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IU grad student, ex-rower among plane crash victims

Keijzer
Courtesy Indiana University
Karlijn Keijzer, a member of Indiana University's Varsity 8 boat during the 2011 season, was among the victims of Thursday's plane crash in Ukraine, the university announced today.

Karlijn Keijzer, an Indiana University doctoral student and former member of the university's women's rowing team, was among the victims of Thursday's Malaysia Airlines plane crash in Ukraine, IU said today.

Keijzer, 25, a chemistry student, was a member of the rowing team during the 2011 season, the university said in a statement.

"On behalf of the entire Indiana University community, I want to express my deepest sympathies to Karlijn's family and friends over her tragic death," IU President Michael A. McRobbie said in the statement.

"Karlijn was an outstanding student and a talented athlete, and her passing is a loss to the campus and the university. Our hearts also go out to the families of all the victims of this senseless act."

Keijzer was the stroke of IU's Varsity 8 boat during the 2011 season, which had a 14-5 record, the university said. A straight-A student, she received Academic All-Big Ten honors.

Keijzer "came to us for one year as a graduate student and truly wanted to pursue rowing," IU rowing coach Steve Peterson said. "That year was the first year we really started to make a mark with the First Varsity 8 boat, and she was a huge reason for it."

In the chemistry department, Keijzer was part of a research team that uses large-scale computer simulations to study small-molecule reactions involving certain metals, the university said. She co-authored a research article published this year in the Journal of the American Chemistry Association.

She also served as an associate instructor in the chemistry department, the university said, teaching introductory organic chemistry as well as higher-level courses in biochemistry and biosynthesis.

Keijzer worked on research projects related to improving human health, her doctoral adviser said, including a computer simulation on bryostatin, an anti-cancer drug and a candidate for treating Alzheimer's disease.

"She was a kind, happy young woman full of ideas about the future," said Mu-Hyun Baik, associate professor of chemistry and informatics, her doctoral adviser. "She inspired all of us with her optimism about how science will make Earth a better place."

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