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(Credit: James Batteas.)

COLLEGE STATION --

Bradley W. Ewers, a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry at Texas A&M University, has been selected as a 2014 Phil Gramm Doctoral Fellowship Award recipient, announced Dr. Karen L. Butler-Purry, associate provost for graduate and professional studies.

The prestigious award was established in 2006 with the support of Phil Gramm, the former United States Senator from Texas who served as a professor of economics at Texas A&M before being elected to Congress. Ewers was presented with a $5,000 cash reward and a framed certificate at the recent campus-wide 2014 Community of Scholars dinner and henceforth will be recognized as a Senator Phil Gramm Doctoral Fellow for general scholarship and contributions to his discipline.

Gramm spent two decades serving in the U.S. Congress and Senate, using his economic and financial expertise to create important laws and policies, and to provide advice to legislators and the White House. He is the Senior Partner of Gramm Partners, a public policy firm in Washington, D.C.

In addition, Ewers is one of 15 graduate students across the university who have been named Texas A&M Distinguished Graduate Students for 2014 in recogntion of exemplary achievement in teaching and research. Students are nominated by their faculty advisors or departments, and award recipients then are chosen by a panel of reviewers that includes faculty and administrators.

"Doctoral students contribute to the research and teaching mission of the university, while also advancing scholarship through their own academic excellence and completion of their own advanced degrees," Butler-Purry said. "Thanks to the support we receive from The Association of Former Students for these awards, we are able to recognize these students, who are among the best and brightest in their fields. They play a vital role in strengthening quality in academics at Texas A&M and carrying that experience with them throughout their careers."

Ewers, who earned a Distinguished Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the group will be honored at an April 28 ceremony at the Clayton W. Williams Jr. Alumni Center sponsored by The Association of Former Students and the Texas A&M Office of Graduate and Professional Studies as part of Texas A&M's Distinguished Day activities. Each will receive a framed certificate and custom gold watch from The Association.

"The Association of Former Students takes great pride in supporting the Distinguished Graduate Student Awards which recognize students who have achieved excellence in research and teaching," said Porter S. Garner III '79, president and CEO. "We are honored to recognize these students who will go on to embody Texas A&M's core values of Excellence, Integrity, Leadership, Loyalty, Respect and Selfless Service, in their professional careers in academia and industry."

Ewers currently is pursuing his doctorate in chemistry under the mentorship of Texas A&M chemist Dr. James Batteas. He worked briefly as an analytical chemist at DPT Pharmaceuticals before joining the Batteas research group in 2009. He has developed techniques utilizing atomistic simulations to understand how nanoscopic curvature and film quality impacts the chemistry, mechanics and ability of surface coatings to mitigate friction and wear at sliding interfaces. In addition, he has employed scanning probe microscopies to investigate molecular conductivity on surfaces and has developed methods to fabricate and investigate nanoscale molecular ensembles to understand how molecular interaction affect conductivity.

Ewers also has developed and implemented experiments in the Physical Chemistry Laboratory for undergraduates, utilizing scanning tunneling microscopy to image surfaces at the atomic scale and to interrogate single molecules -- experiments that were published in the Journal of Chemical Education. His latest endeavors have included the integration of the leap motion control device to the atomic force microscope, allowing individuals with no experience working at the nanoscale to fabricate nanostructures on surfaces using just the motion of their hands. Ewers expects to graduate with his Ph.D. in 2014, at which point he hopes to pursue a career in academia.

To learn more about the distinguished graduate student achievement and related recognition programs, visit http://ogs.tamu.edu/.

-aTm-

Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or shutchins@science.tamu.edu

Hutchins Shana

  • Bradley W. Ewers

    2014 Phil Gramm Fellow Bradley Ewers (right), pictured with Dr. Karen L. Butler-Purry, associate provost for graduate and professional studies (above), and faculty advisor James Batteas (below).

  • Ewers (pictured here with The Association of Former Students' Kathryn Greenwade and Dr. Karen L. Butler-Purry) was one of 15 students across the campus recognized with 2014 Distinguished Graduate Student Awards as part of a 10 a.m. event that officially kicked off Distinguished Day ceremonies on April 28. (Credit: James Batteas.)

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