My Undergraduate Research Experience by Melissa Reinard Steffen '03
Working with Dr. Morford was truly a life-changing experience for me. I started working with her during winter break of my senior year. Up until that point I wasn't sure what I was going to do after F&M. My grades weren't the best but I really did love chemistry and learning. Dr. Morford encouraged me to apply to graduate school. I wasn't sure if I could get in or not but sure enough I quickly received acceptance letters to all three schools I applied to. In the lab, Dr. Morford took the time to really introduce me to the ins and outs of analytical chemistry—simple things that are often overlooked, like how to properly use a micropipette and techniques for organizing a large number of samples. It was because of my experience with her that I was able to hit the ground running on my dissertation research at the University of Delaware two weeks after I graduated from F&M. I think if I hadn't had the experience with Dr. Morford I probably would be working in a lab somewhere wondering if some day I would ever go to graduate school. I am thankful she saw the potential in me that I didn't see in myself.