Student Profiles

Student Profiles


Peter KernsPeter Kerns '16

Sandy Hook, Conn. | Newtown High School

Major: Chemistry

Minor: Mathematics

Club/activities: Track and Field, Phi Mu Delta social fraternity, Intramural Soccer and IT technician

Post-graduation plans: Graduate school

Meaningful connection with faculty member:
The most meaningful connection that I have made with a faculty member is the connection that I made with Dr. Basu as a freshman. During my first semester, I was able to shadow a junior named Joe Lafferty working in the laser lab under Dr. Basu. After shadowing for one semester I signed up for my own research hours and that spring Dr. Basu offered me a job to work in the lab over the summer. It was an incredibly rewarding experience and is now allowing me to travel to Dallas as a sophomore for the American Chemical Society Conference as well as getting published. Dr. Basu has always been a great resource for me and over the last year I have come to know him very well.

Biggest academic challenge:
During my first semester of my sophomore year, it was challenging having to balance Quantitative Analysis, a class that is up to nine hours of scheduled class time a week, along with my physics, organic chemistry, and statistics classes and independent research. Over all, there were two days a week where I would be in lab anywhere from six to nine hours. I have grown a lot from it because the experience has taught me the value of good time management.

Research experience:
Both summer and independent research has been incredibly beneficial for me. I have learned what it is like to work in a lab where the progression of your research is mainly self-driven. I have gotten to present my research at a symposium over the summer. I am one of the authors of a published paper based on the research. Finally, I am getting to travel to Dallas to the ACS conference. All of those examples are amazing benefits that I have received for doing independent research as well as research over the summer.

Shelby O'Riley

Shelby O’Riley ‘15

Ware, Mass. | Quabbin Regional High School

Major: Biochemistry

Minor: Health Care Studies

Club/activities: Women’s Tennis Team, SAAC, Sigma Kappa social sorority, SU-FACT, Beta Beta Beta biological honor society, Gamma Sigma Epsilon chemical honor society, Alpha Lambda Delta freshmen honor society

Post-graduation plans: Medical school

Meaningful connection with faculty member:
Dr. Basu has been helping me since I was a freshman. He overheard a conversation I had with my advisor about looking for summer research opportunities. He was kind enough to contact one of his friends who was a post-doc at The University of Massachusetts, which is close to my hometown. Dr. Basu is now my research advisor and I plan to continue work with him throughout my senior year. He has gone out of his way to help me pick out classes and even submit letters of recommendation for me while he was out of the country, halfway around the world.

Biggest academic challenge:
My biggest academic challenge to date was the second semester of my sophomore year. I was taking Organic Chemistry, Quantitative Analysis, Physics II, and a Central Curriculum class while trying to balance independent research and the spring tennis season. I have learned that time management is crucial for success in college. This experience has given me to the confidence to know that I can handle the pressure and that my hard work will pay off one day.

Internship experience:
I shadowed a Susquehanna graduate–Dr. Matt Gilbert–at the University of Vermont. I spent a week with him and it was the best experience I could have asked for. I have spent two summers working in the lab and I was unsure whether I would like pursue a Ph.D. or an M.D. after graduation. Dr. Gilbert helped me to realize that I love interacting with patients and that medical school is the path I want to go on.


Victoria Hogan '17Victoria Hogan ‘17

Halifax, Pa. | Halifax Area High School

Major: Biochemistry

Club/activities: Resident Assistant, Violin instructor, Music Preparatory Program, Honors Program, Sigma Alpha Iota

Post-graduation plans: Graduate school and potentially a career in research

Meaningful connection with faculty member:
Dr. Renuka Manchanayakage has been my research mentor since fall 2013. Being able to conduct research one-on-one with a professor as a first-semester freshman has fostered the building of one of the most valuable relationships I have made during my first year at Susquehanna. Dr. Renuka makes herself available to address questions and concerns raised by her students. Over the course of my first year, she taught me so much, both in and out of the research lab. I feel comfortable approaching her about nearly anything, and that’s something that I feel is really unique, especially for a first-year student.

Biggest academic challenge:
Coming to Susquehanna with a weak foundation in chemistry put me in a position where I was already behind most of my peers. I had no choice but to make use of as many available resources as possible, such as office hours and weekly review sessions. I frequently questioned if I should keep the chemistry part of my degree, because I often felt unsure if the research career I have dreamed of since high school was worth the academic struggle. The opportunity to work one-on-one with Dr. Renuka on her green chemistry research project reminds me that, even though I struggle with the academic material now, the reward of a research career will be worth the perseverance. I’m still trying to figure out how I study best, but because of the demanding curriculum of the chemistry courses, I have become more focused with my academics and have therefore grown significantly as both a student and individual.

Course Catalog

Bookmark and Share