Alumni Stories

Alumni Stories
Alumni Stories

The Department of Chemistry alumni have accomplished astounding achievements since exiting the halls of our department. Here are a few of their remarkable stories.

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Dr. John Schiel

Some of the best teachers out there are those who challenge and inspire students to do more, learn more, be more. Alumnus Dr. John Schiel (2004 B.S., 2009 Ph.D.) was inspired early as an undergraduate student to look into chemistry research. His professors could see he had the intellectual capacity to excel in this area. Through a number of conversations with department faculty, Schiel was convinced to pursue research opportunities in Hamilton Hall. After exploring his options, Schiel became interested in Dr. David Hage’s work and started working in his lab shortly thereafter. That experience turned out to be a great fit for Schiel which afforded him the opportunity to be published as an undergrad as well as hone his love of research.

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Dr. Norton Peet

It is humorous to imagine the Director of Chemistry at a biopharmaceutical company brewing his own wine as a grad student for a UNL football game - one he watched from the rooftop of Avery Hall. Sound like any former colleague you know? Let's hope that student’s brews have improved as he has gotten older. That is one of the many memories Ph.D. alum, Norton Peet, recalled as a grad student here at UNL.

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Dr. James D. Carr

Emeritus Professor of Chemistry Jim D. Carr continues his research into analytical chemistry of trace substances in water as well as remedial treatment of contaminated water. He joined the UNL faculty in 1966 and has touched the lives of 10,000 undergraduate students and 15-20 graduate students. In 1996, Carr won the University of Nebraska Outstanding Teaching and Instructional Creativity Award for his work, and he is also a member of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers. He put on an entertaining Big Red Road Show chemistry exhibition for several years and served as freshman coordinator for the Department of Chemistry for 18 years. Carr was active as an officer and board member of the East Campus Neighborhood Association and continues to sing in the First Plymouth Church Choir.

Dr. Thomas L. Williams

Gov. Pete Ricketts announced the appointment of Dr. Thomas L. Williams as the state’s chief medical officer and director of the Division of Public Health. Williams obtained a degree in chemistry from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and his medical degree from the NU College of Medicine.

Barbara Hendricks

Barbara Hendricks is a world-renowned opera singer, probably better known in Europe, where she lives and performs. She is a true woman of the world — born in the United States, she lives and raised a family in Switzerland, is a Swedish citizen and travels from continent to continent as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations. What many people probably don’t know about her is that Hendricks is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her degree wasn’t in music but in chemistry and mathematics.