Our chemistry graduates pursue advanced degrees in chemistry, biochemistry, medicine, pharmaceutical science and law, or become successfully employed in industry, or government.
Profiles of our alumni featured here and the pie chart below illustrate both the career paths our graduates have chosen as well as the diverse and extensive number of options chemists have to contribute to society and the sciences.
I currently work for AB SCIEX as a Senior Manager of technical and application support in North America. I manage a team of applications scientist who support our customers with their workflows.
At AB SCIEX, we support our customers in a wide range of applications and software workflows. Our days are very dynamic. Each situation requires a diverse set of analytical skills and presents its own set of challenges and rewards
I still use the knowledge I learned at Drake in the chemistry department today in my everyday work. The hands on experience I gained was critical to my current success. The chemistry department at Drake made each class not just a course, but an experience.
My advice to students is to make the best of all the one on one time you get with the faculty at Drake. In my current job I have had the privilege to work with a lot of universities and chemistry departments. I have not found another school that provides the type of one on one education that I received when I was at Drake. What an amazing opportunity that was and I don’t think you will find anywhere else. Take advantage of each one of these opportunities as they will support you in your career and life moving forward.
One of my favorite memories at Drake relates to all the hands on lab time I received. I used to spend hours in the lab doing experiments, trying new things, making mistakes, learning. I loved it! I spent so much time in the lab that all my friend stopped calling my dorm room and just called the lab. Sounds funny now but it was true. The lab was my place to get away, learn, be a mad chemist, and get the hands on time I needed. It’s this hands on time that really helped me “fit in” quickly into the real world.
The second memory is all the time I spent with my friends and teammates. I was a track and cross country student athlete. My teammates and I spent hours training together. They were my family during my years at Drake and we had so many memorable times together. We are all still very good friends today. It quite possibly was the best four years of my life.
When I first arrived at Drake I wanted to be a physician. After one year at Drake I realized that this is not what I will be good at. My favorite experience as a chemistry major at Drake is being involved in research. I spent many hours in the lab making molecules, analyzing them, and (my favorite) increasing yields by changing the microscale apparatus. I was inspired to pursue a PhD after doing research with Prof. Mirafzal. He had a great sense of humor. He personally taught me every technique, celebrated every success and encouraged me to continue after failures. When it came time to decide on graduate school he spent many hours sharing information. He was very supportive when I made a decision that was based on personal as well as academic reasons.
I did my graduate research under the direction of Prof. Ellis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where I worked on biosensors. The project allowed me to connect my interest in biomolecules and my joy in using analytical techniques. When I was starting to write my thesis I read an issue of Chemical Reviews devoted to nanotechnology. I emailed a postdoc inquiry to every person who had an article there. Prof. Mirkin from Northwestern replied and I spent two years as a NIH postdoctoral fellow in his group at Northwestern University. I used nanometer-sized particles and lithographic techniques to construct nanoscale architectures and develop DNA detection systems.
I have been a faculty since 2002 first at Purdue University and as of summer of 2011 at North Carolina State University. My starting goal was to develop new types biosensors. Recently I have made this a more ambitious goal: I want to make hybrid implantable devices that can be used for sensing, stimulation, drug delivery and repair. To achieve it requires creativity in preserving the physical properties of the device while introducing biochemical functionality, as well as hard work in order to prove the utility and safety of the devices. I enjoy working on this goal with my students and often remember all my mentors Drake in looking for successful strategies to get them to fulfill their potential.
I graduated from Drake University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry and Biology. After graduating from Drake, I began medical school at Des Moines University and I will complete the DO program in May 2015. My education at Drake was outstanding in helping me prepare for medical school! The professors in the Chemistry Department were very invested in their students and the smaller class sizes helped enhanced the learning experience. The chemistry courses I enjoyed the most at Drake included Quantitative Chemistry and Physical Chemistry—both of which offer great hands-on lab experiences. I would advise new students at Drake pursuing a Chemistry degree to get to know their professors well and try to get involved in any research project. Also, don’t forget to enjoy your years at Drake—eat at Gazali’s, attend the Drake Relays, and explore the wonderful city of Des Moines!