McKayla Miller - 2019 Graduate
How in the world is an 18-year-old supposed to know what they want to do with the rest of their life? The question was always daunting to me heading into undergraduate study, and truthfully, still intimidated me for some time after I had arrived at Slippery Rock University in the fall of 2014 as a chemistry major. Can I do this? Is this the right major for me? I had allowed some doubt to creep in as four years of study seems like forever when you are staring at your degree requirements for the first time. I found myself in the right place to create myself and discover what I was meant to be doing. I found myself truly enjoying my chemistry courses with growing interest. The chemistry professors at Slippery Rock foster that budding curiosity into a full-blown excitement to learn more. Sure chemistry is hard work, but with small class sizes, I was able to get to know my professors and my classmates easily. The professors were always so kind and willing to help, wanting their students to succeed as much as the students themselves did. I found myself working on a research project with Dr. Lengyel. Working for Dr. Lengyel was so rewarding in many ways. I was able to learn about a cool project, learn about the problem-solving processes in research, gain confidence in lab skills, and even travel to conferences to present data I had collected. Above all, working for Dr. Lengyel helped me understand myself as a researcher and provided many opportunities for me to learn and grow. My time at Slippery Rock certainly did not feel like forever like I once thought it would, and the years passed too quickly. I know that the valuable education and research experience that I acquired at Slippery Rock has prepared me for the challenges of graduate school. I continue to pursue an education in chemistry at Baylor University where I am studying analytical chemistry and its application to study marine mammal ecology. The support of Dr. Lengyel and all of my professors made becoming a chemist such an incredible and rewarding journey. I hope they know how thankful I am for their contribution to my love of chemistry, and for the part they all played in shaping me into the graduate student that I am today.
Ashley Roland - 2017 Graduate
In every youthful mind, including my own, being able to take on the world and excel in any profession is impetuously established; however, little did I know I had so much I still needed to find in myself. I know the Chemistry Department as well as my research mentor and advisor, Dr. Paul Birckbichler helped me do just that. I was always set on the field of pharmacy; however, I learned to always keep my options open and opportunities will come your way only to make you a better person in the process. Along the way I was brought into the research world of cell-to-cell interactions, where I learned patience, time management, and there is always a solution to a problem. Although research may not have been my pathway of choice, I will follow in Dr. Birckbichler's footsteps to ensure that I am passionate and fully committed to the work that I do as a pharmacist. What truly solidified who I was and where I belonged, was the ongoing part-time job at Rite Aid Pharmacy, which gave me hands-on experience, more in-depth knowledge of the field, and reassurance that the Doctor of Pharmacy degree is the best track for me. My time and accomplishments at Slippery Rock University have solidified my long term goal and commitment to pursuing an advanced degree in pharmacy as well as afforded me opportunities, which have prepared me for this journey into LECOM school of pharmacy. There is still so much to learn, but I am confident that I am well prepared for the academic work, professional standards, and personal requirements needed to become a Pharmacist all thanks to my time at Slippery Rock University.
Shelby Schettler - 2017 Graduate
When I started at Slippery Rock, I was not sure what I wanted to do exactly, but I knew I was interested in science. I enjoyed learning about chemistry so I decided to become more involved by picking up a minor and eventually a major. I chose the ACS-certified track because I was interested in research and the degree path required at least two credits of independent study. Research and working as a teaching assistant really inspired me to continue the path as a researcher and an educator. Working hard early on in my career gave me the opportunity of pursuing an REU position at the University of Oregon, which solidified my decision to pursue a doctoral degree in chemistry. My research experience and my grades eventually paid off because I was accepted by the University of Pittsburgh for graduate school and was offered a fellowship to work in the summer.