If you enjoy studying the effects of solvents on CdSe quantum dots and nickel porphyrins then you may just follow in the footsteps of 2010 grad Andrew Schwartz.
Today, Schwartz, who was a chemistry major and a physics minor at HU, is a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry at Indiana University where he is pursuing his doctorate in analytical chemistry.
“My research has focused on development and characterization of a new plasma-source for atomic emission spectroscopy, called the solution-cathode glow discharge,” he said. “The real beauty of the SCGD is that it is much cheaper, simpler, smaller and more energy efficient than other instruments that do the same measurement.”
Schwartz developed his love for the field working under Dr. Ruth Nalliah, professor of chemistry at HU. Her lectures interested him in the field of research, and the small classes and one-on-one attention from professors made him love Huntington.
“While at HU, I had the chance to work for three years as manager of the chemical storeroom and as a lab assistant,” he said. “Apart from this, I also had the chance to perform research in the department, working on three different projects across my undergraduate career. Research afforded me the chance to see what graduate research would be like down the line.”
After graduation, he quickly joined a research team at IU under Prof. Gary Hieftje, one of the world’s leaders in analytical spectroscopy — Schwartz’s field of interest. After applying and reading letters of recommendation from Schwartz’s Huntington faculty members, there was no doubt that he wanted him on his team.
“I joined the Laboratory for Spectrochemistry formally in October of 2010, shortly after an interview with Prof. Hieftje. Prof. Hieftje was very impressed with the years of practical lab experience I had gained while performing research and serving as a laboratory assistant at HU,” he said. “After a one-semester trial period of doing research in the lab, I was allowed to join as a permanent member.”
After earning his graduate degree, he hopes to either pursue a position in academia as a professor or continue performing research in the field. Either way, he hopes to continue in a place where he can mentor future scientists, just like his HU professors did for him.
“To any considering pursuing chemistry at HU, I highly recommend the program,” Schwartz said. “Learning the sciences in a small, personal atmosphere with the opportunities for hands-on experience is, in my opinion, the best way to prepare for a career in science. Had I chosen a larger university that lacked the personal attention provided to me by HU, I doubt I would have made it to where I am today.”
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