Monday, October 01, 2012

Leadership lived: Chemistry major engages in collaborative undergraduate research

Junior chemistry major Dyllan Tiburzi has benefited from the personal attention he’s received from dedicated professors at the University of Illinois Springfield.

As an undergraduate, he is working side-by-side with Assistant Professor of Chemistry Layne Morsch to design new methods for making chemistry environmentally friendly. He likes the idea of utilizing cutting edge methods of technology that promote sustainability.

“I believe that it’s very important to do the research that I’m doing here,” said Tiburzi. “I would like to pursue a career in the medical field, so obviously I’ll be spending a lot time in the lab running a lot of tests. This is kind of a hands-on approach.”

Morsch helps the students choose their projects, provides training, and is always available to answers questions. However, he likes to turns the projects over to the students.

“We really focus on our undergraduates and so we’re excited to work with them and train them to be better chemists and scientists,” said Morsch.

Morsch is dedicated to providing his students with real-world preparation that will help them achieve success in meaningful professional careers.

“I actually see my job as two fold,” said Morsch. “One (part) is to advance science, but probably even more important than that is to generate a new generation of scientists. To train people who are going to go out there and be excited about doing science.”

During his time at UIS, Tiburzi has been given the opportunity to share his research with a national audience. He recently attended the Biennial Conference on Chemical Education at Pennsylvania State University with Professor Morsch.

“It was a fantastic experience,” said Tiburzi. “I met a lot of great people and found out there’s a lot out there and we are actually doing the right thing.”

Tiburzi grew up in the small town of Benld, Illinois. He chose UIS because of its right-sized and supportive environment.

“The personal factor makes it all the more enjoyable for me,” said Tiburzi.

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