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Announcement May 22: After much deliberation, it is with great disappointment that we announce the COVID-19 pandemic has made it inadvisable to conduct an in-person SciX conference in Sparks, NV this October. We are exploring options for delivering on our promise to facilitate a robust scientific exchange in 2020. Please contact scix@scixconference.org with questions.

FACSS Student Award & Tomas B. Hirschfield Scholar Award


FACSS encourages the participation of students at the SciX conference with its award program. To apply, see below.

The FACSS Student and Tomas B. Hirschfeld Scholar student awards are presented to outstanding graduate students who wish to attend SciX and present their work at the SciX conference. These awards require submission of an application at the SciX conference website. The FACSS Student award was formalized as a permanent standing award at the FACSS meeting in the fall of 1987. The award had existed prior to this meeting but until 1987 was funded based on yearly approval from the Governing Board.

The Hirschfeld Scholar Student award was founded in 1987 based on a written proposal submitted by Professor Alex Scheerline. The minutes of the March 1987 meeting record that "FACSS shall support an annual award program, as the result of which, up to four graduate students will be designated as Hirschfeld Scholars, with preference for diverse research specialties among the students."


CALL FOR APPLICATIONS - DEADLINE IS MAY 31

Students can apply for the The Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar(s) and the FACSS Student Awards after submitting an oral paper. Please email scix@scixconference.org if you had planned to submit an abstract and apply before the May 31 abstract deadline.

In order to have your presentation considered for a Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Award or FACSS Student Award, students must complete and submit the following: 

  • The application form (DOWNLOAD HERE)
  • A copy of the abstract you submitted 
  • Two letters of nomination, one by the student’s mentor. An explanation of the inventive contributions by the student to the work should be given. Creativity was a primary characteristic of Tomas's work, and thus should be a characteristic of the awardee.
  • A copy of the candidate’s résumé
  • A copy of the candidate's graduate transcript
  • Copies of reprints and/or preprints of research accomplished


Please submit all of the above in one combined PDF to scix@scixconference.org by May 31, 2020

If you have any questions or need help finding your Paper Submission ID, please contact us at scix@scixconference.org.


FACSS Student Award Recipient 2019

Ewelina Mistek, SUNY Albany

Ewelina Mistek is a Ph.D. student in Chemistry at the University at Albany, State University of New York and a National Institute of Justice Graduate Research fellow. Ewelina is originally from Bukowno, a small village in Poland. She obtained an Academy Profession Degree in Chemical and Biotechnical Science from the Business Academy Aarhus, University of Applied Sciences in Denmark. During that program, she pursued a one-year internship in a forensic science laboratory with the Lednev Research Group at the University at Albany. After returning to Europe, Ewelina continued her undergraduate program in Forensic and Analytical Science at the Robert Gordon University, earning her Bachelor of Science with Distinction. In 2016, she returned to the University at Albany to pursue her doctorate degree under the mentorship of Professor Igor Lednev.

Ewelina’s work involves the application of vibrational spectroscopy and statistical data analysis for the development of new forensic methods with a focus on the identification and characterization of body fluid traces. Her work has been recognized by a number of local, national, and international awards. Besides the prestigious National Institute of Justice Fellowship, Ewelina received the Coblentz Student Award in 2017, the Best Student Poster Award in her session at the 2019 ICAVS conference in Auckland, New Zealand, runner-up in the Three Minute Thesis Competition at the University at Albany, the Francis Dunstan Travel Award to present at the 2018 ICORS conference in Jeju, South Korea, the Ford Foundation Initiatives For Women in Science Fellowship at the University at Albany, the National Institute of Justice Travel Award to present at Pittcon 2018, the Chemistry Department Graduate Student Travel Award, a year membership in the AAAS/Science Program for Excellence in Science, and lastly, she was nominated for recognition at the first “Celebration of Scholarship” at the University at Albany. Just recently, she was also elected to the position of Student Representative of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy.

Ewelina has already published seven articles in peer-reviewed journals including five first-author papers, and one book chapter. Her 2016 Analytical Chemistry article was highlighted on the journal cover. She presented her research at 18 local, national, and international conferences. She was interviewed by the local TV stations, the University’s podcast series, and her research was highlighted in the press on several different occasions. Ewelina’s research continues to attract the attention of the forensic and spectroscopy societies, as she proceeds to disseminate her research around the world


Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Recipient 2019


Shachi Mittal, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

Shachi Mittal is a Beckman Postdoctoral Fellow in University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. She completed her dissertation work in June 2019 supervised by Prof. Rohit Bhargava in the Department of Bioengineering, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Prior to joining graduate school, Shachi earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degree in Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi in 2014. She was then selected as an Illinois Distinguished Fellow for her graduate study. Her work focused on developing efficient and robust computational models using spectroscopy data for early cancer detection and prognostic assessment, particularly breast cancer. Her research work has resulted in 13 peer reviewed publications, 10 oral/poster presentations and several awards including Baxter Young Investigator award, invited speaker and first prize winner at Annual Engineering PhD Summit in EPFL, Lausanne, Eastern Analytical Symposium Graduate Student Research award, Nadine Barrie Smith fellowship, Beckman Institute Graduate Fellow and Big Data Summer fellowship.

She has mentored 8 students (high school and undergraduate) to promote research awareness and skill development. Her recent work on building digital tools for identifying different disease states and microenvironment analysis using infrared spectroscopic imaging and machine learning can provide more detailed diagnoses for precise treatment planning. Risk stratification of early stage patients has been a challenge as there are no clinical factors, histopathologic features, or molecular markers that permit reliable assessment of recurrence risk. Consequently, many more women are over diagnosed, resulting in potential short term and long-term morbidities as well as healthcare costs. Therefore, precise diagnosis of in-situ cancer and predictive models for their progression is indispensable for early detection and subsequently improved patient outcome. She has translated her models to discrete frequency measurements for rapid and efficient clinical translation. Her current plan is to combine patient information obtained from chemical imaging, genomics, proteomics, tissue and patient level disease information to identify multilevel statistical associations to drive improved diagnostics, treatment and management of cancer


Erika Portero, University of Maryland, College Park

Erika Portero is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her current research under the supervision of Prof. Peter Nemes aims to develop next-generation mass spectrometry technologies to enable the analysis of small molecules in single cells. Erika is a first-generation college graduate who was born in Ecuador. She earned her B.S. in Chemistry from Drew University in New Jersey and participated in the International Research Experience for Undergraduates program by the National Science Foundation to conduct research at the Université Pierre-et-Marie-Curie in Paris, France. Erika received her M.S. in Chemistry from the George Washington University in Washington D.C. and was awarded a 2017 Graduate Scholar Award by the COSMOS Club Foundation to support financial costs of research during her first year of graduate studies. She also received a 2017 Helmsley Fellowship to attend a Cell and Developmental Biology course at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Erika is pursuing a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry, her research focuses on “Developing Single-cell Mass Spectrometry Tools to Investigate Cell Heterogeneity in the Developing Vertebrate Embryo” with the goal to extend bioanalytical tools for systems cell biology. Erika has disseminated her research via 6 peer-reviewed publications, followed by 2 manuscripts currently in preparation. She has presented at a number of national and international conferences, including the 2017 SciX. Most recently, Erika received a Nico Nibbering Travel Award by the International Mass Spectrometry Foundation to attend the 2018 International Mass Spectrometry Conference in Florence, Italy. During her graduate career, she has served as a mentor to several high school, undergraduate, and graduate students. Erika is committed to help underrepresented students join STEM careers. As such, she served as an ACS Chemistry Ambassador for Project SEED, which supports economically disadvantaged high school students to conduct research at the university level.


Past recipients


2019

FACSS Student Award

Ewelina Mistek, SUNY Albany

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards

Shachi Mittal, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Erika Portero, University of Maryland College Park


2018

FACSS Student Award

Edward D. Hoegg, Clemson University

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards

Katie Spalding, University of Strathclyde


2017

FACSS Student Award

Nicholas Riley, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards

Aboualizadeh Ebrahim, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee

Paidi Santosh, Johns Hopkins University


2016

FACSS Student Award

Mustafa Unal, Case Western Reserve University

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards

Kyle Doty, SUNY Albany

Mario Saucedo-Espinosa,Rochester Institute of Technology


2015

FACSS Student Awards

Marie Richard-Lacroix, University of Montreal

Lynn X. Zhang, Clemson University

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards

Stephanie DeJong, University of South Carolina

Patrik K. Johansson, University of Washington


2014

FACSS Student Award

James R. Hands, University of Central Lancashire

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards

Menglian Zhang, Ohio University

Andrew Schwartz, Indiana University


2013

FACSS Student Award

Larry Gibson, University of Notre Dame

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards

Gloria Sheynkman, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Bai Nie, Michigan State University


2012

FACSS Student Award

Ali Khumaeni, University of Fukui, Japan

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards

Nathaniel Gomer, University of South Carolina

Rohith Reddy, University of Illinois


2011

FACSS Student Award

Yun Zhang, Ohio University

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Award

Olivier R. Bolduc, University of Montreal


2010

FACSS Student Award

Jacob Shelley, Indiana University

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards

Ishan Barman, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Anil Kumaar Kodali, University of Illinois


2009

FACSS Student Award

Yuze Sun, University of Missouri

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Award

Matthew Lockett, University of Wisconsin


2008

FACSS Student Award

David Strasfeld, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards

Christopher R. Field, University of Illinois

Matthew Keller, Vanderbilt University


2007

FACSS Student Award

Sen Li, Purdue University

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards

Matthew Schulmerich, University of Michigan

Junrong Zheng, Stanford University


2006

FACSS Student Award

Daniel B. Bassil, University of Missouri, Columbia

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards

Andrea Tao, University of California, Berkeley

Tim M. Brewer, Clemson University


2005

FACSS Student Award

Allen E. Haddrell, Simon Fraser University

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Award

Jean-Francois Masson, Arizona State University


2004

FACSS Student Award

Lawrence W. Dick, Jr., Duke University

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Award

Ryan J. Priore, University of South Carolina


2003

FACSS Student Award

Yongfen Chen, University of New Orleans

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Award

Brandon T. Ruotolo, Texas A&M University


2002

FACSS Student Award

James H. Barnes IV, Indiana University

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Award

Christian Pellerin, University Laval


2001

FACSS Student Award

Heather Peters, Wake Forest University

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Award

Michael Doescher, University of South Carolina


2000

FACSS Student Award

Christopher D. Zangmeister, University of Arizona

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Award

Dimitri Pappas, University of Florida


1999

FACSS Student Award

Renee JiJi, Arizona State University

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Award

Sara L. McIntosh, Duke University


1998

FACSS Student Award

John A. McLean, George Washington University

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Award

Susan L. R. Barker, University of Michigan


1997

FACSS Student Award

Bryan C. Castle, University of Florida

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards

Darren Dunphy, University of Arizona

Radislav Potyrailo, Indiana University


1996

FACSS Student Award

Christine M. Ingersoll, State University of New York at Buffalo

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards

Paul Edmiston, University of Arizona

Steven R. Emory, Indiana University

Dana M. Spence, Michigan State University


1995

FACSS Student Award

David E. Cliffel, University of Texas at Austin

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards

Curtis D. Cleven, Purdue University

Robert J. Willicut, Louisiana State University

Jeremy M. Shaver, Duke University


1994

FACSS Student Award

Diana S. West, Wright State University

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards

Jeanette K. Rice, State University of New York at Buffalo

W. Russell Everett, University of Arkansas


1993

FACSS Student Award

Michael Ruberto, Seton Hall University

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards

Ray Bakhtiar, North Dakota State University

Sheryl Ann Tucker, University of North Texas


1992

FACSS Student Award

Evelyn Guizhen Su, University of Connecticut

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards

Vasilis Gregoriou, Duke University

Patrick A. Limbach, Ohio State University

Jeff Mazzeo, Northeastern University


1991

FACSS Student Award

Rebecca M. Dittmar, Duke University

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards

Scott E. Van Bramer, University of Colorado

Marilyn O’Grady, Virginia Polytechnic Institute

Chris G. Gill, University of British Columbia


1990

FACSS Student Award

Richard L. Irwin, University of Connecticut

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards

Paul Shiundu, University of British Columbia


1989

FACSS Student Award

Patrick J. Treado, University of Michigan

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards

Renato Zenobi, Stanford University

Mingda Wang, Ohio State University


1988

FACSS Student Award

George Yefchak, Michigan State University

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards

James T. Cronin, University of Delaware

Sue E. Zhu, Villanova University


1987

Tomas Hirschfeld Scholar Awards

Jonathan V. Sweedler, University of Arizona

Brad Tenge, University of Washington

Peter Wentzell, Michigan State University



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