Meet Spencer Kerns (Inorganic Chemistry)
I am from Mobile, Alabama and recently graduated from Auburn University in May 2014 with degrees in Chemistry and Spanish. I chose to pursue postgraduate studies in inorganic chemistry. I am interested in how we as chemists can mimic biological structures at the most fundamental level in order to apply them to creating solutions that relate to energy.
Why did you choose UT?
I learned about the strong reputation of UT’s Chemistry department from two professors that I participated in undergraduate research with at Auburn. On my visit, I felt comfortable with the other graduate students and the professors. In the end, I believed that UT and Austin would provide the best environment for me to be challenged and also enjoy myself during my graduate school career.
What are you most excited about as you begin your graduate studies at UT-Austin?
I’m very excited to see what kind of growth I experience over the next few years through this overall process. I’ve always been impressed at the breadth of knowledge of my chemistry professors, but I’m still not convinced I can quite attain that level. I have heard that the coursework and schedule during the first year is challenging, but very focused in assisting our research progress in the future.
Have you visited Austin? What were your first impressions, and what part of Austin’s cultural scene are you most interested in experiencing?
Since visiting Austin in high school for a swim meet, I think that I always knew that I would end up living here at some point in my life. I visited Austin on two more occasions before deciding to attend graduate school here, but never had the opportunity to fully enjoy all that the city had to offer. I have now been working in a research lab in Austin for nearly a month and have really enjoyed morning runs on Lady Bird Lake, exploring SoCo, and hitting up as many food trucks as possible.