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Song Prize Award

When Professor Pill-Soon Song left the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in 1987 he gave Texas Tech a donation of $4,000, the interest on which is awarded annually as a prize for the best Ph.D. degree dissertation in the department.  The first award was given in 1991. 


 To Dr. Pill-Soon Song,
who was a stalwart member of our faculty for 20 years,
we raise the hat and record our warmhearted thanks.

Year Awarded




Dr. Robert R. Kane

Dr. Robert D. Walkup


Dr. Johnny L. Hallman

Dr. Richard A. Bartsch


Dr. Miin-Liang Horng

Dr. Edward L. Quitevis


Dr. Young Soo Kim

Dr. Robert D. Walkup


Dr. Kelly S. Griffith

Dr. Gregory Gellene


Dr. Simon K. Poruthoor

Dr. Purnendu K. Dasgupta


Dr. Gary A. Tarver

Dr. Purnendu K. Dasgupta


Dr. Hanghui Liu

Dr. Purnendu K. Dasgupta


Dr. Stephen D. Starnes

Dr. Allan D. Headley


Dr. Wen Zhou

Dr. W. David Nes


Dr. Martin J. Campbell

Dr. Richard A. Bartsch


Dr. Kelly A. Swinney

Dr. Darryl J. Bornhop


Dr. Steven Tomlinson

Dr. James G. Harman


Dr. Daniel Ta-Jen Chang

Dr. Gregory I. Gellene


Dr. Rida Sadek Al-Horr

Dr. Purnendu K. Dasgupta


Dr. Chun Zhou

Dr. David M. Birney


Dr. S. M. Rahmat Ullah

Dr. Purnendu K. Dasgupta


Dr. Pruthvi Jayasimha

Dr. W. David Nes


Dr. Kalayani Martinelango

Dr. Purnendu K. Dasgupta


Dr. J. Cody Timmons

Dr. Guigen Li


Dr. Ademola Idowu

Dr. Purnendu K. Dasgupta


Dr. Jason V. Dyke

Dr. Purnendu K. Dasgupta


Dr. Zheng Xue

Dr. Michael F. Mayer


Dr. Jason L. McAfee

Dr. L. William Poirier


Dr. Bangshing Wang

Dr. Huazhong Shi


Dr. Fehmi Bardak

Dr. Edward L. Quitevis


Dr. Eric S. Clevenger

Dr. Michael F. Mayer

Procedure for Selecting the Song Prize Winner

In January of each year, a solicitation is sent out asking each of the five departmental divisions (analytical chemistry, biochemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, and physical chemistry) to nominate the best dissertation written by a doctoral student in their respective divisions during the previous calendar year. The deadline for the nominations is February 1. After receiving the nominations, a subcommittee of the Awards Committee comprised of faculty from each of the divisions reads each of the nominated dissertations. The dissertations are evaluated on the basis of three criteria:

  1. Comprehensibility for a general reader, especially of the summary and introductory sections.
  2. Completeness and extensiveness of the work. Have all basic questions pertaining to the research inquiry been answered, or at least addressed?
  3. Creativity, innovation, impact on the field, and extent to which the student has directly contributed to these aspects. Advice on these matters will be sought from a non-advisor member of the dissertation committee.

These criteria are weighted roughly equally in making an overall assessment for a given dissertation. A five-point scale is used for each of these three criteria.

The scores from all the members of the Song Prize Subcommittee are added. The dissertation with the highest total score wins the Song Prize.

The Song Prize winner is recognized at the annual departmental Awards Ceremony in late April or early May. The award comes with a certificate, a $500 prize, and a name-plate that is placed on the Song Prize plaque that is prominently made visible in the department’s “Strive for Honor” display case which contains the other plaques honoring students and staff for various academic and service achievements.