Coblentz Student Awards

About the 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.  Nominate someone for the 2022 award. 

2021 Coblentz Student Awardee – Isabella Goodenough

Cynthia Pyles

Isabella Goodenough is a graduate research assistant earning her PhD in physical and analytical chemistry with a focus in vibrational spectroscopy of complex nanoporous materials at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is involved in a collaborative project between the University of Pittsburgh and Temple University, which seeks to develop superior sorbents capable of capturing and degrading hazardous chemical agents, such as chemical warfare agents and toxic industrial chemicals.  The ultimate goal of this work is to design protective equipment for military, industrial and civilian personnel using multifunctional, porous-hybrid nanomaterials, which couple Metal-Organic Framework (MOF) scaffolds and non-noble metal plasmonic nanoparticles. To date, Isabella’s role in this project has been to develop a fundamental insight on the interactions of the MOF scaffolds with select target analytes using in situ FTIR techniques under ultra-high vacuum conditions in order to understand the adsorption, transport and desorption phenomena in MOF-analyte systems. In addition she uses vibrational probe molecules to understand the nature and distribution of defects in these materials.

Outside of the laboratory, Isabella serves as the Chair of the Philadelphia Younger Chemists’ Committee (YCC) and is a founding member of the Eastern US YCC partnership. Her mission is to build a network of motivated young professionals that will empower and unite chemists in the community. She is passionate about pursuing social justice through community engagement and strives to advance accessibility, representation, and equality in STEM disciplines. In the future she hopes to expand the boundaries of leadership and teamwork to influence positive change and to inspire diversity and inclusion.

2021 Coblentz Student Awardee – Christopher Warkentin

Cynthia Pyles

Chris Warkentin is currently a Ph.D. candidate in experimental physical chemistry at the University of Minnesota. Prior to his academic career, he found work building trails in the Appalachian Mountains, restoring wetlands in the Midwest, establishing a sustainable farm, and managing a custom construction shop. These experiences informed his interest to pursue a career in sustainability and his eventual return to collegiate studies at Indiana University South Bend. Here his research career began, exploring a range of interests in chemistry and physics. As a SMART Research Fellow, under the advisement of Dr. Grace Muna, he developed nickel-palladium modified glassy carbon electrodes for the electro-analytical detection of steroid hormones in local surface waters. In 2017, he earned a BS in Chemistry with minors in Physics and Mathematics from IUSB and moved to Minneapolis to pursue his doctoral degree in Chemistry at the University of Minnesota under the advisement of Dr. Renee Frontiera. While pursuing his Ph.D., he obtained his master’s degree in Chemistry in 2018.

Today, his research interests center on using surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) to investigate the dynamics of plasmon-driven chemistry in a variety of plasmon-molecule systems. A better understanding of plasmon-molecule interactions could aid in the rational design of new plasmon-based green catalysts for more sustainable chemical production and solar energy generation. Chris’ work uses ultrafast (ps) time-resolved SERS and steady-state (ms) SERS in order to understand both the fast energy-transfer dynamics that occur on the timescale of plasmon decay and the slower reaction kinetics that result from the cumulative effects of continuous irradiation. His research, in collaboration with theorists and material scientists, has revealed new insights into nanoscale spatial control of plasmon-driven processes, ultrafast plasmon-induced charge transfer, and upconversion applications with new plasmonic materials.

Chris has earned a number of awards during his tenure at the University of Minnesota, where he is currently an Institute on the Environment Renewable Energy Commercialization Fellow. He is an active member of the Analysis and Compliance committee for the Departments of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Joint Safety Team and involved with various student groups within the department. Outside of the lab, Chris enjoys hiking, fishing, gardening, and playing with his 11-month old son, Oliver.

2009-2020 Coblentz Student Awardees

The Coblentz Society member who nominated the student is also listed.

2020 Coblentz Student Awardee

    2019 Coblentz Student Awardee

      2018 Coblentz Student 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