Texas Tech University

Alumni Highlights

Heather Coats

Heather Coats

Heather Coats, a recent graduate from the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department (M.S. in Chemical Education, August 2016), is currently employed by the Center for the Integration of STEM Education & Research (CISER) here at Texas Tech. She serves as the Traveling Lab and STEM Outreach Coordinator for the Center. CISER provides active-learning STEM activities and laboratories for K-12 area schools, as well as professional development for K-12 teachers. She collaborates with faculty and educators across our TTU campus and the community to bring exciting STEM opportunities to Texas Tech and area schools. For more information about this program, please contact Heather at: heather.coats@ttu.edu


Dr. Austin Privett

Austin Privett graduated from TTU with a Ph.D. in August 2015 for his studies conducted under the direction of Prof. Jorge Morales. Austin is now a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN. As a graduate student, Austin was awarded the 2016 Song Prize for his Ph.D. dissertation entitled: Electron Nuclear Dynamics: Resolution of Electronic States, Extension to Direct Ionization, and the Irradiation of Biomolecules in Proton Cancer Therapy.


Dr. Peng Li

He was a former student in the Pappas research group, has accepted a faculty position in the C. Eugene Bennett Department of Chemistry at the University of West Virginia. After receiving his Ph.D. in 2012, Dr. Peng Li accepted a postdoc position at the Pennsylvania State University under the supervision of Prof. Tony Jun Huang, where his research focused on studying surface acoustic wave (SAW) microfluidics and its biomedical applications. He developed a series of acoustic based methods that can manipulate cells in a non-contact and biocompatible way, including controlling cell-cell interactions, isolating circulating tumor cells from cancer patients, etc.


Walter Wever

He was one of our own undergraduate students, who did undergraduate research in Prof. Korzeniewski's lab. He graduated with a BS in Chemistry in 2008, magna cum laude, and with a GPA of 3.845. Already clearly a talented student, he went on to do an organic-based MS degree in our department with Prof. Guigen Li, graduating in August 2011 with a perfect 4.0 GPA. By that point, however, his interests had shifted to medicinal chemistry. So, Walter began a new Ph.D. program at Purdue University, which by some measures has the best medicinal chemistry program in the nation. Later, he transferred to the UNC Chapel Hill Eshelman School of Pharmacy, which also has a nationally ranked medicinal chemistry program. During these years, Walter managed to get a few JACS publications under his belt. Walter will receive his Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry from UNC this summer 2016, after which he already has a prestigious postdoctoral position lined up with Dr. Elliot Chaikof at Harvard Medical School! Well done, Walter!


Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry