APO National Service Fraternity, Honors Program, Chemistry Laboratory Assistant
You’ve done a lot in your time at Emory & Henry in a relatively short time. What would you say has enabled you to be successful?
My hard work, motivation, and dedication have enabled me to be successful here at Emory & Henry College. As many have said before, “What you put in is what you get out.” If you are not willing to put in the effort and at least try, then, of course, you won’t be successful in the classroom. The only way you are going to take away anything from your classes is if you dedicate part of your time to school. Don’t exhaust all your time and energy on studying. Having a balance between school and the things you enjoy is the recipe I have used to be successful.
What advice would you give those who are thinking about majoring in chemistry?
The most salient piece of advice I can give to those majoring in chemistry is to ask yourself, “What do I want to do with this major?” What do you want to do? Do you want to analyze the physical aspects of Earth? Is your dream to go to medical school or pharmacy school? Do nuclear processes intrigue you? Once you know what it is you want to do, then ask yourself, “Why am I doing this major?” If your why doesn’t shift something inside of you, then that is not your why. Don’t expect to discover your why in a short span of time. More often than not you won’t discover it right away. For some it is a particular class that shifts everything into perspective. For others it is an internship or research opportunity. It is easy to get lost within chemistry because of all the things it encompasses. It took me two years before I knew both what I wanted to do and why I chose this major. Just know that the department is here to help you if you struggle and become lost because we have been in your place at one point in our lives. Majoring in chemistry is not a walk through the park, but it most certainly is well-worth it.
You’ve recently been accepted into a very competitive National Science Foundation summer research program that will pay you to complete a research project this summer. Can you tell us a little about what you will be doing?
Yes! Virginia Tech has been gracious enough to let me be a part of their of their Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates. I will be staying for 11 weeks in their Macromolecules Institute. The topic of my research will be materials innovation at the intersection of Food-Energy Water Systems. I will be conducting research alongside the world’s leading scientists in Blacksburg, VA. My research will conclude with an oral presentation, a poster of my discoveries, and the opportunity to present my findings at a conference during the symposium.