Elizabeth Zanin 2017-08-30 01:25:05
6th and 7th grade math teacher, Collegiate Hall 2017 Teach for America Core Member, Greater Tulsa Clemson University, Calhoun Honors College Biosystems Engineering, B.S., 2017 Hometown: Charleston, South Carolina Enjoys: Hiking, biking, soccer Coming in Spetember 2018: Resource magazine’s DISCOVER! Career options and profiles in Ag and Bio Engineering. Don’t miss it! My passion for the environment, combined with my love of math and innovation, led me to a biosystems engineering major at Clemson University. It was the perfect combination; it challenged my strengths and pulled in my passions. I want to make a difference in stopping global climate change, and this was the perfect major to move me in that direction. In my Introduction to Biosystems Engineering class, we designed and created our own microbial fuel cells. I was super excited to be in a major that allowed hands-on projects and interactions with current research. Traveling abroad, I studied renewable energy in Trier, Germany, and learned about different types of sustainable energy in a country that is leading the movement. I was encouraged to see people joining together to work toward a green future for their country. My internship experience at Clemson revolved around doing research in the lab of Dr. Terry Walker, upon which I wrote my honors thesis focused on biodiesel production using enzymes and methyl acetate. This combination does not form soap in the reaction but creates a different product: triacetin. The functionality of this compound in fuel is unknown. The goal of my project was optimization of this production process, and I presented my findings at the National Biodiesel Conference in San Diego and the Newman Seminar Series for Biosystems Engineering at Clemson. I also worked as a peer tutor in college, and that experience led me to realize what great educational inequities we have in our country. My classmates at Clemson had widely varied experiences leading up to their acceptance to the university. wanted to be a part of improving education, making sure that all people get the background they need to be successful in college, if they choose to attend. To do my part, I am proud to be a part of Teach for America, an organization that works to establish educational equity for children across the United States. I made a two-year commitment to teach children in Tulsa, Oklahoma. After that, I hope to go on to graduate school for a PhD, aspiring to work in a National Laboratory to help create a greener and more sustainable future for our country. It might surprise you to learn that I am dyslexic. Many may see this as a hindrance to academic success, but learning disabilities can actually improve a person’s ability to work around learning obstacles and to see problems from different perspectives. My undergraduate work prepared me to work hard, and I have learned to keep my head up in the face of difficulties. I think that these are two skills that I can take with me anywhere I go. Earning a degree in engineering strengthens your ability to solve problems, which is essential in any position and in everyday life.
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