ALEXANDRIA, La. – Two junior chemistry students at LSUA have each been offered summer research positions at top universities! Destiny Harrison and Kendall Powell have both been accepted to the national Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program.

Students apply to participate in an REU program at large, research-intensive universities, and if selected, they get an opportunity to conduct research with an esteemed professor for a summer. These programs span many disciplines and are funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The REU program is incredibly selective and difficult to get into, with less than 6% acceptance rate nationwide according to a study published by the Council on Undergraduate Research.

Destiny Harrison was accepted into the REU program in Sustainable Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry at Texas A&M. She will conduct research with a professor in the department for ten weeks this summer and receive a $5,000 stipend, along with housing, a meal plan, and moving assistance.

“I am ecstatic to be granted the opportunity of such an experience,” said Harrison. “I firmly believe that this program will be crucial to me figuring out which path I want to take after graduation. I understand that not many students get this experience, so I am grateful!”

Kendall Powell was accepted into the REU program in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cincinnati. She will conduct research with a professor in the department for ten weeks and receive a $6,000 stipend, along with housing, a meal plan, and moving assistance. 

Powell noted, “The internship that I was accepted into means a lot to me because it will give me a chance to travel outside of the state to improve my professional skills. I will be able to meet new peers in my field. I am excited about this opportunity because I will be able to learn more about obtaining a PhD, which is what I plan on working towards after my undergraduate degree. Overall, this internship is a once-in-a-lifetime program that I am very grateful to have been accepted into.”

Both REU programs also provide students with a glimpse into graduate school life, allow them to present their findings at the end of the summer, and host many professional development and social activities.

Dr. Jessica Ringo, LSUA chemistry professor, said, “This is the very first time, to our knowledge, that an LSUA student has secured admittance to a Chemistry REU program. How great that we have two this year! We are so proud of Destiny and Kendall! Destiny and Kendall both have had valuable research experience with LSUA chemistry professors. In addition, they have also excelled in their chemistry lecture courses. We believe this experience at LSUA has prepared them for this reputed nationwide program where they will work shoulder-to-shoulder with other elite scholars and researchers. We wish them the best in their respective programs this summer. Go Generals!”

Written by Dr. Jessica Ringo and Adam Lord, LSUA

Photo credit – Adam Lord, LSUA Division of Strategic Communications