroscopy by seeking nominations of outstanding students for the Coblentz Student Awards. The awardees receive a copy of the Society's Desk Book, a certificate, and a year's membership in the Society. 

    The three leading graduate students selected by the Coblentz Award committee will automatically become candidates for the William G. Fateley student award that includes a plaque and a cash prize. No separate nomination for the Fateley award is required.

    The nominations window for Coblentz Student Awards closes February 15, 2019.  

    Nominations should be sent to the Chair of the Student Affairs committee at  

    Graduate or undergraduate students who have shown excellence in vibrational spectroscopy research and/or coursework including vibrational spectroscopy may be nominated. The nominator must be a member of the Coblentz Society (to become a member contact Katherine Cilwa or complete the online membership application).  

Requirements for a complete nomination:

  1. Curriculum Vitae of the nominee.  
  2. Biographical statement (300 words)
  3. One (1) letter of nomination from the supervisor 
  4. One (1) additional letter of recommendation 
  5. Abstract for a presentation at SciX 2019. 
    In previous years, all awardees were featured by having a photograph and a short bio in the SciX Final program. All awardees who attend SciX 2019 will be acknowledged in person at a presentation during the poster session on Sunday evening by the Coblentz Society president.

Past Awardees

2017 Coblentz Student Awardees

2016 Coblentz Student Awardees

2015 Coblentz Student Awardees

2014 Coblentz Student Awardees

2013 Coblentz Student Awardees

2012 Coblentz Student Awardees

2011 Coblentz Student Awardees

2010 Coblentz Student Awardees

2009 Coblentz Student Awardees