I attended the Research Experience for Undergraduate Students at the University of Connecticut during the summer of 2015. I worked under Dr. Amy Howell and graduate student Drivya working on the Synthesis of Laureatin. After attending the REU program I continued my education at Central Connecticut State University and graduated with a BS in Chemistry. In the fall of 2016 I was a employed as a temporary Quality Control Technician for Charles River Laboratories in Storrs, CT and later hired for the permanent Quality Control Technician position. I am in charge of the Tissue Culture lab at CRL and also train new employees for the Serology lab. I work primarily with Avian vaccine components and absolutely love my job. I plan to start a graduate program in the Fall of 2018 as a Biological Anthropology major and then go on to my PhD in Forensic Anthropology. The research program at UCONN taught me many valuable things about working in the lab, organization, and also how to network efficiently. It was a very positive experience and I would recommend it to any undergraduate Chemistry major that is looking for the real lab experience. It helped me to adapt to the job I have today, and I could not be more grateful for that.
Reflections on “a day in the life” and the overall impact of the program from UConnChem REU student Bree Hatfield.
“Hey guys I’m Bree Hatfield, a participant of the UConn Chemistry Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program for the summer of 2016 in the Kumar lab. I am from Manteca, California and attend college at Minot State University in Minot, North Dakota. I competed in the NCAA, Division II as a member of the women’s soccer team. My majors include Chemistry, Biology, and Mathematics. The UConn Chemistry department has exceeded all of my expectations and included me without hesitation. Not to mention the research within the Kumar lab is incredibly fascinating. With this excitement I would like to show you what my daily routine consists of. So sit back for the next 24 hours because I’m taking over Instagram. I hope you enjoy! #UConnChemREU #takeover #NSFREU #UConnChemistry”
Author Jennifer Bento is a graduate student in the Polymer Program at UConn in the research group of Chemistry Professor Doug Adamson. In her reflection below, Jen describes the implications on her career path that resulted from her participation in the UConn chemistry REU program. She connects this experience to choosing UConn for graduate school, and her subsequent success in garnering a prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.
I received my undergraduate education at Simmons College in Boston where I earned a B.S. in Chemistry and Physics in 2011. During my undergraduate career, I was a teacher’s assistant, a study group leader and an ambassador through Beyond Benign in a Green Chemistry Fellowship program that performed outreach at local Boston public schools. As a Beyond Benign fellow, I was able to work with undergraduates at my institution and meet fellow scientists at local colleges and/or universities in the Boston area. Together we performed hands-on activities with students in grades K-12. I hope that our efforts motivated the students to continue their education in STEM fields. I also helped students at Simmons learn organic chemistry in my role as a TA/study group leader. These fulfilling experiences with students have inspired me to pursue a career as a college professor. My research advisor at Simmons, Dr. Richard Gurney, encouraged me to apply to a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program sponsored by the NSF to gain further research experience at a PhD-granting institution and to get a sense of what being a graduate student would feel like. I applied and was accepted to the UConn Chemistry REU the summer before my senior year of college. UConn was able to offer exciting research with a successful REU student track record. Continue reading
Jennifer Bento, REU 2010 alumna, joined the Polymer Program at the UConn Institute of Materials Sciences as a graduate student; she published her first paper: Hire, C. C.; Oyer, A. J.; Macek, G. E.; Bento, J. L.; Adamson, D. H., “Directed formation of silica by a non-peptide block copolymer enzyme mimic” J. Mat. Chem. B, 2013, 1, 1977-1984.
John D’Angelo, REU alumnus from 1999 and UConn alumnus, Ph.D. 20xx, received a promotion to Associate Professor with tenure at the Department of Chemistry at Alfred University, NY. Congratulations John!
The work of Sarah Wells, 2010 REU alumna, performed at UConn appeared in print: Samankumara, L. P.; Wells, S.; Zeller, M.; Acuña, A. M.; Röder, B.; Brückner, C. ‘Expanded Bacteriochlorins’ Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2012, 51, 5757–5760.