Skip to main content

USD chemistry students honored at national symposium for outstanding contributions to research

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Two University of South Dakota graduate students were recognized with prominent awards for their outstanding contributions to chemistry research at the 53rd Sanibel Symposium at St. Simons Island, Ga., recently.

Jiangchao Chen received the IBM-Löwdin Award for Postdoctoral Associates while Stephanie Jensen was awarded an IBM-Zerner Award for Graduate Students. Both students are part of a computational chemistry research group founded by Dmitri Kilin, assistant professor of chemistry at USD. They were among nine students recognized at the 2013 Sanibel Symposium, which is the longest running, privately-organized meeting in the field of the quantum theoretical treatment of electronic structure, spectra, and dynamics.

Chen was cited for his project, “Ab Initio Molecular Dynamics of Photodissociation of Lanthanide Cyclopentadienyl-type Precursors for Laser-Assisted MOCVD,” which conducts research about laser fragmentation of lanthanide complexes with monitoring by time-of-flight mass spectrometer. His experimental research is under the instruction of USD Chemistry Professor Mary Berry, Ph.D., who is a leading expert in lanthanide complexes and computational simulation. A photo of Chen receiving his award from Rod Bartlett, graduate research professor of chemistry and physics at the University of Florida, is available for download at

According to Kilin, Jensen has achieved great results within the last two years of her study, “Ab initio molecular dynamics of Ag, Ni, and Co doped titanium dioxide anatase (100) surface photo electrochemical cell.” Her research conducts computational modeling of hot carrier relaxation and charge transfer in surfaces of an important semiconductor - titanium dioxide. A photo of Jensen receiving her award from Bartlett is available for download at


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

This material is available in an alternate format upon request. Please contact University Relations at 605-677-5759. If you are a person with a disability and need a special accommodation to fully participate in any university activity or event, please contact Disability Services at 605-677-6389 as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the event, so that appropriate arrangements may be made.


Hanna DeLange
USD News