How/Why Research? I got into research because I wanted to further explore topics I learned from the classes that excited me. I’m glad I did because undergraduate research is very distinct from graduate or doctoral level research and it can be such an exciting experience if you find the right research and group to research with! Getting into research was a bit difficult for me. I emailed a ton of professors and only heard a response from 3-4 of them, from which I could select the project/research that really intrigued me. This process took up the entirety of my first year (and half of my second year) and I wish I had found research sooner. Because of that, I’m always happy to help new students find their place in the research community here at UNC!
Research Experience: With my work in the Sheiko group, I have undergone polymer chemistry-based materials science research on projects relating elastomer network modulations. This focused work is on iso-chemical architectural control of adhesive material properties, UV photolabile control of biomedical/mechanical material properties, and grafted side chain linear-block elastomers self-assembling for novel material firmness. I perform polymer synthesis and test materials of properties such as viscoelasticity, stress-strain strength, gel fraction, swelling ratio, and material firmness. This work aims to serve value to the development of medical and industrial adhesives, drug delivery systems, efforts of plastic recyclability, and wearable electronics (tissue mimetic, prosthetics, etc.) Last year, I was awarded the 2022 ACS research funds by Florida State University’s graduate program to present polymer degradability via UV irradiation at the Spring 2022 ACS National Meeting. On top of all the chemical techniques I have learned, I have gained understandings in writing scientific literature, giving research presentations, poster making, and effective scientific collaborations.
Student Organizations/Clubs: Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED), UNC American Red Cross Chapter, Marathon Club, Arab Student Organization (ASO)
Also Happy to Chat about: Summer Research, Carolina Research Scholars Program
Random Fun Fact: I play soccer and love long-distance running!