When I was an undergraduate student, I was originally majoring in Forensic Chemistry. Then I started doing research. I synthesized a brand new compound and was able to publish my findings in Tetrahedron Letters, a chemistry journal. I was hooked and changed my major to straight chemistry.
Organic synthesis interests me because we are making compounds that never existed before. My favorite lab to run with students involves Isopental acetate (making banana oil). You take stinky stuff and turn it into non-stinky stuff.
Students are my raison d'être. If I could have everyone in my class earn an A, I would be thrilled. I've been teaching for a while now and I still feel passionate about my subject. I want them to feel this too.
Students are often scared to death of Organic Chemistry. I love making them see that they can do it. I love seeing the "Ah-Ha" moment in their eyes and helping them realize what they are capable of. Some days I have a nonstop stream of students in my office. My door is always open.TOP