Jennifer Munoz, a sophomore at Case Western Reserve University, shares her love of science as a biochemistry major and nutrition minor.
Being a Biochemistry major at Case Western Reserve University is very challenging, yet rewarding at the same time. It allows me to combine my love of both biology and chemistry, and I get to learn so many great things; which also encourages me to look forward to taking every required class no matter how challenging it may be.
One of the things I love most about taking science classes is connecting my lessons to the real world. For example, in organic chemistry we learn about reaction mechanisms and how organic molecules react with one another, how certain medicinal drugs are synthesized, how the specific structure of a molecule gives the spicy flavor in chili peppers, and depending on whether a molecule has a single, double, or triple bond how it will react. Learning how the world works in the classroom is phenomenal.
I also absolutely love the lab component of organic chemistry! We apply the concepts we learn during lectures in an actual lab setting. We think critically about how the reactants will react with each other and which products are produced. One of my favorite labs this semester was synthesizing azo dyes. Every student was assigned a modified aniline compound and an azonium salt. With all the different combinations possible, the lab was filled with almost every shade of the rainbow!
I am also a part of Alpha Chi Sigma, the only professional chemistry fraternity. It is a great community to be a part of because we volunteer at different elementary schools and events. We spread the appreciation for chemistry by promoting events such as Science Olympiad, which allows kids to be enthusiastic scientists!
When I graduate I want to attend medical school and learn even more about how the human body works. After that, I would love to help people lead longer and healthier lives!
In celebration of Women’s History Month, the Foundation will be focusing on one “letter” of STEM each week of March. You will get to know several of our Pullman Scholars and Pullman Scholar Alumnae in STEM and learn more about their contributions to the fields.
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics; industry fields that make up 6.2 percent of the nation’s employment force (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Jan. 2017). That may seem like a small percentage, but these fields are crucial to the U.S.’s global competitiveness and innovation. STEM fields influence our health, economics, infrastructure, technology, and more. So why is it that women who comprise 47% of the U.S. workforce only represent 25.8% of STEM careers?
There are many factors, but at the Pullman Foundation, we work to ensure our scholars have the resources and role models to pursue their dream careers. As a matter of fact, throughout the years, the Foundation has supported nearly 2000 women who pursued or are pursuing degrees and careers in STEM, roughly 14% of the scholars the Foundation has supported throughout the years. Forty percent of current female Pullman Scholars are pursuing careers in STEM, and 75 percent of our STEM females are in science majors! We’re extremely proud that they’re pursuing challenging fields like neuroscience and biochemical engineering.
Please contact Katie Desir, Manager of Communications, if you are a current scholar pursuing a degree in a STEM field or Pullman Scholar Alumni whose career is in STEM. She is available at 312.422.0444 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to know more about you!