Drew Diaz

Senior

Niles, Illinois

Chemistry and Sports Medicine Double Major

Drew is working on a National Science Foundation-funded project with Chemistry Professor Mary Crawford.

Drew Diaz '14 has packed a lot into his four years at Knox.

A double-major in chemistry and sports medicine (a self-designed major), he has played quarterback on the Prairie Fire football team and been active in several student groups.

He also has pursued National Science Foundation-funded research under the supervision of Chemistry Professor Mary Crawford, whom Drew calls "an awesome mentor," and made a presentation about the research at the American Chemical Society's 2014 national conference (photo below: Drew with Professor Crawford). The research relates to an NSF grant that Crawford received in 2012 for a project to design laboratory exercises that help physical chemistry students better understand connections between their studies and "real-world" applications.

Drew Diaz '14 and Professor Mary Crawford

"P-chem (physical chemistry) is something that sometimes goes over students' heads," Drew says, adding that the research work is enabling them "to understand it better and analyze it better."

As a member and current vice president of the Chemistry Club, Drew is involved with the club's community outreach. Several times a year, club members perform chemistry demonstrations for Galesburg elementary school students.

"We really want to inspire more future scientists. That's our goal," says Drew, who plans to attend medical school and become a physician. He also is president of Mortar Board, the national senior honor society, and a member of the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity.

"When people ask me what kind of student ends up going to Knox, I'll tell them this: Students who want to do a variety of things -- athletics, academics, extracurriculars -- they can do all of that here," Drew says. Thanks to support from Knox friends and faculty, he adds, "It's hard not to do all the great things you want to do."