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Chemistry Students Receive Excellence in Service Award
19 May 2020

The Department of Chemistry is pleased to announce that Alec Murray, Jarek Metro, and Katie Bormes have been named recipients of the Department of Chemistry Excellence in Service Awards.

The Excellence in Service Awards were created to acknowledge the contributions of students in building the pillars of the department: academics, research, and service. The awardees are students who have dedicated themselves to their department, their profession, and their fellow students.  Each award recognizes service as learning assistants, teaching assistants, and service in general.

Graduating senior Katie Bormes has been recognized for her work within the chemistry community. During her time at Penn State, Bormes served as the president of Nittany Chemical Society. Through this position, she helped plan and orchestrate outreach events with local elementary and middle schools. Bormes explains that, during these events, club members performed science demonstrations for the students in the hopes of sparking an interest in science. “I loved being a part of this club,” Bormes adds, “it was extremely rewarding to watch kids get excited about science and start to develop an interest in the field early in their school career.”



Jarek Metro, who is a graduating senior in the chemistry major, has been recognized for his work as a teaching assistant in Associate Teaching Professor Sheryl Dykstra’s courses. As a TA, Metro helped to generate course materials, develop methods of helping students, and met with students in class and during office hours. “Being a TA was incredibly important to me,” Metro notes, “it allowed me to share my experience with other students. It's incredibly rewarding to see someone have a ‘light bulb moment’ when something finally makes sense and you know that you helped the student get to that point.”



Graduating senior Alec Murray is being recognized for his work as a learning assistant and a teaching assistant for Chem 110. Murray has been involved in Chem 110 since his sophomore year and notes that he has enjoyed helping others to learn. “I loved teaching and thought it would be a great opportunity to both help new students master chemistry and allow me to hone my teaching skills,” Murray says of his decision to get involved in Chem 110. “The smiles from students and the ‘ah-ha’ moments never get old, and it is one of the best feelings knowing that I helped another student to achieve their goals.”



The Department of Chemistry thanks Alec Murray, Jarek Metro, and Katie Bormes for their service to the chemistry community.