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Archive for Undergraduate of the Quarter

May 12, 2018

Spring 2018 – Undergraduate of the Quarter – Eric Qian

Filed under: Undergraduate of the Quarter @ 2:00 pm

Eric Qian has been named one of the Spring 2018 Undergraduates of the Quarter and we couldn’t be happier for him.

Eric has been living in Corvallis since he was 4 years old and his love of the town helped contribute to his choice to stay local for college. He went to Crescent Valley High School, a school he enjoyed due to the passion the teachers had as well as the school’s dedication to the arts which helped him develop an interest in creating jewelry.

When entering college, Eric’s original plan was to be a premed student. He quickly discovered a love of materials science and decided he would focus on chemistry instead of becoming a doctor.

It was through joining Dr. Michelle Dolgos’ lab that he realized how much he enjoyed the chemistry side of his research, focusing on finding new and optimized ways to generate electricity.

Eric recently graduated, but took a short break from research to write his honors thesis, which focuses on the study of Aurivillius phases. His main focus was on ferroelectric and piezoelectric properties and trying to find a new material that is as effective as Lead Zirconium Titanate (PZT) yet wasn’t toxic or lead-based. Eric believes that the material chemistries’ focus towards environmentally friendly and green materials is very noble and focused most of his time there.

Eric plans to take a year off before Graduate School to relax. His main hopes are to get back into playing music because he is a musician at heart, being able to play piano, clarinet, tenor sax, and the organ. He also has an extensive list of nonfiction books he has been meaning to work his way through, including Stuff Matters, a book on materials that shaped human history.

The highest ambitions in Eric’s educational career is to gain a PhD and become a professor himself because of his love of teaching and conducting research. He believes it would be very fun to have a research group of his own in order to pass down his insights and spark the interests of future generations.

May 10, 2018

Spring 2018 – Undergraduate of the Quarter – Jason Srey

Filed under: Undergraduate of the Quarter @ 2:00 pm

Jason Srey has been named one of the Spring 2018 Undergraduates of the Quarter, and we couldn’t be more pleased.

Jason was born in Chicago, Illinois, but spent most of his life in Clackamas. He attended Clackamas High School.

Jason chose chemistry because he wanted to learn more about how atoms and molecules react. His curiosity was piqued when his 7th grade science teacher made a gummy bear explode in a test tube. Jason was also often sick throughout his childhood and spent a lot of time in doctor’s offices and pharmacies. This exposure to the world of medicine along with the introduction to chemistry during 7th grade science class first attracted him to chemistry.

He wants to be in the medical field because of how large of a role it played in his childhood and because it is related to his favorite subject. He researched the world of pharmacy and decided that was where he wanted to go in life, and is using chemistry as a basis for achieving that goal. Jason currently performs research for Dr. Sandra Loesgen, and focuses on discovering new antibiotics or anti-cancer compounds by feeding synthetic compounds to fungal cultures as precursors. He has been there since mid fall term, and credits his introduction to research to Dr. Neal Sleszynski who helped him initially contact three professors who are doing work in areas of interest.

In his spare time Jason likes to listen to, and perform music. He has practiced the violin for five years and taught himself to play the piano through online tutorials in his spare time. He likes all genres of music besides classical, and his favorite movie is Titanic.

February 12, 2018

Winter 2018 – Undergraduate of the Quarter – Molly Austin

Filed under: Undergraduate of the Quarter @ 2:00 pm

Molly Austin has been named one of the Winter 2018 Undergraduates of the Quarter and we couldn’t be happier for her.

Molly was born in Iowa City, Iowa and moved to Oregon when she was 11 years old. She went to Lake Oswego High School and inherited her love of chemistry from her parents.

Molly enjoys the fundamental nature of chemistry and its ability to explain essential functions of other science disciplines. Molly always knew she wanted to be a chemistry major at Oregon State University, choosing the location to be near family and for the beauty that Oregon possesses.

Her freshman year, Molly applied for the URSA Grant which allowed her to interview for various research positions. She chose to work in Dr. Sandra Loesgen’s lab. Molly’s research involves natural product discovery, where she works on bacterial strains from the mucus of juvenile Pacific fish. Extracted metabolites are isolated, identified, and tested against pathogens, such as MRSA, and cancer cell lines.

Post-graduation, Molly plans to go medical school or physician’s assistant school.

In her spare time, she likes to play volleyball, do ceramics, and participate in the EPIC campus ministry and leadership.

Her favorite TV show is Avatar: The Last Airbender, and favorite her food is chocolate.

Students like Molly Austin are a huge part of what makes our department so great. We wish her well in all her future endeavors.

February 10, 2018

Winter 2018 – Undergraduate of the Quarter – Jonathan Lopez Arana

Jonathan Lopez Arana has been named the winter 2018 Undergraduate of the Quarter and we couldn’t be happier for him. Jonathan was born and raised in Hillsboro Oregon, where he went to Hillsboro High School, and enjoyed the chemistry learned in his physics classes.

When Jonathan first applied to OSU he originally decided on engineering because of the quality the OSU College of Engineering. He switched to Chemistry after enjoying a class taken from Margie Haak. He has since served as a TA for Paula Weiss.

Post-graduation Jonathan plans to teach for multiple years, but eventually go back to school to get into educational administration and become a principal. Jonathan is planning on getting an ESOL endorsement so he can teach nonEnglish students, and plans to teach wherever he is most needed, but would prefer to stay in Oregon if possible. In his spare time Jonathan likes to play sports at Dixon and is part of an intermural sports flag football and basketball team. He also enjoys going to elementary schools and helping with the science and engineering nights that Margie Haak leads.

Jonathan’s favorite movie is Boys in the Hood, and his favorite food is a quesadilla because it’s quick and simple. He also loves his mother’s tamales.

Jonathan’s being the first person in his family to go to college, and planning to become a principal in order to help children, are examples of what makes our department so great. We wish him well in the future and in whatever path he chooses to follow.

May 31, 2017

Undergraduate of the Quarter – Spring 2017 – Savinda Aponso

Savinda Aponso has been named one the Spring 2017 Undergraduate of the Quarter and we couldn’t be happier for him. Although he plans to graduate at the end of this year, he has spent most of his life in Corvallis and has been associated with Oregon State before he even decided where he wanted to go to college.

While Savinda was in high school he was part of ASE, the Apprenticeships in Science and Engineering, which during his junior year helped him get his first experience in a lab. He was selected to work in Dr. Subramanian’s lab. Along with the scholarships, he got to the school, his experiences in the lab helped him decide that OSU was his school of choice.

During his freshman year, he started working in Dr. Koley’s lab. His work focuses on sensors that detects bacterial metabolites and the interactions bacteria have with dental composites. He was trying to see how the smart dental composites react to changes in the local pH environment and how they work to prevent secondary cavities.

After he graduates at the end of this term, he is planning to apply to medical school and take a year off from school. During his year off he is hoping to finish his research projects for Dr. Koley and continue to be a researcher at least part-time. Savinda doesn’t know exactly what he wants to study to medical school, but he is interested in hematology.

Savinda’s favorite film is Monty Python and the Holy Grail. He loves to eat sushi since it is his favorite food. His ideal vacation would be traveling through Europe. His favorite class was the Experimental 460 labs that he worked with Dr. Pastorek.

Students like Savinda are a huge part of what makes our Department so great. We wish him well in the future, and cannot wait to see what his next big adventure is.

Undergraduate of the Quarter – Spring 2017 – Matt Clark

Matt Clark has been awarded with the title of Spring 2017 Undergraduate of the Quarter and we couldn’t be happier for him. Although he plans to graduate by the end of this term, his experiences at Oregon State have left a lasting impact on him.

During Matt’s undergraduate career at Oregon State, he has been a part of an integrative lab which has helped him define his career path. After joining Michelle Dolgos’s lab during his sophomore year, he has been immersing himself with research dealing with lead free piezoelectric materials. After winning the URISC grant for his summer research and working with graduate students and Michelle, he is finally at the end of his project and is looking forward to a publication about his work.

However, even though it seems like he was destined to pursue Chemistry, that wasn’t always the case for Matt. When he first came to OSU, he was majoring in Mechanical Engineering because he liked to build and be hands-on with his work. All of that changed once he started to become fascinated with Chemistry and soon he switched his major to Chemistry with a Materials option.

Being a part of an integrated lab has helped Matt to gain a deeper understanding of concepts and he recommends other undergraduates to become a part of an integrated lab because it really increases the proficiency and understanding of the course. Some of Matt’s favorite courses were the graduate courses, CH 513 and CH 616, he was able to take because he enjoyed the applied concepts and also really enjoyed both the instructors, Dr. Subramanian and Dr. Dolgos.

After he graduates, he is planning on pursuing one of the opportunities that have been offered to him in hopes of continuing to apply his knowledge in his field of work. He has been offered opportunities from all over the country such as California & Virginia just to name a few. He is excited to get into the industry and hopes to continue his path in working on leading us to a better world.

When Matt’s not working long hours at the lab, he likes to unwind by watching one of his favorite classic movies, Star Wars: New Hope. He enjoys watching the movie multiple times and fondly remembers the times when he watched it on VHS tapes.

Students like Matt Clark are a major part of what makes our Department so great! We wish him well for all of his future endeavors and cannot wait to hear about all of his accomplishments.

February 28, 2017

Undergraduate of the Quarter – Winter 2017 – Stephanie Marshall

Stephanie Marshall has been named the Winter 2017 Undergraduate of the Quarter and we couldn’t be happier for her. Stephanie was born and raised in Sherwood Oregon, where she went to Sherwood High School; it was here, she discovered her love for teaching chemistry.

Although Stephanie has always been interested in science and teaching, during high school she had yet to determined if it would be the correct path for her. During sophomore year she had OSU alumnus John McGinity as her teacher. She explained that once he noticed her interest in science and teaching he took her under his wing, and guided her towards the tools she would need to make an informed decision about her professional future.

Even though both her mom and her mentor Mr. McGinity both graduated from OSU, Stephanie reported that it still took 4 visits to campus to decide this is the place she wanted to call home. The deciding factor was her visit to the education department.  They showed her a great program for her duel major, and she also discovered that the local schools where she could student teach at were also excellent.

Although she is an Undergraduate she has signed on as a T.A. for the CH12X series. She explained that it will be helpful for her teaching experiences as a high school teacher because, “I learned that high school students really like to push your buttons and college students it’s even more.” Even with the hardships of having many students testing their boundaries, she was still shocked to see how dedicated many of her students could be.

When asked about the future Stephanie revealed she hadn’t completely decided her path yet. With her starting her first year of student teaching next year, Stephanie believes that it would be best to wait until after she gets advice from high school teachers before deciding her career path.

The time that Stephanie spends outside of Chemistry is usually outdoors. “I like to be outside a lot; I love to hike, and with the nice weather I do a lot outdoors.  I play beach volleyball which is a lot of fun, and do yoga when I’m not playing beach volleyball. It’s just a lot of outdoor activities.” She likes to go hiking in the gorge, explaining that she loved Blue Place because it was so awe-inspiring.

Students like Stephanie are a huge part of what makes our Department so great. We wish her well in student teaching and wherever else her path may take her next.

Undergraduate of the Quarter – Winter 2017 – Alena Vasquez

Alena Vasquez has been named the Winter 2017 Undergraduate of the Quarter and we couldn’t be happier for her. Alena was born and raised in California until she was 18.  She moved to Oregon because she said, she just “felt it was where she was meant to live.”

She came to Oregon State University to study Veterinary Medicine.  Upon matriculation, Alena discovered that she didn’t really enjoy biology, a major component for her degree program, but she loved Chemistry.  Her first chemistry class, a hybrid 23x online class, she took while living in Eugene; it allowed her to come to campus only once a week in order to do the lab. It was during this class that she developed a close bond with Margie.

It was Margie’s advice that got Alena into research for the first time.  Alena began working in Rich Carter’s lab and within two weeks, she was loving every moment.  She hopes to go on in the future and do something altruistic with her degree that can benefit and help others.

Students like Alena Vasquez are a huge part of what makes our Department so great. We wish her well in the future and hope she finds her altruistic path going forward.

November 30, 2016

Undergraduate of the Quarter – Fall 2016 – Nathan Coddington

Recently, Department Chair, Rich Carter sat down with Chemistry Undergraduate, Nate Coddington to discuss what brought him to OSU, why Chemistry, and how he feels about being named one of the Fall 2016 Undergraduates of the Quarter.

Nate grew up in Eugene, Oregon, where he attended Willamette High School in the Bethel school district. Nate participated in Willamette’s International Baccalaureate (IB) program.  Nate reported that the difference between AP and IB is breadth vs depth. AP teaches the surface of many topics, while IB intensively teaches a few select topics.  Nate spent his sophomore through senior years in high school participating in their honors and IB chemistry courses.

Nate chose OSU because he did not want to go to an out-of-state school, and because his brother was already here, studying Nuclear Engineering.  He moved to Corvallis to live with his brother while he was transitioning into college life – commenting “it was great having someone who understood his sense of humor while relating to the struggles of college life.”  While Nate admits he started as a BB major to support his goal of ultimately becoming a dentist, upon entering the program it quickly became apparent to him that Chemistry was the better choice for his interests and his career path.  So, he re-declared, with the premed option, and never looked back.

Nate told us that his favorite class was, hands down, Organic Chemistry.  “It was just so full of great professors,” he said.  But the teacher that resonates the most for him was Dr. Vince Remcho.  “Dr. Remcho taught my Honors Gen Chem class,” Nate said.  “He was always so happy when teaching.”

Currently, Nate is doing research in Dr. Sandra Loesgen’s lab.  Her research group focuses on natural products, specifically bio-active compounds like penicillin.  Nate’s research is a spin-off of Dr. Loesgen’s PhD thesis on epigenetic modifications.  He’s hoping his research will result in unlocking new genes to produce previously unseen compounds.  He’s hoping to be able to obtain some usable results very soon so he can start writing his honors thesis on this topic.

Nate still plans to enroll in dental school after graduation.  His mother is a hygienist and he says he loves working with and helping people.  Dentistry, he says, has always just clicked with him.  “It’s so revered in our culture and I’ve always just thought, ‘I want to be this.’”  He would like to do some job shadowing before graduation but says it is been difficult finding a slot due to doctor/patient confidentiality.  He is not giving up yet though.

In his spare time, Nate is the President of the OSU Chapter of the National Society for Collegiate Scholars (NSCS), a community service and professional development based society that is currently working toward being recognized as an Honor Society.

Students like Nate are part of what makes our Department so great.  We could not be more proud of him and wish him nothing but success in his future endeavors!

Undergraduate of the Quarter – Fall 2016 – Jason Sandwisch

Chemistry Major, Jason Sandwisch, the newest Fall 2016 Undergraduate of the Quarter recently sat down with Department Chair, Rich Carter to discuss what brought him to OSU, his favorite parts of the program and his plans for the future.

Jason was born in Vancouver, Washington. He then moved briefly to Colorado with his parents, but ultimately grew up in the small town of Banks, Oregon. He attended Liberty High School where he immersed himself in the sciences with the help of his freshmen biology teacher and swim coach Paul Hanson. Hanson would go on and recruit Jason to the swim team, where he spent the next four years competing.

Jason was very enthusiastic about biology and others sciences.  He decided to pursue a Chemistry Major coming out of high school because of his senior year AP chemistry course.  The class was small which resulted in a good amount of student/teacher interaction.  The class focused mainly on class work and book work, but not a lot of time was spent doing laboratory work.  Due to the lack of lab experience in high school, he decided a university with a good undergraduate research would be important for his educational goals.

While attending an Oregon State Fall Preview, Jason was impressed by how many people spoke to him about undergraduate research.  He was already leaning toward matriculating here as his brother also attended OSU.  “It’s nice to know someone where you’re going.”  During Jason’s first term, Dr. Neal Sleszynski mentored him and suggested that he pursue the URSA Engage undergraduate research grant, which led him to conduct research for Dr. Kenneth Hedberg. Throughout this experience, he studied gas phase electron diffraction on 1,1,3,3-tetramethylcyclobutane. More recently, he studies spiropentane alongside Dr. Joseph Nibler and his undergraduate researcher, Blake Erickson (Winter 2016 UGQ).

During the summer of 2015, Jason also did research in Dr. John Simonsen’s lab in the College of Forestry. He worked with Johnny Hergert (Fall 2015 UGQ), conducting research on new polymer blends using cellulose nanocrystals.  Other research projects with Prof. John Simonsen included Jason working for a local start-up called EcNow Tech. Here, Jason helped develop plant-based plastic material. His favorite part of all his various research has been being able to apply physical chemistry principles and problems solving aspects. “I took physical chemistry last year and before that I was working with all these experimental instruments such as FTIR, but never realized the basis for how they actually worked.”

Jason says he doesn’t have a favorite professor, “I enjoyed all my chemistry classes.” Overall, he really enjoyed taking Organic Chemistry from both Dr. Paul Blakemore and Dr. Chris Beaudry. He also loved the challenge of CH 464, taught by Dr. Chong Fang.  His favorite class was CH 421 – Analytical Chemistry taught by Dr. Sean Burrows.  “He’s just a great person.  He was funny, understanding and really wanted you to learn the material.  He didn’t make it hard, but stressed the important points.  Being taught Analytical chemistry by him was an awesome experience.”

After graduation, Jason wants to pursue a Ph.D. in physical chemistry by studying excited state chemistry. He is interested in the University of Washington due to the broad selection of potential faculty focused in his area of interest.  He is also excited about the wide array of options that are available to him after graduate school. His summer internship with EcNow Tech really opened his eyes to what’s available after school. “At this point, I’m unsure about my specific career path, but four years ago I wasn’t sure about my major I just want to go to graduate school and then find my path.”

Students like Jason are a huge part of what makes our Department so great.  We wish him well with graduation, graduate school and beyond.

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