Undergraduate Awards

The Department of Chemistry presents a number of awards annually in recognition of outstanding undergraduate research and teaching.

Awards for Teaching

Peer-Led Team-Learning (PLTL) Leader Award

PLTL leaders must be dedicated and patient, and have performed exceptionally well in general chemistry. The PLTL Award recognizes outstanding PLTL leaders, chosen based on their observed performance in PLTL sessions and positive feedback from their students.

Residential Peer Mentor (RPM) Award

RPM awards recognize residential peer mentors for their outstanding work mentoring freshman and sophomore chemistry students, their commitment to the general chemistry philosophy, and their demonstrated concern for the success of their students and the RPM program.

Chemistry Peer Mentor Award

This award honors outstanding peer mentors for their knowledge, dedication, patience, and ability to share learning experiences with mentees, as well as significant contributions to the department’s teaching mission.

Chemistry Lab Mentor Award

The lab mentor award recognizes significant contributions to the general chemistry lab mentoring program, as well as extraordinary efforts to enhance the lab experience for undergraduate students, explain complex chemical concepts clearly, and increase student engagement and interest in the material.

Organic Chemistry Assistant Award

The award recognizes, encourages, and rewards organic chemistry learning/teaching assistants for their outstanding teaching performance and their dedication to promoting collaborative learning in organic chemistry.

Undergraduate Lab Teaching Assistant Award

This award is given for outstanding contributions to teaching an undergraduate laboratory class.

Awards for Research

John C. Sowden Memorial Prize

The Sowden Prize is the highest honor bestowed by the Department of Chemistry. The Sowden Prize is awarded for outstanding achievement by a chemistry major, recognizing excellence in both research and coursework. The prize honors John C. Sowden, chair of the chemistry department from 1956 to 1963. Sowden was a carbohydrate chemist who collaborated with nuclear and radiochemists at Washington University to create radiolabeled carbohydrates that helped to reveal mechanisms of carbohydrate reactions.

Lindsay Helmholz Award

The Helmholz Award honors outstanding achievement in inorganic/physical chemistry. The award is given in memory of Professor Helmholz, who is remembered for pursuing science for its own advancement.

Arthur Wahl Memorial Prize

The Wahl Prize honors outstanding achievement in inorganic/nuclear chemistry and is given in memory of Professor Wahl, who discovered a rare element during his thesis research that later resulted in the discovery of element 94, plutonium, along with J. Kennedy, E. McMillan, and G. Seaborg.

David Lipkin Memorial Prize

The Lipkin Prize recognizes outstanding achievement in organic or bio-organic chemistry. Professor Lipkin chaired the Department of Chemistry from 1964 to 1970, and his pursuit of excellence was instrumental in the building of McMillen Laboratories.

C. David Gutsche Award

The Gutsche Award honors outstanding achievement in organic chemistry. The award is given in recognition of Professor Gutsche's achievements in organic chemistry, including his pioneering work in the development of calixarene chemistry.

Merck Index Award

The Merck Index Award recognizes outstanding undergraduates across the United States and Canada for special achievement in Chemical Sciences. Students who receive this award have undertaken and excelled in undergraduate research projects, volunteered in the department and community, and excelled in their coursework overall.

American Chemical Society Awards

ACS Oustanding Junior Award

The Outstanding Junior Award is sponsored by the St. Louis Section of the American Chemical Society and recognizes one outstanding junior chemistry student from each college and university in the St. Louis area based on excellence in coursework and research.

ACS Organic Award

The Division of Organic Chemistry of the American Chemical Society (ACS) sponsors this award to recognize achievement by undergraduate students in organic chemistry and to encourage further study in the field.

ACS Inorganic Award

The Division of Inorganic Chemistry of the American Chemical Society (ACS) sponsors this award, established in 2009, to recognize achievement by undergraduate students in inorganic chemistry and to encourage further study in the field.

ACS Analytical Award

The Division of Analytical Chemistry of the American Chemical Society (ACS) sponsors this award to encourage student interest in analytical chemistry and to recognize students who display an aptitude for a career in the field. This award is co-sponsored by the journal Analytical Chemistry.