Yale Chemistry Graduate Student to Attend Meeting with Nobel Laureates

Erica Woronowicz, a Ph.D. candidate in chemistry at Yale University, has been selected in a national competition to attend the 52nd Annual Meeting of Nobel Laureates and chemistry students this summer in Lindau, Germany.

She is being sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy for the five-day meeting, where graduate students in chemistry will hear talks by the renowned scientists and have the opportunity to ask questions.

“It’s a great opportunity to learn from very influential people in the sciences and to meet graduate students from other institutions,” said Woronowicz, a native of Louisville, Kentucky, who graduated with a B.A. in chemistry from Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn.

Her primary interest is physical chemistry in general, and solvation in particular. Solvation is the association or combination of molecules of solvent with solute ions or molecules.

Woronowicz was nominated for the program by Susan Hockfield, Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the William Edward Gilbert Professor of Neurobiology, and by her adviser, Mark Johnson, professor of chemistry.

“Ms. Woronowicz has excelled in every activity she has undertaken,” Hockfield said in her letter of recommendation. “And she is a driving force in Women in Science at Yale, a group that engages, through outside speakers, issues of special concern to young women starting out in careers in science.”

Johnson said that Woronowicz was able to trouble shoot a problem in the department’s ultrafast photodetachment experiment, which will greatly facilitate work in this area. “She has the raw mental firepower and intensity of focus to be a major player in her generation of physical scientists,” he said.

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