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April 13, 2000 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-04-13

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SLOC AL/S T ATEThe Michigan Daily - Thursday, April 13, 2000 - 5
.Gomberg award given to chemistry professor at lecture


Dy Jacquelyn Nixon
Daily Staff Reporter
The mirror image was the subject of Prof.
Edwin Vedejs' chemistry lecture held yesterday
afternoon in Rackham Amphitheatre to a group
of about 100 people.
Preceding the lecture titled "Mirror Images in
*'hemistry: Real and Almost Real," Vedejs
recently was named the Moses Gomberg Colle-
giate Professor of Chemistry.
"It's a special privilege as a graduate of the

University of Michigan to be holding the posi-
tion of Moses Gomberg," Vedejs said.
Chemistry Department Chairman Joseph
Marino presented Vedejs with the official Moses
Gomberg plaque.
"As an organic chemist, I can't think of some-
one better to receive this commemorative plaque
than Vedejs," Marino said.
LSA Dean Shirley Neuman spoke about
Gomberg, who was a 1890 graduate with a bach-
elor of science and a professor at the University
until his retirement in 1936. From his study of

hexaphenylethane, he was known as the "father
of free, radical chemistry," she said. "He was a
great teacher and scholar who inspired students."
Vedejs earned his doctoral degree at the Uni-
versity of Wisconsin and was a postdoctoral fel-
low at Harvard University before joining the
University of Michigan faculty as an organic
chemistry professor last year. He has published
170 papers and in 1996 won the Upjohn Teach-
ing Award from his colleagues.
This semester, Vedejs teaches Chemistry 215.
"He is one of the main reasons why the Uni-

versity of Wisconsin has a wonderful reputation.
His research is innovative;' Neuman said.
Vedejs' lecture discussed the experiments of
his Boron and Kinetic Resolution projects on
which he has been working in cooperation with
colleagues. His main focus is the importance of
mirror image forms called isomers and the prob-
lems that could arise from them.
Vedejs referred to mathematician Charles
Dodgson, who said that "perhaps looking-glass
milk isn't good to drink."
"The mirror image of lactose would be trou-

blesome for the stomach," Vedejs said.
The mirror image can be solved by "using two
simultaneously. We can control properties to
make reactants separate," he said.
LSA freshman Manish Patel said, "I thought
he incorporated the various aspects of geological
and biological aspects well, not just chemistry."
Many of the chemistry students in attendance
said they found the lecture fundamental to their
"It was simple enough for Chem 215 students
to understand," LSA freshman Paul Pagano said.

Goodness Day seeks to
bring smiles to student faces
By Chares Chen
Daily Staff Reporter

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Students walking to class may have found it easier to
smile yesterday during the inaugural Goodness Day on
The idea for the day - dedicated to bringing out a smile
in people - came about during Spring Break when mem-
bers of Leadershape began the group Good Ideas for
"We felt the campus needed to promote happiness during
this time of stress and anxiety," said GIFT coordinator Dora
Vilensky, an LSA sophomore.
To help promote happiness, more than 25 student
organizations set up tables throughout Central and
North campuses, handing out metal buttons and "Ran-
dom Acts of Kindness" cards to students passing by.
The cards contained simple tips on how to promote
kindness. Listed were "thank your professors," "feed
someone's parking meter" and "eat with someone you
don't know at the cafeteria."
"We want to create a friendlier campus and put a smile on
everyone's face," Vilensky said.
Tables set up on campus for the event were recognizable
by orange balloons, which is the official color of Goodness
Of the 25 organizations participating, many did more
than just hand out buttons and cards. Groups such as Stu-
dents for Bush handed out free bluebooks promoting presi-
dential candidate George W Bush to students in front of the
Natural Science Building.
"This is a great opportunity to have groups on campus
eive back to the community," said LSA freshman John
Carter, co-chair of Students for Bush. "This is a tense time
on campus and this was a fun activity"
The Pakistani Students Association's participation in
Goodness Day involved painting people's names on their
hands in the Pakistani language Urdu using Mehndi, a dye
made from plants.
"All you see during finals week are frowns on students'
faces,"said Pakistani Students Association President Junaid
Iqbal, an LSA junior. "We need to instill the feeling of
being good, especially during finals."
0 GIFT received grant money for the event from the Uni-
versity Activities Center, the Engineering Council, Leader-a

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LSA junior Joe Walsh distributes balloons yesterday for
"Goodness Day" outside of the University Museum of Art.
shape and the Mary Markley and Bursley residence hall
"l think it gets people to smile and it will brighten up
their day," Art and Design junior Meghann O'Malley said.
"if someone goes out of their way to make someone happy,
it makes me smile."
Organizers said Goodness Day sought to bring about hap-
piness among students, but not just for a single day.
"We wanted it to have a lasting effect," Vilensky said.
"We decided on distributing buttons because it was some-
thing tangible, and we hoped that if someone finds it in their
drawer some time down the road, they will be reminded of
the happiness from this day."

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