Eve Martinez '15 got her start in scientific research as a student at Knox College, and now she's on her way to Purdue University for a doctorate in chemistry.
At Knox, Martinez was one of a handful of students collaborating with Assistant Professor of Chemistry Helen Hoyt '01 on a project involving "green chemistry," a field that combines chemistry with environmental sustainability. Their work deals with synthesizing an iron catalyst -- a project intended to pave the way for medicines to be produced in a less costly and more environmentally friendly manner.
After picking up her Knox diploma on June 7, Martinez, who double-majored in chemistry and Spanish, will go to Purdue to begin her Ph.D. program, work as a teaching assistant, and join a research group. Her research will continue into the summer at Purdue, where she will be working with depleted uranium complexes for small molecule activation.
"I think that my research experience at Knox played a huge role in my acceptance to graduate school," said Martinez, who was accepted to three different graduate schools.
"Since the chemistry Ph.D. program is a research-based degree, my experiences here gave me a better idea of what I am getting myself into for the next five to six years," she added. "After Knox, I feel more prepared and ready to take on the workload that is required of the degree."
Martinez said that while many faculty members "positively impacted my education at Knox," two of them especially stand out: Hoyt and Chemistry Professor Mary Crawford '89.
Hoyt "saw potential in me and let me join her research group, (which) really helped shape my future. She was also a great role model and supporter and was always willing to answer any questions," she said.
"Mary Crawford made a strong impression on me. I still remember sitting in the large lecture hall in SMC with the other general chemistry students who had signed up for the supplemental instruction in chemistry course," Martinez added. "It didn't always click and make sense to me, but she was always very encouraging and was that person I needed to give me that extra push."
Martinez hopes eventually to become a chemistry professor. She also is interested in working in industry and as a research scientist.