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FACSS Student Award & Tomas B. Hirschfield Scholar Award


FACSS encourages the participation of students at the SciX conference with its award program. To apply, click here

The FACSS Student and Tomas B. Hirschfeld Scholar student awards are presented to outstanding graduate students who wish to attend SciX and present their work at the SciX conference. These awards require submission of an application at the SciX conference website. The FACSS Student award was formalized as a permanent standing award at the FACSS meeting in the fall of 1987. The award had existed prior to this meeting but until 1987 was funded based on yearly approval from the Governing Board.

The Hirschfeld Scholar Student award was founded in 1987 based on a written proposal submitted by Professor Alex Scheerline. The minutes of the March 1987 meeting record that "FACSS shall support an annual award program, as the result of which, up to four graduate students will be designated as Hirschfeld Scholars, with preference for diverse research specialties among the students."


FACSS Student Award Recipient 2019

Ewelina Mistek, SUNY Albany

Ewelina Mistek is a Ph.D. student in Chemistry at the University at Albany, State University of New York and a National Institute of Justice Graduate Research fellow. Ewelina is originally from Bukowno, a small village in Poland. She obtained an Academy Profession Degree in Chemical and Biotechnical Science from the Business Academy Aarhus, University of Applied Sciences in Denmark. During that program, she pursued a one-year internship in a forensic science laboratory with the Lednev Research Group at the University at Albany. After returning to Europe, Ewelina continued her undergraduate program in Forensic and Analytical Science at the Robert Gordon University, earning her Bachelor of Science with Distinction. In 2016, she returned to the University at Albany to pursue her doctorate degree under the mentorship of Professor Igor Lednev.

Ewelina’s work involves the application of vibrational spectroscopy and statistical data analysis for the development of new forensic methods with a focus on the identification and characterization of body fluid traces. Her work has been recognized by a number of local, national, and international awards. Besides the prestigious National Institute of Justice Fellowship, Ewelina received the Coblentz Student Award in 2017, the Best Student Poster Award in her session at the 2019 ICAVS conference in Auckland, New Zealand, runner-up in the Three Minute Thesis Competition at the University at Albany, the Francis Dunstan Travel Award to present at the 2018 ICORS conference in Jeju, South Korea, the Ford Foundation Initiatives For Women in Science Fellowship at the University at Albany, the National Institute of Justice Travel Award to present at Pittcon 2018, the Chemistry Department Graduate Student Travel Award, a year membership in the AAAS/Science Program for Excellence in Science, and lastly, she was nominated for recognition at the first “Celebration of Scholarship” at the University at Albany. Just recently, she was also elected to the position of Student Representative of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy.

Ewelina has already published seven articles in peer-reviewed journals including five first-author papers, and one book chapter. Her 2016 Analytical Chemistry article was highlighted on the journal cover. She presented her research at 18 local, national, and international conferences. She was interviewed by the local TV stations, the University’s podcast series, and her research was highlighted in the press on several different occasions. Ewelina’s research continues to attract the attention of the forensic and spectroscopy societies, as she proceeds to disseminate her research around the world


Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Recipient 2019


Shachi Mittal, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

Shachi Mittal is a Beckman Postdoctoral Fellow in University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. She completed her dissertation work in June 2019 supervised by Prof. Rohit Bhargava in the Department of Bioengineering, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Prior to joining graduate school, Shachi earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degree in Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi in 2014. She was then selected as an Illinois Distinguished Fellow for her graduate study. Her work focused on developing efficient and robust computational models using spectroscopy data for early cancer detection and prognostic assessment, particularly breast cancer. Her research work has resulted in 13 peer reviewed publications, 10 oral/poster presentations and several awards including Baxter Young Investigator award, invited speaker and first prize winner at Annual Engineering PhD Summit in EPFL, Lausanne, Eastern Analytical Symposium Graduate Student Research award, Nadine Barrie Smith fellowship, Beckman Institute Graduate Fellow and Big Data Summer fellowship.

She has mentored 8 students (high school and undergraduate) to promote research awareness and skill development. Her recent work on building digital tools for identifying different disease states and microenvironment analysis using infrared spectroscopic imaging and machine learning can provide more detailed diagnoses for precise treatment planning. Risk stratification of early stage patients has been a challenge as there are no clinical factors, histopathologic features, or molecular markers that permit reliable assessment of recurrence risk. Consequently, many more women are over diagnosed, resulting in potential short term and long-term morbidities as well as healthcare costs. Therefore, precise diagnosis of in-situ cancer and predictive models for their progression is indispensable for early detection and subsequently improved patient outcome. She has translated her models to discrete frequency measurements for rapid and efficient clinical translation. Her current plan is to combine patient information obtained from chemical imaging, genomics, proteomics, tissue and patient level disease information to identify multilevel statistical associations to drive improved diagnostics, treatment and management of cancer


Erika Portero, University of Maryland, College Park

Erika Portero is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her current research under the supervision of Prof. Peter Nemes aims to develop next-generation mass spectrometry technologies to enable the analysis of small molecules in single cells. Erika is a first-generation college graduate who was born in Ecuador. She earned her B.S. in Chemistry from Drew University in New Jersey and participated in the International Research Experience for Undergraduates program by the National Science Foundation to conduct research at the Universit√© Pierre-et-Marie-Curie in Paris, France. Erika received her M.S. in Chemistry from the George Washington University in Washington D.C. and was awarded a 2017 Graduate Scholar Award by the COSMOS Club Foundation to support financial costs of research during her first year of graduate studies. She also received a 2017 Helmsley Fellowship to attend a Cell and Developmental Biology course at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Erika is pursuing a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry, her research focuses on “Developing Single-cell Mass Spectrometry Tools to Investigate Cell Heterogeneity in the Developing Vertebrate Embryo” with the goal to extend bioanalytical tools for systems cell biology. Erika has disseminated her research via 6 peer-reviewed publications, followed by 2 manuscripts currently in preparation. She has presented at a number of national and international conferences, including the 2017 SciX. Most recently, Erika received a Nico Nibbering Travel Award by the International Mass Spectrometry Foundation to attend the 2018 International Mass Spectrometry Conference in Florence, Italy. During her graduate career, she has served as a mentor to several high school, undergraduate, and graduate students. Erika is committed to help underrepresented students join STEM careers. As such, she served as an ACS Chemistry Ambassador for Project SEED, which supports economically disadvantaged high school students to conduct research at the university level.



Call for Applications - Deadline is April 30

In order to have their presentation considered for a Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Award or FACSS Student Award, students must first submit their abstract for the SciX conference. Then complete the FACSS-Hirschfeld Student Awards Application Form,


Past recipients

2019

FACSS Student Award
Ewelina Mistek, SUNY Albany

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards
Shachi Mittal, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Erika Portero, University of Maryland College Park

2018

FACSS Student Award
Edward D. Hoegg, Clemson University

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards
Katie Spalding, University of Strathclyde

2017

FACSS Student Award
Nicholas Riley, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards
Aboualizadeh Ebrahim, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
Paidi Santosh, Johns Hopkins University

2016

FACSS Student Award
Mustafa Unal, Case Western Reserve University

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards
Kyle Doty, SUNY Albany
Mario Saucedo-Espinosa,Rochester Institute of Technology

2015

FACSS Student Awards
Marie Richard-Lacroix, University of Montreal
Lynn X. Zhang, Clemson University

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards
Stephanie DeJong, University of South Carolina
Patrik K. Johansson, University of Washington

2014

FACSS Student Award
James R. Hands, University of Central Lancashire

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards
Menglian Zhang, Ohio University
Andrew Schwartz, Indiana University

2013

FACSS Student Award
Larry Gibson, University of Notre Dame

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards
Gloria Sheynkman, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Bai Nie, Michigan State University

2012

FACSS Student Award
Ali Khumaeni, University of Fukui, Japan

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards
Nathaniel Gomer, University of South Carolina
Rohith Reddy, University of Illinois

2011

FACSS Student Award
Yun Zhang, Ohio University

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Award
Olivier R. Bolduc, University of Montreal

2010

FACSS Student Award
Jacob Shelley, Indiana University

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards
Ishan Barman, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Anil Kumaar Kodali, University of Illinois

2009

FACSS Student Award
Yuze Sun, University of Missouri

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Award
Matthew Lockett, University of Wisconsin

2008

FACSS Student Award
David Strasfeld, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards
Christopher R. Field, University of Illinois
Matthew Keller, Vanderbilt University

2007

FACSS Student Award
Sen Li, Purdue University

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards
Matthew Schulmerich, University of Michigan
Junrong Zheng, Stanford University

2006

FACSS Student Award
Daniel B. Bassil, University of Missouri, Columbia

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards
Andrea Tao, University of California, Berkeley
Tim M. Brewer, Clemson University

2005

FACSS Student Award
Allen E. Haddrell, Simon Fraser University

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Award
Jean-Francois Masson, Arizona State University

2004

FACSS Student Award
Lawrence W. Dick, Jr., Duke University

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Award
Ryan J. Priore, University of South Carolina

2003

FACSS Student Award
Yongfen Chen, University of New Orleans

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Award
Brandon T. Ruotolo, Texas A&M University

2002

FACSS Student Award
James H. Barnes IV, Indiana University

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Award
Christian Pellerin, University Laval

2001

FACSS Student Award
Heather Peters, Wake Forest University

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Award
Michael Doescher, University of South Carolina

2000

FACSS Student Award
Christopher D. Zangmeister, University of Arizona

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Award
Dimitri Pappas, University of Florida

1999

FACSS Student Award
Renee JiJi, Arizona State University

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Award
Sara L. McIntosh, Duke University

1998

FACSS Student Award
John A. McLean, George Washington University

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Award
Susan L. R. Barker, University of Michigan

1997

FACSS Student Award
Bryan C. Castle, University of Florida

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards
Darren Dunphy, University of Arizona
Radislav Potyrailo, Indiana University

1996

FACSS Student Award
Christine M. Ingersoll, State University of New York at Buffalo

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards
Paul Edmiston, University of Arizona
Steven R. Emory, Indiana University
Dana M. Spence, Michigan State University

1995

FACSS Student Award
David E. Cliffel, University of Texas at Austin

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards
Curtis D. Cleven, Purdue University
Robert J. Willicut, Louisiana State University
Jeremy M. Shaver, Duke University

1994

FACSS Student Award
Diana S. West, Wright State University

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards
Jeanette K. Rice, State University of New York at Buffalo
W. Russell Everett, University of Arkansas

1993

FACSS Student Award
Michael Ruberto, Seton Hall University

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards
Ray Bakhtiar, North Dakota State University
Sheryl Ann Tucker, University of North Texas

1992

FACSS Student Award
Evelyn Guizhen Su, University of Connecticut

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards
Vasilis Gregoriou, Duke University
Patrick A. Limbach, Ohio State University
Jeff Mazzeo, Northeastern University

1991

FACSS Student Award
Rebecca M. Dittmar, Duke University

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards
Scott E. Van Bramer, University of Colorado
Marilyn O’Grady, Virginia Polytechnic Institute
Chris G. Gill, University of British Columbia

1990

FACSS Student Award
Richard L. Irwin, University of Connecticut

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards
Paul Shiundu, University of British Columbia

1989

FACSS Student Award
Patrick J. Treado, University of Michigan

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards
Renato Zenobi, Stanford University
Mingda Wang, Ohio State University

1988

FACSS Student Award
George Yefchak, Michigan State University

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards
James T. Cronin, University of Delaware
Sue E. Zhu, Villanova University

1987

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards
Jonathan V. Sweedler, University of Arizona
Brad Tenge, University of Washington
Peter Wentzell, Michigan State University


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