2012 Candidate Statements

Payam Minoofar: “I am very excited to run for the position of Chair-Elect of CALPACS. I am an experienced scientist with roots firmly planted in chemistry. I obtained my bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley in chemistry, and I completed my doctoral work in inorganic chemistry at UCLA. I have enjoyed an exceptionally eclectic career over the past 18 years as a researcher. In this time I have worked in clinical medicine, synthetic chemistry, analytical chemistry, laser spectroscopy, proteomics and product research and development, where I developed a preconcentrator and ultrafiltration polymer membranes. I presently write and complete government funded research at Teledyne Scientific Company in Thousand Oaks, CA. I live in Ventura. My resume testifies to the versatility and the importance of chemistry as the central science. After spending decades building my career, I am eager to give back to the field and the community that have made my career and life so rewarding. I enjoy being a member of the Los Padres section, and I look forward to serving it.”

Ata Shirazi retired in 2011 as Manager of the UCSB Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry NMR Facility where he had served since 1984. He received his Ph.D. from University of Nebraska at Lincoln, and did post-doctoral work at University of Iowa at Iowa City. He was Manager of the NMR Facility at Washington Univ. School of Medicine from 1980-82 before moving to Santa Barbara. Ata has previously served as section treasurer and for two terms on the Executive Committee.

James Pavlovich has been Manager of the UCSB Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Mass Spectrometry Facility since 1994. He received his B.S. in Chemistry from Cal Poly, SLO in 1985. He worked at an environmental analytical laboratory in SLO from 1985-1987. He received his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from Oregon State University in Corvallis in 1993. He did postdoctoral research in the Environmental Science and Engineering Department at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. James has served as section chair, treasurer, and secretary.

Executive Committee:

Phil Hampton received his B.A. in Chemistry from St. Olaf College, Minnesota, and his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Stanford University. He held a two-year postdoctoral position at California Institute of Technology. He was an Assistant Professor (1991 – 1997) and Associate Professor (1997-2001) in the Chemistry Department at the University of New Mexico. In 2001, he accepted the opportunity to be a founding faculty member of CSU Channel Islands and worked with twelve other founding faculty members to plan for the opening of the Channel Islands campus in Fall 2002. He was promoted to full professor in 2002.

Allan Nishimura is Professor of Chemistry at Westmont College, in Montecito. He received his Ph.D. from UC Davis in Physical Chemistry and did postdoctoral research at UC Berkeley. He was on the Chemistry Faculty at Wichita State University from 1973-1981 before coming to Westmont. Allen has previously been section chair and has served on the executive committee.

Greg Scott is a native of eastern Kentucky and earned his B.S. in chemistry from Davidson College in North Carolina in 2004. Subsequently, he joined the corps of Teach For America where he taught high school chemistry and physics in Brownsville, TX for two years before pursuing graduate studies in physical chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. At Illinois, Greg earned his Ph.D. under Martin Gruebele, where he performed experimental studies of single-molecule optical absorption detected by scanning tunneling microscopy and theoretical studies of protein folding potential energy surfaces. Greg joined the faculty of Cal Poly in the fall of 2011 as an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry where he is currently teaching in the General Chemistry sequence. He is passionate about chemical education, both in improving learning outcomes for Cal Poly students, but also in working toward achieving educational equity through K-12 outreach. Greg has research interests in the local properties of functionalized nanomaterials as well as in the application of diffusional dynamics for low-barrier kinetics.

Jerry Macala: “I received my PhD from UCSB in 2009, working in the laboratory of Peter Ford on catalytic transformations of biomass. I am currently working as Senior Scientist in the biomaterials research group at Allergan Medical, where I spend a lot of time characterizing physical and morphological properties of new and old materials using some pretty cool instrumentation. I managed a remote research station a few years back at the geographic South Pole, Antarctica. My crew was one of the last to occupy the historic geodesic dome which was built in the 1970’s and had become an icon of the US Polar Program. I have traveled a bit, lived in Australia for a year, lived at the South Pole for a year, been to Spain, Portugal, Morocco, London, Munich, Athens, Vienna, Kathmandu, Bangkok, much of New Zealand, most of Samoa, parts of China, and probably a few more I can’t remember. Traveling is the best way for me to keep myself grounded. It reminds me that people are really the same all over, with the same basic needs and desires.”

Richard W. Hurst is a Professor Emeritus of Geology and Geochemistry at California State University, Los Angeles. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Environmental Geology, Mineralogy, and Petrology at California Lutheran University. His primary research interests have centered on forensic environmental isotope geochemistry and mineralogy. Since 1980, he has studied the use of naturally-occurring, stable isotopes, especially those of lead, as a means of tracing the sources of hydrocarbon and other types of contamination in the environment. Richard served as the Chair of the 2001 Western Regional Meeting hosted by the California Los Padres Section. He has previously served on the Executive Committee and two terms as section Chair. In 2009, he was awarded the Sandra Lamb Award in recognition of his contributions to the society and environmental geochemistry by the California Los Padres Section.