Texas Tech University

Alumni Highlights

Dr. Connie Dunn

Connie Dunn (Ph.D. ‘95) recently completed the educational and course design requirements of the Tarrant County Connect Campus to be an e-Learning Online Instructor. Currently, she is the lab supervisor of quality for the City of Fort Worth's Water and Wastewater Laboratory. She has also been teaching at the Tarrant County College Northwest Campus as an adjunct professor since 2001.

Dr. Vidura Thalangamaarachchige


Dr. Vidura Thalangamaarachchige has accepted an Assistant Professor in Chemistry position (tenure track) at McNeese State University, Lake Charles, LA. He was a former graduate student in Prof. Krempner's group where he was involved in developing zwitterionic main group and transition metal complexes for catalysis. After graduating, he worked as a postdoctoral research associate in Prof. Quitevis's group. As a postdoc, he worked on multiple projects where he was responsible for designing novel ionic liquids for various applications such as cellulose dissolution, electrochemistry, lubricants, etc. He was also involved in multiple collaborative research projects with PNNL (Pacific Northwest National Lab), FBRI (Fiber and Biopolymer Research Institute, TTU), Prof Ludwig's Group in Rostock, Germany, Prof. Laskin's Group at Purdue University. One of his major accomplishments was in helping to develop an ionic liquid for cellulose dissolution, which to date is the fastest and which is under patent review. His current research interest is in utilizing ionic liquids for organo-catalysis, biomass processing, and generating biomaterials for bio-medicinal applications.

Ms. Amanda Miller

Amanda Miller

In May 2018, Amanda Miller – who had just graduated with her bachelor's degree from Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry – became the first CISER scholar to attend Whetstone's Mexico mission trip. After working with patients in Haiti and Mexico, Amanda Miller now has a clearer focus for her career goals.

Dr. Cole Seifert & Mr. Carder Brooks

Cole & Carder

In the 2017 OVPR annual highlight report, Dr. Cole Seifert (Ph.D. in Chemistry and Biochemistry, TTU 2017) and Carder Brooks (M.S. Biotechnology, TTU 2017) were highlighted for their startup company GAP Peptides, LLC. Further information about their company can be found at gappeptides.com and the highlight was presented on page 15 of the report.

Dr. Suresh Mummadi


2017 Ph.D. graduate, Dr. Suresh Mummadi, from Dr. Clemens Krempner's research group is in a postdoc position in the lab of Dr. Kenneth Nicholas, at the University of Oklahoma.

Dr. Ranjith Nadipalli


2017 Ph.D. graduate, Dr. Ranjith Nadipalli, from Dr. Paul Pare's research group accepted the offer from Ascent Pharmaceuticals Inc., a New York-based pharmaceutical industry as a "QC Analytical Scientist."

Dr. Roya Baghi

Roya Baghi

Dr. Roya Baghi, a 2017 Ph.D. graduate from Dr. Hope-Week's research group has taken a new job in Boise, Idaho at Micron Technology as a Research and Development engineer.

Prof. Rui Sun

Rui Sun

Rui Sun received his B.S. degree in Chemistry in 2009 from Shandong University in China. He received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Texas Tech University in 2014, working with Dr. William L. Hase on studying gas phase reactions mechanism and solvent effect in condensed phase reaction with ab initio molecular dynamics simulation. He then worked as a postdoctoral scholar in the laboratory of Gregory A. Voth at the University of Chicago developing enhanced sampling methodology to assist biophysical simulations and biochemical reactions. During his postdoctoral appointment, Rui also collaborated with Eli Lilly and Company working on small molecule drug permeation with the support of its Scientific and Technical Advisory Board Award. Rui joined the faculty of the Department of Chemistry in August 2017.

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!

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