| Alumna Turns Passion for Chemistry into Career |
Angela Lopez’s day begins busy. As a Technical Services Chemist for Huntsman Performance Products, she has her hands in providing technical support to the sales team, product training, produces literature on the product, and writes reports on top of responding to customer inquiries. She finds this level of involvement rewarding.
Lopez first discovered her passion for chemistry while taking her first chemistry class in her home country of Guatemala. Her interest was solidified at the University of St. Thomas when she took organic chemistry with Dr. Bill Tinnerman.
During her second semester of organic chemistry, while working on a project in which she had to identify an unknown compound, Lopez found herself able to apply skills and knowledge she had acquired as an organic chemistry student.
“At this point I realized that my favorite subject was organic chemistry,” Lopez said.
Because of the guidance of professors like Dr. Wheeler Crawford, Dr. Michelle Steiger, Dr. Tracey Covey and Dr. John Palasota, Lopez developed the confidence and skills necessary for her to succeed at Huntsman.
Additionally, through working on and presenting her research project at UST, Lopez developed strong critical thinking skills and practical knowledge.
“I had a very good experience as a non-pre-med chemistry major,” Lopez said. “I had the opportunity to work on an individual research project, which I was able to present at both regional and national meetings of the American Chemical Society.”
Outside her chemistry classes, Lopez credits her humanities classes for providing a new framework in which to view the world.
“Humanities courses helped me to learn about different people and ways of thinking,” Lopez said. “It has come useful in my work environment because it has helped me to build relationships with people and be more open-minded when it comes to other cultures. I feel more confident when dealing with other people.”
Looking towards the future Lopez plans to continue to gain more work experience and grow within Huntsman. Wishing to stay in the chemistry field, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in organic chemistry in the near future.