4 UNC Chemistry students receive American Chemical Undergraduate Awards

April 15, 2020

By Alice Zhao

Image, from left: Noah Lancaster, Milan Patel, Alex Russell

The American Chemical Society awards undergraduates, majoring in chemistry, for their achievements as well as to encourage further study in the field.

Four UNC Chemistry students are recipients of the 2020 American Chemical Society Undergraduate Awards:

  • Noah Lancaster, 2020 American Chemical Society Undergraduate Award in Physical Chemistry
  • Z Lin, American Chemical Society Undergraduate Award in Analytical Chemistry
  • Milan Patel, American Chemical Society Undergraduate Award in Inorganic Chemistry
  • Alex Russell, American Chemical Society Undergraduate Award in Organic Chemistry

Chemistry senior, Noah Lancaster, has always held an interest in Chemistry for its practical connection to the physical world.

“I have always been interested in understanding the natural world on a fundamental level, and I believe that chemistry is an excellent way to understand how the physical world functions. I enjoy using physical theory to guide methodological advancements. Additionally, the inherently pragmatic nature of the field resonates with my desire to tackle real world problems.”

Lancaster views this award as a celebration of his efforts made in Chemistry.

“It is a great honor to receive this award celebrating my efforts in chemistry at UNC-Chapel Hill. I am grateful for the opportunities I have had with the UNC Chemistry department that have allowed me to develop as a chemist. I am also excited to receive confirmation of my potential as a contributor to the field of chemistry.”

“This award has encouraged me to continue exploring the possibilities within and applications of physical chemistry.”

Lancaster plans to pursue a career in research and plans to apply to chemistry PhD programs in the fall.

Hailing from Concord, NC, Milan Patel is a junior majoring in Chemistry and was pleasantly surprised when learning that he was selected for an ACS award.

“I was surprised to find out that I was receiving this honor, and I am appreciative of the ACS and others for giving me this award.”

“This award substantiates my passion for chemistry and drives me as I continue to pursue research in chemistry.”

Patel holds an interest in research in chemistry and plans to study environmental chemistry in graduate school.

“I plan on going to graduate school to pursue research in chemistry. Research has always been a goal of mine since completing my first independent research project in high school. In the hopes of merging my interests, I hope to study environmental chemistry in graduate school and conduct research in this field.”

From Apex, NC, Carolina senior Alex Russell, chose to attend UNC for its outstanding research and STEM programs. In pursuit of wanting to better understand the world, Russell decided to major in organic chemistry.

When Russell received news of his award, he felt honored to have been recognized for his undergraduate work.

“I feel honored to have been recognized for my undergraduate work, and fortunate that I am in a position from which I can pursue my passion for chemistry in earnest.”

Rusell has accepted an offer to begin his graduate studies at the University of Washington.