Campus Life

UWF students receive American Chemical Society scholarships

Four students from the University of West Florida’s Department of Chemistry and Chemistry Scholars program were recently recognized by the National American Chemical Society (ACS) Scholars Program.

UWF Chemistry Scholars students Kyra Murrell, Sheneika Jackson, Pristine Kirkconnell and Brandon Colon were awarded scholarships of up to $5,000 each and invited to join the prestigious ACS Scholars Program. Since 2012, nine UWF students have been named ACS Scholars and have received a total of $49,500 in scholarship money. Approximately 110 ACS Scholars are awarded annually.

The ACS Scholars Program encourages students to maintain high academic standards and work with a mentor to ensure success in the field of chemical sciences following graduation. The program also provides opportunities for networking and mentoring in the chemical field.

“The American Chemical Society Scholars is an amazing program to help students learn what to expect and prepare before they advance to graduate school,” said Kirkconnell, senior chemistry major. “Programs like this are a student’s one-way ticket to success.”

Kirkconnell plans to attend graduate school and continue her education in the field of chemistry.

UWF senior Sheneika Jackson will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry in May 2015. Jackson credits her success to the UWF Chemistry Department and the support she received from her instructors.

“Dr. Karen Molek has been an inspiration and a guide to me since I became a biochemistry major,” she said. “She introduced me to the world of chemistry and all it had to offer, and I am very grateful to have met her. Additionally, Dr. Christopher Nicholson has guided and supported me along the way as my instructor for all my organic chemistry courses, and now as my research advisor. He has helped me to not only be a better student, but also a better chemist.”

The ACS Scholars Program was established in 1994 to attract African American, Hispanic and American Indian students considered underrepresented in the chemical sciences by the National Science Foundation to pursue careers in the field. The program also aims to help build awareness of the value and rewards associated with careers in chemistry and assist students in acquiring skills and credentials needed for success.

For additional information about the ACS Scholars Program, visit For additional information about the UWF Chemistry Department, visit