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!