Christine graduated in May ’08 (B.S. Chemical Engineering) and is now pursuing doctoral studies at Cornell University. An Honors Program scholar, Christine completed her thesis on a small molecule called furanone that appears to inhibit the explosive growth of the deadly bacterium anthrax. Her advisor, Dr. Ranjan Srivastava, said that “Based on Christine’s work, it may be possible to design more effective drugs and treatment strategies for dealing with anthrax.” Read Christine’s pre-graduation profile below.
“In high school [Essex High School, VT], I was really interested in the applications of biology. At first, I thought that I wanted to be a molecular biology major, but both my parents were engineers and encouraged me to explore engineering. I realized that the technical background would open up a lot of opportunities and decided on that route. I chose chemical engineering after talking to all the professors in the department who focused on biochemical engineering. Learning about their research helped me to realize that to achieve my career goals, I should be a chemical engineer.”
Reason for coming to UConn:
“There were a lot of factors that drew me to UConn. First, UConn offers chemical engineering as a major, which the university in my home state, the University of Vermont, did not offer. I was also offered a great scholarship package [including a university Achievement Scholarship]. Once I visited UConn, I saw that it could provide a great overall college experience. Not only were the academics and emphasis on undergraduate research highly attractive, but UConn also had a lot to offer outside of academia.”
“I was most impressed by the undergraduate research opportunities available. As a freshman, I was unsure of the specific type of research I wanted to conduct for my honors thesis. I met with various professors in the chemical engineering department, all of whom were extremely helpful. It was impressive that they took time out of their busy days to discuss their research fields with me. Once I decided to work with Professor [Ranjan] Srivastava, I found it was easy to integrate myself into his lab group and I am now working on my own project.”
“The undergraduate program at UConn has been thorough and rigorous; I have felt very well prepared for the internships I have done. During my internship at UTC Power, I worked on a product development team for hydrogen fuel cells in submarines. I did a lot of thermal and mixed fluid analysis. I was treated like an engineer and not an intern because of how well prepared I was. It was a great experience.”
“As president of Omega Chi Epsilon, my main goal was to make the group more active on campus by planning more events that would be useful for all chemical engineering students. Last semester, a chemical engineering professor led a resume workshop and after-graduation discussion, which was very successful. This semester, the plan is to invite chemical engineers from local companies to discuss their role in their industry, to hold more informational sessions similar to the resume workshop, and to organize more outings for the group. One upcoming event we are planning is a research seminar for undergraduates. Professors will be asked to give short presentations on their research so that students who are interested in research may have a better idea of whom they should contact.”