Chemistry Major Finalist for Board of Trustees Scholarship

Published: March 29, 2023 | Author: Clare-Estelle Perkins | Read Time: 4 minutes

Kylee Stoddard, Board of Trustees Scholarship FinalistKylee Stoddard has been named the 2023 finalist for the Southern Utah University Board of Trustees Scholarship for the Walter Maxwell Gibson College of Sciences. She is majoring in chemistry with a healthcare emphasis and plans to attend dental school for orthodontics or graduate school for chemistry after graduation.

This is one of the most prestigious scholarships offered by the University and is awarded by the Board of Trustees to one outstanding SUU student at the end of their junior year. The seven finalists, representing each of the colleges on campus, are nominated by their faculty and dean and recognized for their academic excellence, distinguished service and campus involvement.

"Kylee is one of the most talented, intelligent, determined, and hard-working students I have ever had the privilege of working with,” said Dr. Chris Monson, associate professor of chemistry at SUU. “She is a great example of what an SUU student can accomplish, and a great example to hold up for future students to emulate."

Stoddard names Utah as her home and where she grew up for the most part but her family moved around quite a bit throughout her childhood and now live in Texas. The influence of art and science in her childhood is her inspiration to go into orthodontics. Stoddard grew up being taught science by her father who passed his passion for all things science to her. Because her family moved around a lot when she was young, she is very passionate about community. A counselor in high school strongly recommended SUU to Stoddard and after touring she chose to attend SUU due to the small class sizes.

“Having people to rely on and to care for have always been very important,” said Stoddard.

During her time at SUU, the professor that impacted Stoddard the greatest was Dr. Monson. She took her first class with him her freshman year and has since been by her side as someone she turns to for advice and educational goals. Dr. Nathan Werner, with whom she took organic chemistry and general chemistry, also made a great impact with his ability to care for students on a personal level. She would also like to recognize Dr. Werner and Dr. Elizabeth Pierce for their emphasis on getting to know the students more than how well they are doing in the class and that those qualities made an impact. Spending a lot of time in the professor's office hours has helped her become passionate about chemistry and the scientific process. They have helped push her to be the best she can be and notice aspects of herself where she excels.

During her freshman year, Stoddard volunteered at Fiddlers Canyon Elementary in Cedar City. She recalls this as a very great experience due to her love of children and being involved with the community. She also volunteered at Intermountain Healthcare in Cedar City. These volunteering opportunities inspired her this year to make a service project called “Felt Friends” where she and a few friends make felt animals for children in the hospital and in foster care services.

She is proud of the fact that she was able to maintain a perfect GPA through all of her chemistry classes and proud of the relationships she has made with other students and her professors. According to her professors, Stoddard is consistently top of the class, and she works hard to be there. She strives to not just be able to do the problems correctly but to master the material.

In research, Stoddard worked on a project (creating PDMS filters capable of filtering proteins from solution) that several students had worked on before her while making relatively limited progress. Stoddard not only made progress, she made so much progress that she recruited other students to help expand her project. She currently leads a group of students working on similar things, is planning to present her work at the August 2023 American Chemical Society meeting in San Francisco, and is writing up her research to submit to a peer-reviewed publication.

Stoddard feels so honored to be a finalist for the Board of Trustees Scholarship: “It makes it more real, to be recognized for the hard work you have done”

Learn more about the seven finalists for the 2023 SUU Board of Trustees Scholarship.

Tags: College of Natural Sciences Chemistry

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