My Undergraduate Research at F&M by Kaitlin Traister '10
I worked for Dr. Thomsen for two of my summers at F&M as well as over the course of three semesters during my Junior and Senior years. I entered F&M as a pre-healing arts student and had every intention of heading to medical school until my experience with Dr. Thomsen changed my path. When he asked me to join his lab group after my Freshman year I was hesitant, but that summer changed my life in that I fell in love with research in the field of chemistry. I had enjoyed chemistry classes before, but my research experience is what brought the subject to life. I was first exposed to organic chemistry in an exciting lab environment as opposed to a potentially intimidating classroom setting. Dr. Thomsen was patient as I learned, and his passion and excitement for the subject was something I strived to match over the years to come. I always looked forward to sharing new ideas with him and listening to his critique. My most profitable learning experiences were hours spent in his office analyzing research results and learning to discuss my ideas as a chemist. Dr. Thomsen was always supportive in my endeavors and encouraged me to consider graduate school in chemistry. He helped strengthen my skills in presenting my research and encouraged me to gain experience by attending as many research conferences as I could. My research experience with Dr. Thomsen allowed me to grow as a student and to realize my potential as a chemist.