Student highlight

An undergrad creating new chemicals to better humans environmental output

Chemistry student Timothy Burns pictured with his lab gear on.

Walking around Dunbar Hall I was looking to pull aside a student to interview. Luckily, chemistry student Timothy Burns was available for me to talk to.

Q: To begin, where are you from?

A: I’m from Hudson, Wisconsin.

Q: If you’re from Wisconsin, what made you choose NDSU?

A: I choose NDSU because it had a lot of affordable opportunities as a research land grant university. I thought it seemed like a great fit.

Q: What’s your major?

A: I’m a chemistry major.

Q: Oh nice, are you involved in anything on campus?

A: I’m the vice president of the Chemistry Club. 

Q: What does it mean to be the vice president of the Chemistry Club?

A: It means that I have the opportunity to give back to the chemistry department. I help to organize and inform chemistry and biochemistry students about professional opportunities to help them with their career goals.

Q: What is your favorite thing about being an NDSU student? And in your own words, what does it mean to be a Bison?

A: I enjoy the community, I like that NDSU is a small(er) campus. I also like that the chemistry department is small, so I can make more valuable connections with other students and my professors.

To be a Bison is to be a leader. To contribute to the community and campus. A Bison is hardworking and driven and doesn’t back away from a challenge.

Q: I love that. What is something specific the Chemistry Club does to help students?

A: The Chemistry Club funds student trips to the annual American Chemistry Society Conference (or ACSC), a conference for students to learn more about chemistry research. As well as to showcase their own research.

Q: That sounds cool, have you been to the annual American Chemistry Society Conference?

A: No, but I am going this year at the end of March. I will be doing a poster presentation about my undergraduate research that I’ve been working on for nine months.

Q: What is your research?

A: Developing new chemicals that can be used to make different plastics and coating materials. In making new compounds we could replace the current compounds, making plastic that is better for the environment.

Thank you, Timothy, for your time.

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