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Chemistry Majors Named Recipients of John and Elizabeth Holmes Teas Scholarship
24 June 2020

The Department of Chemistry is pleased to announce that chemistry majors Cristina Craescu, Danny Glickman, and Ryan Lai have been named new recipients of the John and Elizabeth Holmes Teas Scholarship. The students join previous scholarship recipients Devon Sweeder and Jordan Ort, who continue to receive support from the scholarship. 

The Teas Scholarship was established to assist Penn State chemistry majors with tuition costs. The scholarship recognizes students who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement, ability, and a passion for chemistry.  

“The Teas scholars bring great distinction to the department and we are pleased to recognize Cristina, Danny, and Ryan for new awards, as well as Jordan and Devon on renewing their awards,” notes Department of Chemistry head Phil Bevilacqua.

Cristina Craescu is a rising senior who is currently conducting research with the Elacqua group, led by Assistant Professor of Chemistry Beth Elacqua. Craescu’s work focuses on designing organic polymer-based catalysts in order to promote small-molecule transformations under confinement. Her goal is to use the adaptability and modularity of the polymer framework to interrogate selectivity, control, and rates of select organic reactions. She has been awarded an Erickson Discovery Grant in support of her research. 

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Cristina Craescu
                                                             Cristina Craescu

Danny Glickman is a rising senior Schreyer Honors College scholar who is majoring in chemistry. He is currently conducting research with Associate Professor of Chemistry Ben Lear. Glickman’s research focuses on gold nanoparticle synthesis in polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), a non-flammable, non-toxic medical polymer. Glickman hopes to gain insight on synthesis via transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and UV-Vis to determine if it is possible to control the shapes and sizes of the nanoparticles.

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Danny Glickman
                                                              Danny Glickman

Ryan Lai is a rising sophomore Schreyer Honors College scholar who is majoring in chemistry. Lai is currently conducting research with the Zhang lab, led by Paul Berg Early Career Professor of Chemistry Xin Zhang. Lai’s research focuses on trying to detect and understand protein aggregation by synthesizing small fluorogenic probes that can tag proteins. He also plans to serve as a learning assistant for Chem 110B in the fall. Outside of the classroom, Lai is involved in Penn State’s Music Service Club, the Nittany Chemical Society, and Science Engagement Enabling Discovery program.

“I've always been very interested in science,” adds Lai, “so being recognized for my efforts and passion will really propel me through the rest of my time at Penn State.”

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Ryan Lai
                                                                          Ryan Lai

Please join the Department of Chemistry in congratulating Cristina Craescu, Danny Glickman, Ryan Lai, Jordan Ort, and Devon Sweeder on receiving this exciting award.