Jackson Wiley is one of our Undergraduates of the Quarter in for Spring 2019 and we couldn’t be prouder. Jackson grew up in Medford in Southern Oregon, attending North Medford High School. It was during his Junior year there that he took AP Chemistry and found a new passion. His teacher instilled an enthusiasm in his class and, coupled with his skill in Math, it set the course for his college career.

While originally he wanted to explore a number of interesting and far away campuses, when he stopped by OSU for a visit he immediately fell in love. He had heard about the amazing research the university is well known for and knew this was the place he wanted to be.

It was those opportunities that he first heard about during his Freshman year that got him into Staci Simonich’s research group. When he’d learned about undergraduate research opportunities, he began exploring the listings to find something that caught his interest.

Staci’s group was working in environmental chemistry and toxicology, topics which Jackson was very interested in. After contacting Staci, they exchanged a few more emails and he was welcomed into the research group.

After graduation, Jackson knew he wanted to get into grad school. While he finalizes his plans, he is currently looking into a handful of schools to pursue Astrochemistry. This field is the crossroads of Astronomy and Chemistry, studying the effects of chemicals and materials in extraterrestrial environments. As the field often deals with poly-cyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, the very chemicals he’s currently studying in his research group, it seemed like an excellent fit. We hope it continues to fuel his passion in chemistry!

When not at school, he follows his native Oregonian roots and enjoys exploring and hiking through nature. He’s also found of video games, fitting in some time between study sessions and school work. His favorite book is 2001: A Space Odyssey, and his favorite food is sushi. Yum!

We wish all the best to Jackson from OSU to beyond!

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