We are excited to announce that Maurice McDavid '86, is one of three alumni receiving the 2023 Knox Service A...
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Major in Chemistry, Minor in Mathematics
Please tell us what you’ve been doing since graduating from Knox.
I have been pursuing a Ph.D. in chemistry at Cornell University and, after graduating this May, I will be continuing my pursuit of a career in academia by starting a postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. My current research has focused on developing methods to make polymer materials with new and interesting properties, but I’m ready to change gears and start to look at developing methods to make small molecules that may have relevant applications in pharmaceuticals.
Describe your time at Knox and the impact your education has had on your after-Knox life.
My time at Knox was filled with fantastic memories. I’m really grateful for all the people I was able to meet and learn from within the music and chemistry departments where I spent a large portion of my time either doing independent research under the mentorship of Prof. Helen Hoyt or playing in one of many wonderful jazz ensembles on the Knox campus. Knox helped me grow into a conscientious, highly creative, critical thinker and I truly believe that my experiences at Knox have been pivotal to my success as a graduate student at Cornell University.
Can you describe a favorite memory or two from your time at Knox?
It’s really hard to pick a favorite time at Knox, but one memory that sticks out is during the 2014 Jerome Mirza Jazz Residency where we had the opportunity to sit down with saxophonist Donny McCaslin to discuss his philosophy on music and modern jazz. It was incredible to hear about how much music outside jazz influences his playing and compositions—we’re talking stuff like Taylor Swift, Flying Lotus, and DeadMau5. Donny was incredible, insightful, and I’m so happy for the opportunity to get to spend time with and learn from such an inspirational musician.
Why is Knox important to you?
Knox is important to me because of how much the professors and staff encourage your growth as not only a critical thinker but also as an individual.
Anything else you’d like to mention about Knox?
I can't wait to come back and see the renovated SMC! The photos look amazing.