On Campus

Singled Out



Worth Noting

From the Archives

President's Message


Past Issues


RIT Home Search Index Directories Info-Center

Alumnus' bequest creates research fellowship in chemistry

Julie Leiston, a fourth-year student in the polymer chemistry program, spent winter quarter researching the kinetics of emulsion polymerization as the first recipient of the College of Science's Daniel Pasto Co-op Fellowship Award.

Daniel Pasto '58 received a B.S. in chemistry from RIT and went on to earn a Ph.D. from Iowa State University. A well-known physical organic chemist and author of several textbooks, he was a professor at the University of Notre Dame. He died in 1999, leaving $100,000 to RIT's chemistry department.

As RIT's first Daniel Pasto Co-op Fellowship Award recipient, Julie Leiston did research work with Professor Andreas Langner.
"Our faculty decided that we should use Dr. Pasto's endowed fund to create an award for undergraduate students interested in conducting research," said Assistant Professor Massoud Miri, who chaired the award committee. The student researcher receives $2,500, and spends one quarter working full-time on a selected project. The fellowship will be awarded to at least one student per year.

The fellowship provides an unusual opportunity for an undergraduate, who normally would not have this kind of intense, hands-on learning experience. Miri said it is especially helpful to any student planning to work toward a graduate degree and, ultimately, a career in science.

Leiston, who is from Spencerport, N.Y., worked with Professor Andreas Langner on the research project. Leiston is a graduate of Churchville-Chili Central School, and credits her high school chemistry teacher, John Prouty, with fostering an interest in the subject. She's a member of Alpha Chi Sigma professional chemistry fraternity and received the chemistry department's physical chemistry and polymer chemistry awards.

She's already logged many hours in the lab: Leiston has done research work with Professor Marvin Illingsworth since her freshman year, and last summer, she worked at the University of Akron conducting research with a faculty member there.

After graduation in May, Leiston plans to go on to graduate school and, ultimately, to become a professor of chemistry/polymer science.

"I'm not looking to win a Nobel prize," she said, "I'm just looking to educate and fuel others' interest in chemistry."