William G. Fateley Student Award

The William G. Fateley Student Award is given by the Coblentz Society annually to recognize outstanding contributions to vibrational spectroscopy during a current Ph.D. program.

William G. (Bill) Fateley was among the first winners (1965) of the Coblentz award, and worked tirelessly to promote the Pittsburgh Conference and FACSS. Author of more than 350 publications and recipient of numerous other awards, he returned to his alma mater, Kansas State University, as chairman of his department in 1972 and served there until his retirement 1997 and beyond. He served as the Editor of Applied Spectroscopy for 20 years, and served as mentor to a generation of spectroscopists.

For more information on the William G. Fateley Student award go to: https://sites.google.com/a/coblentz.org/coblentz/awards/william-g-fateley-student-award

2021 recipient

Paulina Koziol

Paulina Koziol is currently in her third year of PhD studies of Biophysics at the Faculty of Physics, Astronomy and Applied Computer Science of Jagiellonian University in Krakow. She received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Medical Physics from AGH University of Science in Krakow. After MSc studies, Paulina worked for a year as a research technician within a project led by Prof. Tomasz P. Wrobel and focused on the development of histopathological models for cancer detection based on IR imaging and machine learning. Successful cooperation encouraged her to enroll in a PhD program in October 2018, under T. P. Wrobel’s supervision. During her studies she continues working on classification models, mostly focusing on pancreatic cancer, including translation from FT-IR to a faster QCL modality. She has also done extensive work on denoising influence on IR spectroscopic data quality and classification results. This research resulted in a series of optimization-themed publications for both FT-IR and QCL imaging. Currently, her work interest is leaning towards implementing polarized infrared light to determine macromolecular orientation and level of ordering, mainly for fibrous tissue, which may play a significant role in cancer microenvironment.

Paulina is an author of ten publications, including three as first author. She has received several awards and stipends, including a prestigious START stipend from the Foundation for Polish Science and a stipend under the Iwanowska Programme from the Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange NAWA covering six months internship in Prof. Rohit Bhargava’s group at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Apart from her studies, Paulina works at the SOLARIS National Synchrotron Radiation Centre in Krakow, where she is a part of a team of beamline scientists constructing the Solaris Advanced IR (SOLAIR) beamline. She is also PI of her own research grant from the National Science Centre Poland entitled “Improving 3D macromolecule orientation determination based on polarized IR chemical imaging by optimization of scattering removal algorithms”.

past recipients

2019 Shachi Mittal

2017 David Bryce

2016 Mustafa Unal

2015 Marie Richard-Lacroix

2014 Chris Huber

2013 Tomasz P. Wrobel

2012 Xiaohua (Sarah) Zhou

2011 Rohith Reddy

2010 Ali Eftekhari-Bafrooei


For many years, the Coblentz Society has recognized outstanding young scientists pursuing studies in vibrational spectroscopy with Coblentz Student Awards. Awardees receive a copy of the Society’s Desk Book of Infrared Spectra, a certificate, SciX registration, and a year's membership in the Society. The winner’s faculty advisors, institution, and anticipated graduation date appear in the Society’s Newsletter and website.


Isabella Goodenough

Isabella Goodenough is a graduate research assistant earning her PhD in physical and analytical chemistry with a focus in vibrational spectroscopy of complex nanoporous materials at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is involved in a collaborative project between the University of Pittsburgh and Temple University, which seeks to develop superior sorbents capable of capturing and degrading hazardous chemical agents, such as chemical warfare agents and toxic industrial chemicals.  The ultimate goal of this work is to design protective equipment for military, industrial and civilian personnel using multifunctional, porous-hybrid nanomaterials, which couple Metal-Organic Framework (MOF) scaffolds and non-noble metal plasmonic nanoparticles. To date, Isabella’s role in this project has been to develop a fundamental insight on the interactions of the MOF scaffolds with select target analytes using in situ FTIR techniques under ultra-high vacuum conditions in order to understand the adsorption, transport and desorption phenomena in MOF-analyte systems. In addition, she uses vibrational probe molecules to understand the nature and distribution of defects in these materials.

Outside of the laboratory, Isabella serves as the Chair of the Philadelphia Younger Chemists’ Committee (YCC) and is a founding member of the Eastern US YCC partnership. Her mission is to build a network of motivated young professionals that will empower and unite chemists in the community. She is passionate about pursuing social justice through community engagement and strives to advance accessibility, representation, and equality in STEM disciplines. In the future she hopes to expand the boundaries of leadership and teamwork to influence positive change and to inspire diversity and inclusion.

Christopher Warkentin

Chris Warkentin is currently a Ph.D. candidate in experimental physical chemistry at the University of Minnesota. Prior to his academic career, he found work building trails in the Appalachian Mountains, restoring wetlands in the Midwest, establishing a sustainable farm, and managing a custom construction shop. These experiences informed his interest to pursue a career in sustainability and his eventual return to collegiate studies at Indiana University South Bend. Here his research career began, exploring a range of interests in chemistry and physics. As a SMART Research Fellow, under the advisement of Dr. Grace Muna, he developed nickel-palladium modified glassy carbon electrodes for the electro-analytical detection of steroid hormones in local surface waters. In 2017, he earned a BS in Chemistry with minors in Physics and Mathematics from IUSB and moved to Minneapolis to pursue his doctoral degree in Chemistry at the University of Minnesota under the advisement of Dr. Renee Frontiera. While pursuing his Ph.D., he obtained his master’s degree in Chemistry in 2018.

Today, his research interests center on using surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) to investigate the dynamics of plasmon-driven chemistry in a variety of plasmon-molecule systems. A better understanding of plasmon-molecule interactions could aid in the rational design of new plasmon-based green catalysts for more sustainable chemical production and solar energy generation. Chris’ work uses ultrafast (ps) time-resolved SERS and steady-state (ms) SERS in order to understand both the fast energy-transfer dynamics that occur on the timescale of plasmon decay and the slower reaction kinetics that result from the cumulative effects of continuous irradiation. His research, in collaboration with theorists and material scientists, has revealed new insights into nanoscale spatial control of plasmon-driven processes, ultrafast plasmon-induced charge transfer, and upconversion applications with new plasmonic materials.

Chris has earned a number of awards during his tenure at the University of Minnesota, where he is currently an Institute on the Environment Renewable Energy Commercialization Fellow. He is an active member of the Analysis and Compliance committee for the Departments of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Joint Safety Team and involved with various student groups within the department. Outside of the lab, Chris enjoys hiking, fishing, gardening, and playing with his 11-month old son, Oliver.

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