Area of Study / Position Title: Professor in Physical Chemistry
Why chemistry? (What about it initially interested you?): Not much interest in chemistry initially, particularly O chem. Only wanted to do laser spectroscopy because of the mathematics involved.
Research focus (in non-science terms) or basic job duties? Develop a new technique to determine structures of macromolecules, and along the way, understanding fundamental properties of related physical processes.
One thing you truly love about your job? The freedom to imagine
One interesting/strange factoid about yourself. I do not like and cannot stand watching any games on baseball or golf.
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!
Corey Wright is a senior undergraduate student in the Chemistry Department at Oregon State University and has been selected a Winter 2012 Chem Major of the Term. Corey grew up in Dallas, OR on a small farm. His interest in chemistry started during high school and he has had a long standing desire to become a medical doctor. He hopes to enroll in medical school in Fall 2013. Corey has excelled in his courses with his favorite chemistry classes to date being “Organic chemistry lab with Emile” and Quantum Theory with Professor Wei Kong. This unusual combination of favorite courses likely contributed to his current research project which is a collaboration between emeritus faculty members Joe Nibler (a physical chemist) and Jim White (an organic chemist). In his spare time, Corey likes to play soccer and music as well as interact with new international students. He has been to Mozambique twice to do charitable work – once with an orphanage and once with street boys. Corey feels he is blessed to have the education and opportunities he has had at OSU and we are honored to have such high achieving students amongst our ranks!