Julie Leiston, a fourth-year student in the polymer chemistry
program, spent winter quarter researching the kinetics of emulsion
polymerization as the first recipient of the College of Science's
Daniel Pasto Co-op Fellowship Award.
Daniel Pasto '58 received a B.S. in chemistry from RIT and went
on to earn a Ph.D. from Iowa State University. A well-known physical
organic chemist and author of several textbooks, he was a professor
at the University of Notre Dame. He died in 1999, leaving $100,000
to RIT's chemistry department.
"Our faculty decided that we should use Dr. Pasto's endowed fund
to create an award for undergraduate students interested in conducting
research," said Assistant Professor Massoud Miri, who chaired the
award committee. The student researcher receives $2,500, and spends
one quarter working full-time on a selected project. The fellowship
will be awarded to at least one student per year.
|As RIT's first Daniel Pasto Co-op Fellowship Award recipient,
Julie Leiston did research work with Professor Andreas Langner.
The fellowship provides an unusual opportunity for an undergraduate,
who normally would not have this kind of intense, hands-on learning
experience. Miri said it is especially helpful to any student
planning to work toward a graduate degree and, ultimately, a career
Leiston, who is from Spencerport, N.Y., worked with Professor
Andreas Langner on the research project. Leiston is a graduate
of Churchville-Chili Central School, and credits her high school
chemistry teacher, John Prouty, with fostering an interest in
the subject. She's a member of Alpha Chi Sigma professional chemistry
fraternity and received the chemistry department's physical chemistry
and polymer chemistry awards.
She's already logged many hours in the lab: Leiston has done
research work with Professor Marvin Illingsworth since her freshman
year, and last summer, she worked at the University of Akron conducting
research with a faculty member there.
After graduation in May, Leiston plans to go on to graduate school
and, ultimately, to become a professor of chemistry/polymer science.
"I'm not looking to win a Nobel prize," she said, "I'm just looking
to educate and fuel others' interest in chemistry."