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Kelly/Grad/Photo1 Kellogg School of Science and Technology

Jeffery W. Kelly, Ph.D.

Changing the name of TSRI's Graduate Studies Program this year to honor Janet R. (Jean) and W. Keith Kellogg II, extraordinary benefactors with an exceptional commitment to science and education, was truly a milestone in the history of this young program. Now called the Kellogg School of Science and Technology, the program will wear its new name with great pride and humility, as do other institutions of higher learning in the United States. For many years, the Kelloggs have been among the country's most devoted philanthropists, giving generously through their estates as well as through a foundation established in memory of Mr. Kellogg's mother, Helen, and father, John Kellogg, the son of cereal magnate W.K. Kellogg.

The Kelloggs are long-standing patrons of education, making major contributions to several institutions of higher learning in California and the Chicago area, where they lived for many years. Most notably, the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University was named in their honor. Their commitment to science is evident; they established an endowed chair in chemistry and made a significant contribution to the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center for Chemical Sciences at TSRI. They also funded the continuing care unit at Scripps Memorial Hospital-Encinitas and the Kellogg Cancer Center in Evanston, Illinois. In special recognition of their extraordinary support to the institute, TSRI conferred honorary doctorates of science on the Kelloggs at the 2002 commencement ceremony.

In April, TSRI was ranked by U.S. News & World Report, which periodically reviews the nation's colleges and universities, as among the best graduate schools in the country. The latest rankings are based on a survey of department heads, deans, and directors of graduate programs in each academic discipline. These personnel are asked to rate the quality of programs and to nominate programs that have excellent offerings in certain specialty areas. On the basis of this survey data, the Kellogg School was ranked 6th overall in chemistry and 2nd in the specialty of organic chemistry among all such programs in the nation. The publication also ranked the Ph.D. program 9th overall in the biological sciences and 16th in the specialty of biochemistry. That such a young program can compete so successfully with the most well-established, highly regarded programs in the country is testimony to the unwavering pursuit of excellence on the part of all of our faculty.

As has become the norm, a number of TSRI students were recognized for their scientific achievements and research promise at the outset of their careers. Phil Baran, a 2002 graduate, and his advisor, K.C. Nicolaou, chairman of the Department of Chemistry, Aline W. and L.S. Skaggs Professor of Chemical Biology, and Darlene Shiley Chair in Chemistry, won the American Chemical Society's 2002 Nobel Laureate Signature Award, which recognizes the achievements of an outstanding graduate student and his or her mentor. Other students received fellowships from the American Heart Association, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the National Defense and Science Engineering Graduate Fellowship Program, Achievement Rewards for College Scientists, the American Chemical Society, La Jolla Interfaces in Science, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and several private donors.

Twenty-one students graduated in May in a commencement ceremony featuring Paul Schimmel, Ernest and Jean Hahn Professor and Chair of Molecular Biology and Chemistry, as the keynote speaker. Some of this year's graduates have accepted positions at Harvard University; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Uppsala University (Sweden); University of Minnesota; University of California, San Diego; the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation; Pharmacia Corporation; and Attenuon, L.L.C.

This year, 36 students entered the program from among 435 candidates. Approximately 25% of the candidates were offered admission, and 9% enrolled in the Kellogg School. Students follow a core curriculum in either macromolecular and cellular structure and chemistry or chemistry and also enroll in elective courses. These electives provide training in such areas as x-ray crystallography, statistical mechanics, nuclear magnetic resonance, immunology, neurosciences, and virology. In addition, students are encouraged to develop an interdisciplinary background by choosing course offerings from both tracks of the graduate program, effectively creating a dynamic curriculum to suit their individual scientific inclinations. The more than 100 TSRI faculty members who teach in the program represent every department in the Institute, enabling the students to gain the broadest possible exposure to a wide range of disciplines.

The Kellogg School launched a new Web site in the last few months, accessible from the home page of TSRI's Web site, which reflects the quality and tenor of the graduate program. The site encompasses a contemporary look, easy navigation from the main page, up-to-date information, and numerous intranet features for current students. It features detailed descriptions of faculty research interests, course curricula, images of the campus, and links to related information, including news, lectures, presentations, special events, and student resources.

Graduate students maintained an active role in TSRI's education outreach efforts to San Diego's secondary education community. Eighteen graduate students served as mentors to area high school students through TSRI's Summer Research Education Program, which provides high school students, primarily those from groups underrepresented in the sciences, with exposure to the laboratory research experience and the world of scientific discovery, access to working scientists, and preparation to continue their education at the undergraduate level in the sciences. Each participating graduate student was paired with a high school student to serve in a mentorship role through the college application process. TSRI students also developed and presented 2 multipart tutorials in the spring semester, one for high school students and the other for middle and high school science teachers.

I am grateful to all of TSRI's faculty for providing the leadership and strong commitment to the Kellogg School, enabling it to closely mirror the Institute in growth, character, and scientific superiority. In addition, I would like to give a particular word of thanks to the associate deans of the graduate program, Drs. Stephen Mayfield and James Williamson, whose contributions have enhanced the quality of our efforts in immeasurable ways.

 

 







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