Congratulations to Secondary Education minor Ryan Eleveld for winning the 2022 ACS Undergraduate Award in Physical Chemistry. Ryan is a LAS Chemistry major with an exceptional track record in mentoring and outreach including delivering a TEDx lecture.
With 4.0 GPA and on the Dean’s List every semester, Ryan plans to teach high school chemistry and will be receiving Professional Educator License in Secondary Education and Chemistry, Earth, and Space Science, helping shape the future of many budding young chemists.
He is the outreach chair of UIUC’s ACS Chapter and also the R.E.A.C.T Third Grade coordinator and lab manager, developing and filming grade-appropriate chemistry labs for local schools.
Professors Oldfield and Vura-Weis, who are his nominators for the ACS award, say “Ryan is a phenomenally good student, one of the very best that we have seen at Illinois.”
When a differential scanning calorimeter malfunctioned in CHEM 445 lab, Ryan volunteered to construct a new system from parts he could purchase at $2,000 (a new system will cost $100,000), which worked so well that he added new experiments on protein folding, DNA-ligand interactions, and nematic and cholesteric liquid crystals, which his fellow students perform in subsequent semesters.