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Student Spotlight: Kaylie Kirkwood

Questions & Answers

Why did you choose Chemistry?

I chose to major in chemistry because it was one of the only classes in high school that simultaneously challenged and fascinated me. I originally thought that chemistry would be a stepping stone to an entirely different career field. This was not the case, because the more I learned about it and got involved in the Chemistry Department through research and teaching, the less I could see myself doing anything but chemistry for the rest of my life.

What have you been involved in outside of the classroom?

The main activity I’m involved in outside of the classroom is undergraduate research. I work in Dr. Muddiman’s lab on a project which uses capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry to investigate a toxin associated with neurodegenerative diseases. This year I’m also working in the College of Sciences Communications & Marketing department, so look out for articles on the website about our department and college with my name as the author!

How has your experience at NC State helped prepare you for the future?

My experience at NC State has prepared me for a smooth transition from undergraduate to graduate-level study. This is mainly due to opportunities like attending and presenting at national research conferences, taking graduate-level chemistry classes and conducting independent research.

What advice would you give today’s young scientists?

Science is a team sport! Learning to work well with others, collaborate, and make meaningful connections can only enhance your scientific career.

Fill in the blank:

If I am not in the lab, I am ______. In DH Hill Library. I think I could be classified as a master of finding a good study spot, even during finals week.

In my lifetime, scientists will discover ______. The cause of ALS. The motor neuron disease ALS is one of the main focuses of my research project. Many people don’t know that the majority of ALS cases are sporadic, meaning the disease occurs at random with no family history and no clear cause.

In one word, my experience at NC State has been ______. Transformational. My experience here has transformed not only my career aspirations, but so many other aspects of who I am as a person and as a scientist.