“I started working on a research project the summer after my first year. I wanted to make compounds in a new, greener way using a technique called BASIL (it stands for biphasic acid scavenging using ionic liquids). I presented my work to Associated Colleges of the Chicago Area during my sophomore year, then continued my research with Professor Paul Brandt over the next two summers.
“Starting my research early definitely helped me with upper-level course work; I also developed good lab skills and got to meet other people. Learning to share research with biologists, physicists, and psychologists—and with people from other fields—teaches you how to explain what you’re doing in layman’s terms.”