Coming to Rensselaer, I knew that in order to become successful I would need a strong undergraduate as well as graduate education. From the start I knew that my undergraduate education would be phenomenal, and now the School of Science Accelerated BS/PhD program has allowed me to get a strong graduate experience as well. The ability to start on significant research during my undergrad that would count towards my PhD was one of the main reasons why I decided to apply for this program. There really could not have been a better opportunity than this to try and get the most out of my education.
I am currently advised by Professor Peter Dinolfo. The project that I am working on involves the layer-by-layer assembly of photovoltaic cells, which are comprised of various chromophores assembled via the CuAAC (Copper-catalyzed Azide-Alkyne Cycloaddition) Click reaction. The chromophores then absorb light in a similar manner as a plant would, and send that energy down the chain of molecules to a device that would be able to convert it to useable energy. This project aims to create more efficient photovoltaic solar cells as a potential alternative energy source.
My interest in chemistry was sparked by my 8th grade science teacher who pushed me to think differently about science than I had before, and since then I have been hooked on chemistry. Coming from the Philadelphia area, my interest in Rensselaer was driven by a suggestion from my high school mentor, who thought that it might be a good fit for me. I never regretted the decision since then, now half way through my undergraduate degree.
Outside of schoolwork, I am involved in the Rensselaer Chemistry Society, which acts to provide educational resources about chemistry to the surrounding community. I also enjoy the outdoors, specifically hiking and backpacking.