Chemistry Major, Class of 2008
Nyasha and faculty advisor, Dr. Daron Janzen
This summer, Dr Daron Janzen and I worked on a ten-week research project which primarily focused on the synthesis and characterization of Organometallic Palladium (II) Complexes for Use in Electronic Materials Applications. I learned invaluable lessons and techniques and was able to incorporate knowledge and skills acquired in the Advanced Inorganic Chemistry course as well as a Topics course entitled Light, Electrons and Matter, both of which provided a solid framework for further exploration of organometallic complexes and their applications.
Working on this project reminded me of the close relationship between the various branches of chemistry and reinforced the fact that nothing learned ever goes to waste! I learned a lot when our experiments yielded the anticipated results and gained a profound appreciation for the processes associated with deciphering why experiments did not yield the expected results. Several times a week, I also had an opportunity to interact with graduate students in the Mann group at the University of Minnesota Inorganic Chemistry Department. I appreciated engaging in these truly edifying interactions.
Dr Janzen was a great mentor. I thoroughly enjoyed working with him. His enthusiasm and wealth of knowledge greatly enhanced my research experience. We faced new challenges everyday as we synthesized and characterized new compounds. If the nature of this research project and the way it progressed are any indication of what further study in chemistry entails, then I am definitely interested in the prospect of graduate study. I would definitely encourage other students to take advantage of research opportunities. It is a good way to engage in detailed explorations of your areas of interest. Such an experience will undoubtedly culminate in more informed career decisions.