Crans Students Accomplishments

Crans group members celebrate spring 2023 graduates Dr. Arhouma and Dr. Murakami.

Zeyad Arhouma succesfully defended his dissertation on May 10th. Dr. Crans hooded Dr. Arhouma on May 12th! Congratulations to Dr. Arhouma!

Nine Crans Group undergrads presented at CURC with 5 individuals winning awards! Andre Eberspacher won 4th best in show (as a freshman)! Anna Galaeva won college honors, Tyler Lewis won high honors, and Ellie Nelson and Ella Kim teamed up to win highest honors! Congratulations to all Crans Group undergrads and their grad student mentors!

Nathan Gasparovic has successfully defended his Master’s thesis on August 8th, and Heide Murakami has successfully defended her dissertation on August 12th. Congrats to both of them!

Kate Kostenkova was selected to participate in the DARPA Forward conference series as a 2022 DARPA Riser by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The national conference will be held at Colorado State University on August 30-31, 2022.

Kate Kostenkova has presented a research poster at the National Organic Symposium and attended a Janssen site in San Diego, CA. The conference was held on June 26-30, 2022.

Sarah Sanders has graduated with her M. S. in Chemistry in May 2022. Congratulations, Sarah!

Debbie hooded Maggi and Heide on May 13, 2022. We are so proud and excited for you both!

Andrew Bates graduated with his M.S. in Chemistry in Fall 2021 and went on to pursue his Ph.D. in Chemistry at Colorado State University.

Kate  was awarded a flash presentation award by the Society of Biological Inorganic Chemistry (SBIC) for her presentation at the electronic Biological Inorganic Chemistry (eBIC) Meeting (July 20-22, 2021), an international meeting of the bioinorganic chemistry community! 

Several Crans group students won flash presentation awards at the ACS Rocky Mountain Regional Meeting (November 12-13, 2020), the very first virtual regional meeting of the American Chemical Society. Congratulations, everyone!

Maggi Braasch-Turi – Division of Organic Chemistry Award

Andrew Bates – Division of Small Chemical Businesses Award

Kaitlin Doucette – CSU Department of Chemistry Award

Kate Kostenkova – ACS Senior Chemists Committee Award

Cameron Van Cleave – COACS Award

Alejandra Chavez and Nathan Gasparovic – COACS Chair’s Choice Award

Kelly successfully defended her thesis Summer 2020! We wish you the best, Dr. Hassell!

Cheryle defended her thesis Spring 2020 and is off to NIST! Congratulations, Dr. Beuning!

Cheryle was awarded an NRC associateship! She’ll head off to NIST for her associateship after her defense.  A brief article about her next project can be found here.

Kate was selected to attend an EPR Summer School (July 17-20, 2019) at the University of Denver which was sponsored by The International EPR/ESR Society (IES) and the NSF-supported SharedEPR Network.

Debbie hooded Cheryle and Jordan today, May 17, 2019. We are so incredibly proud of you both and will miss you as you leave for your next adventures!

Jordan defended his thesis in front of friends, family, and coworkers April 29, 2019. Well done, Dr. Koehn! Next stop, the Weeks lab at University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill!

Jim Carsella successfully defended his thesis December 12, 2018. Congratulations, Dr. Carsella!

Oral Examinations 2018

Cameron Van Cleave, Heide Murakami, and Allison Haase all passed their oral examinations and now bear the title of “Ph.D. Candidate.” Way to go!

Congratulations to Dr. Ben Peters for successfully defending his thesis on July 20, 2018!

Jordan Koehn wins Honorable Mention award for “Great Minds in Research” for a poster presented at the 2017 CSU Graduate Student Showcase

Crans students win awards at Rocky Mountain Regional ACS Meeting in Loveland, CO, October 2017.

Chemistry graduate students honored at ACS Rocky Mountain Regional Conference

Kelly Hassell won at the CSU DEMO day! 

Way to go Kelly! She won 1st Place at the CSU Demo Day Poster Showcase  Apr 2017 Colorado State University Ventures

Graduate students and postdocs present their cutting-edge work in a stimulating environment which fosters entrepreneurial thinking. 40+ posters will be selected from across campus in one of four categories (engineering, creative works, life science, physical science). Attendees can view and vote for the best poster. The top poster from each category will compete and present their work for cash prizes.

Cheryle’s Return From France


Third year graduate student Cheryle Beuning has returned from her six month research trip to Toulouse, France where she worked at the Laboritorie de Chimie de Coordination (LCC) part of the laboratory system of CNRS (Centre national de la recherche scientifique) of France. She was awarded a 2015-16 Chateaubriand Fellowship which funded the collaboration. She has completed her research with the Equipe F team of the LCC headed by Christelle Hureau. The collaboration was successful and she was able to gather much data on the small peptide Cu(II) exchange kinetics and will publish her results in the near future. Many important experimental techniques were learned in France and brought to CSU for future studies between the two groups.

DSCF5519    DSCF4574

Equipe F team, LCC.                                               Bordeaux, Mirror de Eau.

20160106_173300   20160107_143211

At the gardens of the Palace of Versailles                        With the Mona Lisa.

Oral Examinations 2015

Graduate students Cheryle Beuning, Jordan Koehn, Fabio Fontes, Ben Peters, and Estela Magallanes all passed their preliminary oral examinations, making them all PhD candidates. Congratulations!

Chateaubriand STEM 2015-16 Fellowship


Cheryle Beuning received a Chateaubriand STEM fellowship to work on a collaboration with Dr. Christelle Hureau at the Laboratorie de Chimie de Coordination (a CNRS lab) in Toulouse, France during the Fall semester. This fellowship is awarded to PhD students enrolled in an American University who want to do research in France with collaborators. Cheryle will be working on copper complexation dynamics to small peptide models of the amyloid beta protein at the French laboratory in collaboration with the Hureau and Crans labs. In the 2014 year, 36 awards were given among STEM fields with 3 of the 36 being chemistry PhD students.

2015 Senior Awards Ceremony


Debbie with award winners Cheryle Beuning, Steve Glade, and Susannah Miller

Undergraduate Service Award: Steve Glade


Clifford C. Hach Memorial Scholarship and Undergraduate Research Award: Susannah Miller


Graduate Outreach Award: Cheryle Beuning


Undergraduate Research Award: Taylor Lucia (not pictured)

Highlights 2013/14

  • Michelle Romanishan – she passed her Ph. D. exam with flying colors and is making the final changes to her thesis this week.  If you see her congratulate her!
  • Ahmed Elbakush will be finishing with a masters degree and continuing Ph.D. studies at the University of Wyoming for a Ph.D.
  • Al Trujillo and Jerome Burke presented a poster (amt_OMCOS_2013) at the OMCOS meeting in Fort Collins this summer
  • Fabio Fontes presented his work at the Microbiology meeting For Patrick Brennan this summer
  • Several group members attended the OMCOS (Donn Calkins, Steve Glade, David Mast, Sreekant Thota, Mary Fisher)
  • Extensive training of students happened over the summer – congratulations on all your efforts – it certainly shows.  I appreciate all your efforts – with Donn, Mary and Steve taking over the job submitting hazardous waste in the future.
  • The group had several papers published over the summer – so congratulations to Fabio, Aungkana, Pabitra, and Myles seing their efforts in press:
  • “Counterion affects interaction with interfaces: The antidiabetic drugs metformin and decavanadate” Aungkana Chatkon, Pabitra B. Chatterjee, Myles A Sedgwick, Kenneth J. Haller and Debbie C. Crans Eur. J. Inorg. Chem., 2013, 10-11, 1859-1868.
  • “Raft localization of Type1Fcε  receptor and degranulation of RBL-2H3 cells exposed to decavanadate, a structural model for V2O5” Abeer Al-Qatati, Fabio L. Fontes, B. George Barisas, Dongmei Zhang, Deborah A. Roess and Debbie C. Crans Daltons Trans. 2013, 2 (33), 11912 – 11920.
  • “Coordination chemistry may explain pharmacokinetics and clinical response of vanadyl sulfate in type 2 diabetic patients” Gail R. Willsky. Katherine Halvorson, Michael E. Godzala III, Lai-Har Chi, Mathew Most, Peter Kaszynski, Debbie C. Crans, Allison B. Goldfine, Paul J. Kostnyniak  Metallomics 2013 DOI:10.1039/C3MT00162H.
  • A couple of more papers are about to be reported – I will let you know when the information is available.
  •  Nuttaporn Samart and Debbie attended the 15 Asian Chemical Congress in Singapore; Nuttaporn gave a poster presentation and Debbie was invited to talk.
  •  Alejandro Trujillo finished his experimental work and moved back to New Mexico.  He will be coming up for a committee meeting the week of Aug. 26th and for his defense later in the fall.  If you have any questions you need to ask him while he is here.
  •  Steve Glade finished his REU fellowship over the summer – and is rearing to go for more.
  •  Teofilo Borunda was here over the summer associated with the REU program and returned to New Mexico State – Mary is helping him with the IR studies so that he will have that data for the ACS meeting in a couple of weeks.

Highlights 2012

Dr. Pabitra Chatterjee recently left his position as a postdoctoral fellow in the Crans group because he landed a position at the Central Salt & Marine Chemicals Research Institute, Bhavnagar, India.  He will begin there as a scientist in 2013.  In 2012 Pabitra received a poster award from the International Vanadium Symposium (V8) in Crystal City, Virginia, USA August 15-18, 2012.  Pabitra also received poster awards from the International Vanadium Symposia held in Lisbon, Portugal (V7) and in Toyama, Japan (V6). Pabitra B. Chatterjee was born in India where he received his MSc from the University of Calcutta and continued for his PhD under the supervision of Prof. Muktimoy Chaudhury at the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Calcutta, India. After graduating in 2008 with his Ph.D. he joined Prof. Debbie C. Crans at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, where he was a postdoctoral associate for several years.

Sasha Mintz gave her thesis presentation on October 29, 2012. Her HONOR thesis is entitled “Formulation of Metal Based Drugs”.  Sasha graduated from CSU December 2012 with a BS degree and a major in Biological Sciences.


Dr. Aungkana Chatkon (right) is seen in her graduation robe with her mentor Professor Kenneth Haller, Fall 2013.