NSFREU Participants

Mikayla McDonald – UW-Eau Claire

Mikayla McDonald – UW-Eau Claire

The REU program is a great way to give students an inside look at what grad school is like, and I gained a lot of experience with research and collaboration in the lab. Aside from lab work, getting to know and hanging out with fellow students from all over the country as well as our awesome mentors and advisers at UK was one of the best experiences of my college career!

Eli Ruffer – Carleton College

Eli Ruffer – Carleton College

The University of Kentucky REU introduced me to amazing people and experiences. It gave me a rigorously rewarding education but left me with the freedom to explore life outside of chemical engineering, like living in a new city, making new connections, and exploring Kentucky and the surrounding states. I am extremely grateful to have had this experience!

Cameron Sptizfaden – Alma College

Cameron Sptizfaden – Alma College

I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to participate in this REU at the University of Kentucky. The program gave me the opportunity to take a leading role in a research project, and I learned so many new skills in the process. The various mentorships helped me to better understand the lifestyle of a Ph.D research student, and I am excited to continue pursuing a research-based career. The quality of research at the University of Kentucky is evident, and I found the interdisciplinary nature of this REU to be quite engaging.

Oscar Zabala – University of New Haven

Oscar Zabala – University of New Haven

The time I spent at UKY for the 2016 REU program was the best summer of my undergrad years. The experience was the perfect mixture of learning and fun activities. It was clear that all of the faculty put in a tremendous amount of effort to create a fun, supportive learning environment. The labs had just about every instrument a researcher would ever need. My work was meaningful, interesting, and challenging.

Martha Floy – Kansas State University

Martha Floy – Kansas State University

The summer research experience at the University of Kentucky was a fantastic program. I was able to work on novel research alongside world-class Professors, graduate students, and undergraduates. Besides lab work, there were professional development sessions and tons of fun social events. I would recommend this REU to anyone who is interested in learning about the opportunities in the University of Kentucky’s graduate school and more broadly within the research field.

Alison Crupper – University of Kentucky

Alison Crupper – University of Kentucky

“Participating in the UK summer REU was one of the best experiences I have had so far in my college career. Not only did I get to wake up every day and work on a research project that I loved, I met some pretty incredible people who become some of my closest friends! It’s a summer that I will never forget!”

Carmen Chen NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Carmen Chen
NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Choosing to participate in the NSF REU Program at the University of Kentucky was one of the hardest and smartest decisions of my life. I had never been to Kentucky before, or away from my family for such an extended period of time. I took a chance, and I’m glad I did. I’m thankful for all the new things I was able to try: doing research for the first time, winning an award at the poster competition, zip-lining, rock climbing, hiking, bowling, boating, and drinking an Ale-8 while watching the sun set at Jacobson Park. Now, several months after the conclusion of the program, I still regularly talk to other REU participants, and my graduate student mentor. I’m almost embarrassed by my earlier hesitance, as the summer of 2016 will forever be a treasured memory.

Sarah Coulson – University of Kentucky

Sarah Coulson – University of Kentucky

The REU this summer was a wonderful introduction to full time research that got me thinking like a scientist. I enjoyed working through the challenges of my project and learning new and interesting things that will one day contribute to society. I had so much fun living right on campus and hanging out with all of the wonderful people I met. Working hard (and getting paid) during the week and spending afternoons and weekends enjoying Kentucky was a wonderful way to spend the summer. I’ve never had so much fun while also growing in my experience and education! I walked out of the program this summer with confidence in my abilities to design and carry out effective experiments, effectively present findings to peers and colleagues, and a newly found excitement for research in grad school. That combined with the wonderful friends and connections I made this summer means I 10/10 would REU again.

Christ Rust - North Carolina State University

Christ Rust – North Carolina State University

The REU program was a great summer experience to prepare me for graduate school. I learned about a variety of topics in chemical engineering and was able to apply my knowledge working with my graduate student mentor. I also met a great group of fellow researchers that became lifelong friends. Overall, a wonderful experience for undergraduates wanting to get their hands dirty researching.

Alexander Ocken – Purdue University

Alexander Ocken – Purdue University

The hands-on and immersive experience at Kentucky’s NSF-REU not only exposed me to graduate research, but also provided me with the connections, skills, and mindset required to think as an independent scientist and engineer. I believe the program was a critical step towards pursuing a doctorate in Biomedical Engineering and has directed me to a successful career path.

Alexus Rockward – University of Kentucky

Alexus Rockward – University of Kentucky

I am grateful that I had the opportunity to participate in this REU program. The program was a glimpse into life as a graduate student, with seminars and mentors to show the way to success in research. The opportunity to conduct extensive research, present my research at the AIChE conference, and connect with like-minded peers from across the nation has been, and will continue to be, invaluable experiences in my life.

Fox Thorpe - University of Kentucky

Fox Thorpe – University of Kentucky

The REU was an all-around great experience. The work research that I completed was meaningful and lasting. The connection that I made with UK’s faculty will last and help me in undergraduate and graduate school. The truest strength of this program, however, is the community that was formed between the students participating in the program. The friends that I made while participated in this program motivated me to work my hardest at my research everyday so I wouldn’t fall behind. They’ve inspired me to work harder in my undergraduate studies and continue to graduate school. We all motivate and support each other to attend and make the most of chemical engineering conference where we can meet up and hang out. I feel that the REU was an extremely beneficial experience. It has already helped my academic career and advanced my research. The relationships that I formed through this program are lasting and important. This is a great summer program.

Hannah Strat - University of Michigan

Hannah Strat – University of Michigan

Jonathan Murphy – Kentucky State University

Jonathan Murphy – Kentucky State University