Before attending St. Lawrence University I knew I was interested in the sciences but had no idea what I wanted to major in. After taking two semesters of General Chemistry during my freshman year I realized I had a strong passion for chemistry. During my sophomore year I declared chemistry as my major and continued on to take advanced chemistry courses as well as courses across a broad range of disciplines. During the summer of 2009 I was awarded a University Fellowship by St. Lawrence President Emeritus Daniel F. Sullivan in which I was granted funding to conduct independent research on a project with a faculty mentor. This was the most outstanding and memorable experience I had throughout my four years at St. Lawrence University. Over the course of that summer I conducted inorganic chemistry research under the supervision of Dr. Neil Law on a project titled: Coordination Chemistry Investigations of Novel Platinum(II)-Lanthanide(III) 15-Metallacrown-5 Complexes and Prospective use as an MRI Contrasting Agent. This experience truly improved my understanding of chemistry laboratory techniques, equipment, and instruments. I later continued this research during my Senior Year Experience (SYE), which is a course required by all chemistry majors in which they conduct independent research during their senior year and construct a senior thesis.
What separates a St. Lawrence University science education from other universities is the ability to get actively engaged in learning and use a “hands on” approach to learning science. Over the past four year I was able to get to know each chemistry professor on a personal basis. Each professor was willing to spend ample one-on-one out of class time to go over difficult material. The chemistry laboratory experiments were one of a kind. Some memorable laboratory experiments include the “Synthesis of the Sweetner Dulcin from the Analgesic Acetaminophen” during Advanced Organic Chemistry or the forensic chemistry “Who Dunnit Lab” in Quantitative Chemical Analysis. In the “Who Dunnit Lab” we determined which classmate had previously shot a lead blank from a revolver by quantifying lead (Pb) levels swabbed from that classmate’s hand using flame atomic absorption spectroscopy. A major reason why the St. Lawrence University Chemistry Department is one of a kind is due to the student’s freedom to use advanced spectroscopic instruments including the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (NMR) instrument, an instrument that most undergraduate students never get to experience.
During my time at St. Lawrence I became strongly interested in medicine and took the EMT-B course during my freshman year later becoming a New York State Certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). I joined the St. Lawrence University Emergency Medical Services Team (SLU-EMS) as a freshman taking on the position of a first responder. Eventually I was appointed the Assistant Director of the team during my junior year and was given the greater responsibility of co-managing the team, holding bi-monthly trainings, and monitoring the day-to-day operations of the team. During my experience as Assistant Director I also taught numerous CPR/AED classes to the students and faculty of St. Lawrence University providing them with the knowledge and skills to handle situations of cardiac arrest and choking. I further became involved in the local Canton, New York EMS program and volunteered through the Canton Fire & Rescue Department. During my later years at St. Lawrence University I became a certified advanced critical care EMT which allowed me to administer medications, perform intubations, and establish intravenous access in the emergency medical setting. My extracurricular EMS experience combined with my academic chemistry education has directly inspired my interest in medicine and has allowed me to narrow down my post St. Lawrence career aspirations. Looking back I truly enjoyed my time at St. Lawrence University and would like to thank the Chemistry Department for a great experience.