Alumni Ambassador Program

In recent years, Princeton University has greatly increased its focus on graduate alumni engagement. The most recent large-scale example was the Many Minds, Many Stripes conference in October 2013, which welcomed nearly 1,000 alumni and guests back to campus and offered graduate alumni an opportunity to reconnect with the University, their department and each other.

Moving forward, the Department of Chemistry, in partnership with the Office of Alumni Affairs, plans to build upon the momentum gained through the Many Minds, Many Stripes conference. One initiative intended to further engage graduate alumni is the recently established Department Ambassadors program. Through this program, designated graduate alumni volunteers from the Department of Chemistry will work to create stronger connections between their fellow Chemistry graduate alumni and the department through targeted communications. The ultimate goal of the Department Ambassadors program is to strengthen graduate alumni engagement with not only the department, but also the University community as a whole.

The Department of Chemistry is delighted to announce its Department Ambassadors:

Tyrel McQueen *09

Tyrel McQueen *09 – Tyrel M. McQueen received his B.S. in Chemistry from Harvey Mudd College, and a Ph.D. in Chemistry and Materials from Princeton University. He was hired as an assistant professor in Chemistry and Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins University in 2009, and took a one year leave of absence for postdoctoral studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The McQueen laboratory is focused on the design, discovery, and synthesis of materials with exotic electronic states that have applications ranging from energy to fundamental science. Emphasis is placed on determining how simple interactions give rise to a plethora of emergent phenomena. Synthetically, we are expanding the reaction scope of ‘soft chemistry’ methods for the preparation of new metastable solids. Analytically, we are developing pair distribution function analysis techniques to determine local structure and dynamics. These new tools are allowing us to elucidate how emergent phenomena, such as superconductivity, arise from interactions of charge, orbital, and spin degrees of freedom. They are allowing us to rationally design new materials with improved properties, i.e. true materials by design. For a full biography, please visit

Roxanne Spencer *97

Roxanne Spencer *97 – Roxanne Spencer earned her Ph.D. working in Jeffrey Schwartz’s lab. She directed intellectual property strategy and managed patent portfolios for a variety of small and startup companies in pharmaceuticals and alternative energy for 15 years before founding RPS IP Management, LLC to provide IP strategy consulting services. A registered US patent agent, Roxanne has presented on IP strategy concepts for entrepreneurs in New Jersey business accelerators, and was an invited panelist for a due diligence presentation at Foley & Lardner’s 2008 “Exploring Under The Surface: Yielding Higher Value From Life Science Transactions.”

She has recently embarked on a new career as the chemistry teacher at Princeton International School of Mathematics and Science (PRISMS), a new independent school. PRISMS differentiates itself with its research program that requires all students to participate in authentic, original and self-directed research that contributes knowledge to their chosen field. Roxanne is a volunteer editor for AWIS Magazine, publication of Association of Women in Science, and has participated as a judge for the Sigma Xi Student Research Showcase.

Graduate alumni are encouraged to contact Tyrel and Roxanne with the purpose of sharing alumni news and stories to be shared in future department newsletters. Contact information for the Department Ambassadors is as follows: