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Zoe Readi-Brown ’19 Affirms Passion for Chemistry

“The classes I’ve taken at O’Dowd – specifically AP Chemistry and AP Physics – really helped me in my work in class and in the lab, not only in terms of the materials covered but the mindset you need for the work,” she said. “O’Dowd is a competitive environment in a good way, keeping you on your toes and always striving to be a better student. I’ve learned how to challenge myself and not back down when things get difficult.”

The rigorous application process for both summer programs included submitting a transcript, essays and teacher recommendations.

At Stanford, Zoe shadowed graduate chemistry students who were working on their theses, helping them with their work in the lab. “One of the girls I helped the most was working with zeolites – a type of rock that filters methane into methanol. She was trying to figure out how that works through testing and examining ways to make it more effective. It was an amazing experience.”

At the University of Chicago, Zoe took a three-week undergraduate class in molecular engineering – attending lectures in the morning and labs in the afternoon.

She enjoyed getting a taste of two different college learning environments – graduate and undergraduate. “The graduate program is like a job. You are funded to do research you are interested in,” she said.

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