2022 Ralph & Charlene Bauer Graduate Student Awards

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2022 Bauer award recipients
2022 Ralph & Charlene Bauer Graduate Student Award recipients – (Top row, from left) Morris Dweck, Matthew McVeigh, Anthony Spearman, Samuel DeMario, Milauni Mehta. (Bottom row, from left) Danlei Xiang, Laura Wonilowicz, Cheylene Tanimoto, Daniel Robertson.

Nine talented chemistry & biochemistry graduate students have been awarded the 2022 Ralph & Charlene Bauer Awards in recognition of their excellence in research, teaching, and service. 

Congratulations to the following recipients who have advanced to candidacy by the successful completion of their written and oral qualifying examinations – Samuel DeMario (Chanfreau group), Morris Dweck (Harran group), Matthew McVeigh (Garg group), Milauni Mehta (Garg group), Daniel Robertson (Tolbert group), Anthony Spearman (Sletten group), Cheylene Tanimoto (Gelbart/Knobler group), Laura Wonilowicz (Garg group), Danlei Xiang (Liu group). 

These awards were made possible by a generous endowment established in 1988 by Dr. Ralph Bauer (B.S. ’52, Ph.D. ’58) and his wife Charlene Bauer (B.S. ’54), who attended our annual departmental awards ceremony on May 13, 2022, at which the recipients were honored. We are incredibly grateful to Dr. and Mrs. Bauer for their generous support!   

 At the awards ceremony, a video honoring Dr. Bauer was shown, after which Dean of Physical Sciences Professor Miguel García-Garibay presented Dr. Bauer with the 2020 Alumni Legacy Award. This award honors distinguished UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry Ph.D. graduates in recognition of their achievements in life and generous support and service to UCLA.  (Due to the pandemic, we were unable to celebrate Dr. Bauer’s award in 2020).   At the reception following the ceremony Dr. and Mrs. Bauer visited with graduate students and faculty.  

(Left) After accepting the 2020 Alumni Legacy award, Dr. Ralph Bauer made his acceptance remarks. (Right) Department Chair Professor Neil Garg and Dean of Physical Sciences Professor Miguel García-Garibay presented Dr. Ralph Bauer with the award.

Dr. Ralph Bauer and Charlene Bauer with students who received the 2022 Ralph & Charlene Bauer Graduate Student Awards. 

Dean of Physical Sciences Professor Miguel García-Garibay, Charlene and Dr. Ralph Bauer, and Department Chair Professor Neil Garg.

About Dr. and Mrs. Ralph and Charlene Bauer 

In 1988, Dr. and Mrs. Ralph and Charlene Bauer established an endowment for fellowships and awards for UCLA Chemistry & Biochemistry graduate students. For many years they attended the annual Departmental Awards Ceremony and Dr. Bauer introduced the award recipients. In his remarks he explained his passion for UCLA and the department: “Three of our four parents were immigrants to the United States. UCLA offered immigrant’s children opportunities beyond their wildest dreams. What we didn’t know when we started at UCLA was that we would have the great fortune to be associated with an outstanding Chemistry department, a superb faculty, and the totally unanticipated benefit of working with Nobel Laureate Professor Donald J. Cram.”  

In 2020, Dr. Bauer was awarded the department’s 2020 UCLA Chemistry & Biochemistry Alumni Legacy Award, which honors distinguished Ph.D. graduates in recognition of their achievements in life, and generous support and service to UCLA. For over 70 years, Dr. Bauer has been a True Bruin, contributing greatly to UCLA and the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry. The Bauer Legacy Award video below (by Kavich Reynolds Productions) provides insight into Dr. Bauer’s remarkable life and career.   

Dr.  Bauer was born in Los Angeles of immigrant parents. After attending North Hollywood High School, Dr. Bauer entered UCLA in 1948 to study chemistry. From the very beginning of his time at UCLA, Dr. Bauer was a trail-blazer. He played freshman basketball during Coach John Wooden’s first year at UCLA (73 years ago) and was influenced tremendously on the court and throughout his life by Wooden’s character-building “Pyramid of Success”. In 1952, Dr. Bauer received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry and married his high school sweetheart Charlene Uhlik, also a UCLA alumna. 

Dr. Bauer then spent two years in the U.S. Navy prior to returning to UCLA in 1954 to join the research group of Nobel Laureate Professor Donald Cram as a chemistry graduate student. Dr. Bauer received his Ph.D. in chemistry in 1958. Professor Cram credited Dr. Bauer’s Ph.D. thesis as having foreshadowed the research for which he received the 1987 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.  After receiving his Ph.D., Dr. Bauer joined Shell Development Corporation as a Research Scientist, and then in 1966, he joined Unocal as a Research Chemist. He became the International Marketing Manager of the Petrochemical Division of Unocal in 1983. Dr. Bauer retired from Unocal in 1985.   In 1987, along with UCLA Development, Dr. Bauer formulated the idea for the department’s biggest and most important event of the year, the annual Seaborg Symposium and Medal Award Dinner. He was honored with the medal in 1992. Dr. and Mrs. Bauer continue to attend the Seaborg Medal dinner as often as they are able. 


Read about this year’s other graduate student award and fellowship recipients at the links below:

Penny Jennings, UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, penny@chem.ucla.edu.