Chemistry majors Sojung Kim and Devon Sweeder have been named 2019 recipients of the John and Elizabeth Holmes Teas Scholarship.
The Teas Scholarship was established to assist Penn State chemistry majors with tuition costs. The scholarship recognizes students who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement, ability, and a passion for chemistry.
“I'm really excited and honored to have been awarded this recognition from the Department of Chemistry,” says Kim, “Receiving this recognition is especially meaningful as a rising senior, because I feel like I've really gotten to know a lot of the faculty in our department through my time here.”
“I am truly grateful, honored and humbled to be named a Teas Scholar,” adds Sweeder, “I sincerely appreciate the opportunities given to me by Penn State and am proud to be a part of the Eberly College of Science.”
Kim, who is a rising senior, is currently conducting research with the Zhang lab, where she co-authored a paper in ChemBioChem in 2019. Her work focuses on synthesizing small, fluorogenic molecules that can be used to tag proteins.
Outside of the lab, she is involved in Science LionPride and the Nittany Chemical Society. She served as the outreach chair for Science LionPride during her sophomore year, and the treasurer of the Nittany Chemical Society during her junior year.
After graduating next spring, Kim plans to pursue a PhD in chemistry.
Sweeder, who is a rising sophomore says she has always had a fascination with science, she first became interested in studying chemistry when she realized it could be an outlet for her creativity. The versatility of chemistry inspired her to explore the unknowns of the scientific world.
She found the perfect place to explore her passion for chemistry here at Penn State, where she is currently conducting research with Dr. Richard Ordway and Dr. Fumiko Kawasaki of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. She explains that her research, which focuses on chemical synaptic transmission, has helped her to gain a new appreciation and understanding of the concepts she has learned in the classroom.
Sweeder notes that receiving the Teas Scholarship will support these academic aspirations. “I look forward to continuing my study of chemistry and having the opportunity to explore, learn and impact my community in a positive way,” Sweeder adds, “I am grateful for the amazing Penn State faculty for believing in me and gifting my the financial support that will allow me to continue my education and achieve my career goals.”
Please join the Department of Chemistry in congratulating Sojung Kim and Devon Sweeder on this exciting honor!