Chemistry can be really frustrating, but when you get something to work it’s the best feeling ever.
Updated May 22, 2018: Abby will pursue a doctorate in analytical chemistry at Kansas State University. Congratulations, Abby!
"I've always thought that hands-on labs were a lot of fun. Chemistry can be really frustrating, but when you get something to work it's the best feeling ever. There are a lot of doors that chemistry opens for future careers, but I chose chemistry as my major because I like a challenge.
"My dad pointed out that Bucknell had a great chemistry department at a small school, so it would be worth it to come take a tour. When I got to campus, I absolutely fell in love. Professor Strein, the chair of the department at the time, gave me a two-hour tour on a Friday afternoon just because he happened to be in the office when I stopped by. As we went from lab to lab, he stopped students who were working on their research projects and asked them to explain what they were doing. The department environment really blew me away. So many people were doing so many different things, and yet Professor Strein knew about and could explain every project that was going on. He seemed really willing to teach me even though I wasn't a student here yet.
"Professor Strein is now my advisor and I work in his lab. I've learned more in this lab than in any other academic experience here. I was first offered the chance to work with Professor Strein when I was accepted into the STEM Scholars program at Bucknell. As a part of this program, I came to campus the summer before my first year to do research for five weeks.
"The program helped me learn so much in such a short time and also helped me get acclimated to both the chemistry department and life at Bucknell. The STEM Scholars program has been such an important opportunity for me and I'm excited to see where it will take me in the future."
Abby is from Woodstock, Ill.