Spotlight

Where are our Chemistry majors now?

 

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Sharon Vergez Vercellotti

LSU BS ’63;  Ohio State MS ‘65
President, V-LABS, Covington, LA

Sharon Vergez received her BS in Chemistry from LSU in 1963.  As an undergraduate she worked in the laboratory of Professor Jim Traynham who has been a life-long mentor.  Sharon recalls, “In my junior year the faculty recommended me for an NSF summer internship award and that was granted for me to spend the summer doing research at the University of Arkansas.  That was a real turning point in my career goals. 

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Talitha Pitre

 Talitha Pitre

Lab Analyst, CITGO Petroleum Lake Charles Manufacturing Complex

Talitha Pitre is a native of Lake Charles, Louisiana, and a graduate of LaGrange Senior High School. She began her studies at LSU in the Fall of 2000 and was a member of the Tiger Band, a participant in the Minority Engineering Program, and a student laboratory worker with Drs Gambrell and Faulkner at the Wetland Biogeochemistry Institute. One day, while walking to the lab, Talitha met Dr Isiah Warner.  Subsequently, she spent a semester working with a graduate student in the Warner Group.  Talitha recalls, “That semester gave me the real world lab experience to prepare for a career.”  

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Treva Brown

Treva Brown

Doctoral Candidate in Inorganic Materials
The University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA

Treva Brown was born and raised in North Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  She received her diploma from Baton Rouge Magnet High School. She dreamed of attending Louisiana State University and her physics teacher provided her with advice and information. Treva recalls, “Ms Cao told me about STEM programs at LSU and I began considering them and came across the LA-STEM [Louisiana Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics] Scholars Program, for which I applied, and met Dr Isiah Warner. 

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Maryam Foroozesh

Margaret W. Kelly Endowed Professor in Chemistry Xavier University, New Orleans

Dr. Maryam Foroozesh was born in Shiraz, Iran and grew up in Tehran, Iran. After graduating high school and turning 18, she emigrated to the United States of America. In January 1987, she came to Baton Rouge and became a Louisiana State University Tiger. When asked what she appreciated most as a chemistry major, she replied, “I really enjoyed doing research in Dr. Klaus Fischer’s group. I learned a lot and made great friends....” 

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Paul  Buras

Formally Retired, New Orleans, LA, Consultant for Heidelberg Cement

Paul Buras was a National Merit Scholar at Catholic High School in Baton Rouge.  Between his junior and senior year in high school, he attended an NSF Summer Science Training Program led by Dr Clyde Day at LSU.  Paul says, “this experience really turned me on to science and I decided to major in chemistry.”  He was awarded a “Top 100” Scholarship to LSU, turning down full ride offers to Rice and MIT.

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Christie Sayes

Environmental Science & Toxicology, Baylor University

Christie is an Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Toxicology at Baylor University in Waco, TX. Her research focuses primarily on the health effects of nanotechnology-enabled products – from cradle to grave. She also teaches Environmental Health to the undergraduates and Fundamentals of Toxicology to the graduate students.
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Damon Billodeaux

Principal Research Chemist, Eastman Chemical Co.

Dr. Damon R. Billodeaux graduated from Scotlandville Magnet High School in 1996 and decided to become a tiger at Louisiana State University. He started as a computer science major and after about 2 weeks decided he didn’t want to spend my life ‘coding.’ The training he received in classes in inorganic chemistry is what led him down the path to graduate school and organometallic chemistry.

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Daniel Lazzaro

 Compliance & Operation Engineer, BASF

After growing up and attending high school in Brewerton, New York, Daniel Lazzaro made the decision to attend LSU and major in Chemistry. During his time here Daniel says he enjoyed a “wealth of knowledge and great facilities” that allowed him to explore all the great fields of chemistry. He discovered a particular affinity for analytical and inorganic chemistry and participated in a research semester with Dr. Murray, an opportunity he says helped him to be more successful in graduate school at Purdue where he earned his PhD in Inorganic Photochemistry.

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Shan'Terika Remo

US Medical Corp

            United States Medical Corps Officer and LSU-Shreveport Health Sciences Medical School junior, Shan'Terika Remo was born in Winnfield, LA where she lived until age 10 when her father joined the military. After graduating Mansfield High School Remo enrolled in LSU and in 2010 claimed a Major in Chemistry to give her the option of deciding between MD, Md/PhD, or PhD. 

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Melissa Templet

R&D Chemistry, Albemarle

              Melissa's interest in chemistry was sparked by a high school teacher. When she came to LSU Melissa chose a chemistry major to further her chemistry studies. After praticpating in an undergraduate research lab Melissa began looking for jobs in the chemistry field. After graduating in May 2008 Melissa took a position working for Albermarle Corporation in South Carolina.

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Mary Liu

Pharmacy Student

 After growing up in Baton Rouge Mary Lui began attending LSU and claimed a major in chemistry. It was in Dr. Gilman's Lab that Mary learned to appreciate the potential application of chemistry. After completing her degree in 2012 Mary began attending pharmacy school where is currently in her third year.

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Liz Lissy

Historic Architecture Preservationist

    Liz Lissy’s interest in chemistry began after attending Andrew Jackson Fundamental Magnet High School in Chalmette, Louisiana. Liz enrolled at LSU and majored in Chemistry and took Art History classes “just for fun”. As her senior year began she decided to look into career paths that could combine chemistry and art history. She graduated from LSU with a BS in Chemistry (CHEM concentration) in December 2010.

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 Lisa Brown

Senior Research Scientist, 3M

  Lisa Brown grew up in Baton Rouge and attended Woodlawn High School. She started going to LSU in the Fall of 2002 as a music major. After taking a biology class her freshman year, she “realized that [her] brain was wired for more technical thinking” and decided to major in chemistry. The following semester, Brown became involved with the Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society (SAACS).

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Danielle Meador

Senior Analytical Chemistry, Syngenta

Danielle Meador grew up in Meraux, LA and attended Andrew Jackson High School. When she began in Chemistry at LSU she wanted to become a medical doctor because she wanted to help people. After completing her summer research program Danielle felt reassured that chemists can make major impacts on society through developing medicines, vaccines, and technology. Today, Danielle is a Senior Analytical Chemist at Syngenta, Crop Protection where she helps to protect farmer’s crops by ensuring the chemicals they using are of good quality.  

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Sarah Fox

High School Teacher

     After growing up in southeast Texas and attending Bridge City High School, Sarah Fox came to LSU and began majoring in Chemical Engineering. During her sophomore year, Fox changed her major to Chemistry after realizing that is what she was truly passionate about. Through after school tutoring, Fox discovered another passion in teaching, and found the GeauxTeach program which she describes as “the perfect merger of my desire to pursue chemistry and be able to teach.”

 

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