With just one year of the Centre College experience under her belt, Emily Brown ’20 has already landed an internship that will provide the opportunity for collaborative research—an accomplishment that speaks well to her ambition and plans to pursue a career in science. Brown was selected to be a summer intern at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
“It is very unusual for students to land an off-campus experience after their first year,” said Assistant Professor of Chemistry Leonard Demoranville, who assisted Brown with the application process. “The fact that she did is impressive.”
NIST, one of the science labs in the U.S. Department of Commerce, is one of the nation’s oldest physical laboratories and is involved in several areas of science and technology.
“To chemists, it is the premier laboratory for measurement science in the U.S., and it is well-respected across the globe,” Demoranville explained.
Brown’s internship is in the Material Measurement Laboratory, which is the same one Demoranville worked in when he attended NIST as a student.
“She will have the opportunity to work with excellent scientists and world class, cutting-edge scientific equipment,” he said.
Brown explained that she is fortunate to have gained valuable research experience even before arriving at Centre, including an opportunity in high school to conduct research with with a professor at a local college. She said that experience went a long way toward preparing her for undergrad research at Centre, which is guaranteed to every student through the Centre Commitment.
Now, as a first-year student, she’s already participating in collaborative research, including work with a research group led by Assistant Professor of Chemistry Kari Young that is studying an iron catalyst that may help make the paper bleaching process more environmentally friendly.
“Having the opportunity to work with her so early in my college career is an incredible opportunity,” Brown said.
As she plans to major in chemistry, Brown is looking forward to learning more about professional laboratories and the path she may want to take after college.
“Emily has all of the ingredients for the making of a great scientist,” Young said. “She is an excellent ambassador for Centre to NIST, and we are thrilled that she has this opportunity both to learn and to contribute.”
by Kerry Steinhofer
April 17, 2017