BLOOMINGTON — An Indiana University doctoral student from the Netherlands who was among 298 people killed when a Malaysian jetliner was shot down over Ukraine was remembered Friday by school officials as a gifted student and athlete.
Karlijn Keijzer, 25, was part of a research team in IU's chemistry department that uses large-scale computer simulations to study small-molecule reactions involving certain metals. She also served as an associate instructor in the chemistry department, teaching introductory organic chemistry as well as high-level courses in biochemistry and biosynthesis.
"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," Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie said Friday. "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."
Her doctoral adviser, Mu-Hyun Baik, an associate professor of chemistry and informatics, described Keijzer as a bright, talented student.
"She was a kind, happy young woman full of ideas about the future. She inspired us all with her optimism about how science will make Earth a better place," Baik said.
She also was co-author of a research article published this year in the Journal of the American Chemistry Association. As a graduate student, Keijzer was a member of IU's women's rowing team during the 2011 season and help guide it to a 14-5 record. She was recruited by IU even though she only had a year of eligibility remaining.
Indiana rowing coach Steve Peterson said she set the pace for the varsity eight.
"She was unquestionably the leader of the best boat we had that year. It was the first boat that got us into the national rankings and had a great season. It also helped propel our program toward the success that we had this past season, and we all know that we can trace it back to that boat that was led by Karlijn," he said.
She was on summer vacation at the time of the crash.