Student Spotlight | November 2020
Major: Chemistry and Physics
Describe your research/creative work in just a few sentences that we can all understand: I am working on the synthesis and characterization of a rhodium hydride complex. Probing its catalytic abilities will help design future catalysts capable of efficient hydrogen gas production.
Q: Who mentors your project?
A: I am mentored by graduate student, Julie Leseberg, and Dr. James Blakemore.
Q: What surprised you about doing a larger research or creative project?
A: I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it! My previous 4 hour chemistry labs made me a bit skeptical… There’s also a lot of behind the scenes necessities like equipment training, procedure planning, and outside research that must be done before you can get your gloves on.
Q: What did you find most challenging about getting involved in or doing your project? What advice would you offer to students facing similar challenges?
A: It is difficult to not get discouraged by roadblocks and failures; however, when you are successful, it makes it that much sweeter. I also felt as if I should be progressing faster, but you just have to remind yourself that this is a learning experience. It takes time!
Q: What do you like most about your project?
A: I have always had a passion for environmental preservation, so doing research directly applicable to that is gratifying. My group has also been extremely welcoming and supportive of me; they are a fun bunch to be around.
Q: What advice would you give to a friend wanting to get involved in research?
A: Start as soon as possible! Don’t be shy to reach out and meet faculty whose research focus interests you. KU’s program, WISTEMM (Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine), also provides a great mentor/mentee program to kickstart networking with graduate students.
Q: How do you spend your time when you're not working on your research?
A: When I’m not studying, I enjoy running outdoors and attempting new vegan recipes.