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COD Students Participate in Summer Chemistry Internships

Resource for Excellence students

By Brian Kleemann

Three College of DuPage students are participating in prestigious summer chemistry research internships thanks to a grant through the College Foundation’s Resource for Excellence program.

Ruth Groza of Sleepy Hollow is working with Professor Marjorie Jones at Illinois State University, Taylor Holland of Shorewood is with Anna Pla-Dalmau, Ph.D., at Fermilab, and Jeffrey Hosmer of Naperville is with Professor Graham Peaslee at Hope College.

The Resource for Excellence Grant program fosters innovation at COD by providing funding to test new ideas, pilot new programs or methods, or conduct research. Gary Roby, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, said he interviewed full-time students who had taken either biochemistry or organic chemistry, had an interest in research and possessed strong lab skills.

“I applied for this grant because these internship opportunities are rarely available to community college students, and yet our students are eager and ready to meet the challenge,” he said. “The grant will cover all expenses so Ruth, Taylor and Jeffrey will gain valuable research experience.”

Groza is working on a project involving subtropical parasitic diseases with Jones, who submitted a patent application in 2012 for choline derivatives as antileishmanial drugs. In seventh grade, Groza discovered Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos” and ever since has wanted to pursue a career in science.

“I’m interested in biochemistry and scientific research, and this internship is an ideal project for me,” she said. “I’m so grateful to the College for this opportunity.”

Holland is working alongside Pla-Dalmau, leader of the Scintillation Detector Development Technical Center at Fermilab, on a project involving a scintillator, which generates photons of light and can be used for diagnostics. Holland has loved science since childhood when she was captivated by Bill Nye the Science Guy. Her goal is to attend medical school.

“Just having this experience is fantastic,” said Holland, who hopes to attend medical school. “What’s cool is how accessible Professor Roby made this to us. It’s almost impossible to find something like this when you’re not a senior.”

Hosmer will participate on one of two projects: one applying nuclear physics to environmental science, electrochemistry, biophysics and forensic science, or a nuclear chemistry project to develop methods for harvesting radioisotopes. Both of his parents have bachelor’s degrees in chemistry, and he likes the idea of creating new compounds and determining what they can do.

“I’m also interested in scientific research, and I’ve always wanted to get into an internship like this, so having this on my transcript is huge,” he said.

For more information about the Chemistry program, call (630) 942-8331 or visit www.cod.edu/programs/chemistry.

Caption: (From left) Ruth Groza, Taylor Holland and Jeffrey Hosmer