Chemistry and Biochemistry

2017 BYU annual University Conference: Remembering More Than Just Names

Posted: Oct 17, 2017

The 2017 BYU annual University Conference was held Monday, August 28, 2017 in the Marriot center. The names of Karl G. Maeser and Abraham O. Smoot are more than familiar to BYU faculty and staff members. Perhaps it is even a cultural requirement to know them in order to work at the university. The contributions of these men to the foundation of BYU are well heralded and well deserved, and every year we remember them by bestowing awards in their names during each university conference. Loretta C. Gledhill, Muriel Thole, Ben E. Lewis, Fred A. Schwendiman—these people and countless others have also given of their lives to BYU in significant and dedicated ways. Though their names and their specific contributions are less well known, they are no less significant. We also give awards to honor and remember them and their dedicated service to the university. In addition to these names, in this booklet there are the names of 42 of your colleagues. Over this past year and throughout their careers, these awardees— professors, nurses, directors, secretaries, editors, technicians—have found, in the simpleness of a daily vocation, significant ways to contribute to the university. We recognize each one of them and thank them for helping us remember our foundations and build on new opportunities.

Congratulations to the members of the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department who received awards. The awards were as follows:


Daniel Austin: the Karl G. Maeser Research and Creative Arts Award:

This award honors faculty members for outstanding research and creative accomplishments and is made possible by the generosity of the Karl G. Maeser Scholarship Society. Daniel E. Austin develops miniaturized mass spectrometers for portable chemical analyzers and for space exploration, studying chemical and biological processes in extremely high-velocity impacts and in charge detection mass. Much of this NASA-funded work relates to the search for life on Mars and in the oceans of icy moons orbiting Jupiter and Saturn.

Steven L. Castle: Wesley P. Lloyd Award for Distinction in Graduate Education:

This award pays tribute to faculty members of exemplary performance in teaching, research/creative work, and citizenship in graduate education. Steven L. Castle teaches organic chemistry and is associate director of the Simmons Center for Cancer Research. Working with graduate students, he conducts research funded by the National Institutes of Health that targets new ways of synthesizing organic molecules. He applies these techniques to constructing bioactive natural products and to understanding chemical biology


Eric T. Sevy:  Religious Education Transfer Professor

This award recognizes excellence in providing outstanding teaching in Religious Education outside of a faculty member’s discipline.

Jaron C. Hansen and Lee D. Hansen: Technology Transfer Award

This award recognizes faculty members who have made significant research contributions that have led to the development of useful commercial products.