(Credit: Xuan Zhang.)

Xuan Zhang, a doctoral student in the Department of Chemistry at Texas A&M University, has been selected as a 2016 Phil Gramm Doctoral Fellowship Award recipient, announced Dr. Karen L. Butler-Purry, associate provost for graduate and professional studies.

Zhang is one of six Texas A&M doctoral students honored this year with the prestigious award, 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. He was presented with a $5,000 cash award and a framed certificate earlier this week at a Thursday (Apr. 7) awards ceremony held in the Memorial Student Center Stark Galleries in conjunction with National Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week activities on campus. All six students henceforth will be recognized as Senator Phil Gramm Doctoral Fellows for general scholarship excellence and contributions to their disciplines.

Zhang, who came to Texas A&M in 2010 after earning his bachelors of science in materials chemistry from Nankai University, China, in 2009, is pursuing a doctoral degree in inorganic chemistry as a member of Distinguished Professor of Chemistry Dr. Kim R. Dunbar's research group. His research is focused on the structures and functions of novel inorganic-organic hybrid materials, including those that behave as semiconductors and nanomagnets. He has served since 2011 as a teaching assistant, instructing several laboratory courses across the department during the past five years.

Already in his young career, Zhang has nine peer-reviewed publications, with two more submitted and at least four more manuscripts in preparation. He has won awards for his research and presentations at national and international meetings, including the 13th International Conference on Molecule-Based Magnets and the 23rd Congress of the International Union of Crystallography.

During his time at Texas A&M, Zhang has been able to balance his work as a chemist with his passion for mentoring undergraduate and young graduate students, as well as community outreach. He is actively involved in a variety of departmental and university outreach events, such as National Chemistry Week, Chemistry Open House and chemistry demonstrations at local K-12 schools.

"During Xuan's graduate career. I have proudly watched him develop into an absolutely first-rate and mature scientist who is capable of conducting independent research with creative and critical thinking," Dunbar said. "He is intellectually top-notch, has an outstanding work ethic and is passionate about chemistry. Xuan's dedication to excellence in teaching, mentoring and research, combined with his kind and helpful personality, make him a true winner!"

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.

For additional information about this and other National Graduate and Professional Appreciation Week events, contact Shannon Walton at (979) 845-3631 or shannon@tamu.edu.

To learn more about the Gramm Fellowship Program and other opportunities for graduate and professsional students at Texas A&M, visit http://ogaps.tamu.edu/.


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

Hutchins Shana

  • Xuan Zhang

    (Credit: Dunbar Research Group.)

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