Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Blog Challenge #2- Kelly Pesta

For our second blog challenge we were suppose to pick a grad student and interview them, asking them 10 questions and then write a biography on them. The grad student that I interviewed was Holly Bennett, she is currently working in the forensic lab with me as one of my secondary mentors and is currently in the PhD program at Duquesne University. Below are the questions I asked her:

1. Why did you choose Duquesne University?
2. Why did you choose chemistry?
3. What do you plan on doing with your degree after school?
4. What type of research are you working on now?
5. Is grad school something to consider for me, or any high school student?
6. What made you decide to do what you're doing now?
7. Did you think of any other school, or did you already plan on going to Duquesne?
8. What are your future career goals?
9. What did you learn as an undergrad that interested you to go to grad school and continue?
10. How did you become interested in science?

11. After you graduate with your PhD, are you planning on staying in Pittsburgh or going
      somewhere else?

With the answers Holly has given me, below is the biography of Holly Bennett:

Holly Bennett Biography
       Holly is currently a grad student at Duquesne University in the PhD program. She didn't grow up in Pittsburgh, but she always knew she wanted to go to Duquesne University. She moved here because she wanted to get away from home, liked Pittsburgh, and wanted to attend Duquesne. She became interested in science when she was younger and started watching all the criminal investigation shows and wanted to be just like the characters. What also sparked her interest was that she wanted to solve crimes, was good in math and science, and never had an interest for English or Literature. She choose chemistry as a career because she has been working with chemistry topics for 8 years and says that you can get a multitude of different types of jobs with the knowledge of some sort of chemistry. When applying for school, Holly knew that she wanted to come to Duquesne and ended up only applying to Duquesne and got accepted. At first Holly wanted to go into Medical school and become a medical examiner, but changed her mind when she came to Duquesne and due to a low SAT score she went into Forensics here at Duquesne and is happy that she choose what she is doing now. When she was an undergrad she took a toxicology class that sparked her interest and made her want to pursue the research, which is what she is doing now. She choose to come to Duquesne for grad school because she went through undergrad here and her adviser who is currently my mentor, Dr. Wetzel, helped her work on research that wasn't Analytical Chemistry. Holly is currently working on looking at extractions of cocaine and benzoylecgonine in urine and blood samples using the LC/MS to optimize a quicker method to detect the drugs. Holly's future career goals and what she plans on doing with her degree is working in a lab and doing something related to toxicology and hopefully eventually becoming the director of a lab. Holly highly recommends to high school students and undergrads to go to grad school. She said its a great opportunity and also said that you can't get a job with just your masters degree because you're not experienced enough. While Holly was still in school she took an internship for 3 years at Carlow University working with medical examiner Dr. Delmastero in the basement of Carlow, which was his office, doing autopsies. She said she had a blast during her internship and learned a lot more then she would have if she took any other internship. I thought this was interesting because I want to become a medical examiner and have been looking into Carlow. Holly said that before college, like I mentioned above, she too wanted to become a medical examiner, but changed her mind and is happy with the direction she choose to go. After Holly graduates with her PhD, she plans on staying in Pittsburgh and finding a job that deals with toxicology, but if she has to move due to a job she will.  

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