Chris Heron has been selected as one of our Undergrads of the Quarter for Spring 2014. Chris was born in Corvallis, OR. Prior to coming to OSU, Chris was in the United States Army – serving 3 separate tours in Iraq and was stationed in both Georgia and Colorado – finishing at the rank of Staff Sergeant. After 7 years in the military, Chris decided to return back to school and enrolled at Columbia Gorge Community College in Hood River for one year. He then came to Oregon State University as a biology major. His time as a life sciences major was short lived – once he took Professor Margie Haak’s CH 220 course he was hooked on chemistry. He commented that Margie was an excellent presenter and she stimulated him to think about everything. Chris also had a wonderful lab course experience in CH 361/362 which he describes as “just fabulous.” He particularly commented that Professor Emile Firpo was “fun and had great energy” and that “you learned a ton” from him. The labs were key for Chris as it helped the lecture classes really make sense – they made him feel like “now I really get it!” The P Chem series was really hard, but both Professors Glenn Evans and Wei Kong were great. He loved Professor Kevin Gable’s dry sense of humor in O Chem. He has been doing research in Professor David Ji’s lab recently. Chris describes the research environment as “very inviting and simulating… Professor Ji has been very open with his lab.” His time at OSU has been supported through the US GI Bill from his military service. Outside of class, Chris enjoys racing bicycles with the OSU team on campus. This year, he has starting flying with the OSU Flying Club. He hopes to earn his pilot license prior to graduation and become a crop duster. The FAA now wants crop dusters to have a chemistry background and that job will allow him to get enough hours to achieve his long term goal of being a pilot for a major airline.
Chris comments that OSU has a fabulous chemistry (and science) program and all the faculty are great. We are honored to have amazing students like Chris as part of our program and we are grateful for his service to our country. We congratulate Chris on all his achievements to date and we hope he continues to have a wonderful experience at OSU!