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Graduate Student Highlight: Haley Young

1 March 2021
Haley Young

Each week, the Department of Chemistry highlights one graduate student who is doing excellent work around the department. In this installment of our highlight series, we are featuring Haley Young, a second year student who is co-advised in the Schaak and Gomez labs.

Haley’s research focuses on grafting semiconducting polymers onto inorganic Janus nanoparticles to synthesize hybrid materials, bridging both organic and inorganic chemistry. She hopes to study the synergistic properties of these materials for application as photocatalysts.
Outside of the lab, Haley is an outreach delegate for the Chemistry Graduate Student Association (GSA) and is involved in organizing webinars for the Virtual Scientist program, which demonstrates fun science experiments that parents can do at home with their children.
This week, we met virtually with Haley to discuss her life in and outside of the lab! Please enjoy our interview with Haley Young.
Question: How did you get interested in chemistry?
Answer: I have been interested in chemistry since high school when I took my first chemistry class. I got my bachelor’s degree at Elizabethtown College where I had some awesome chemistry professors who challenged me and taught me the power of critical thinking in connection to science. After grad school, I hope to use my skills doing research and development industrially.
Q: Do you have any hobbies?
A: One of my favorite hobbies is playing ultimate frisbee. I am grateful to play with Crisis, the Penn State women’s team and the local State College Ultimate League. I also love being a plant mom and growing veggies at the community garden!
Q: What’s your dream vacation? 
A: As an undergraduate, I studied abroad in Thailand, and I would love to go back to Southeast Asia to visit Indonesia for the tropical weather, scenery, and (of course) the food!
Thanks to Haley for these excellent answers! We hope you enjoyed this interview. Stay tuned for more graduate student highlights in the weeks to come!