Three chemistry graduates, Elizabeth McDaniel, Elizabeth Murphy and Alayna Johnson are part of a select group, Senior 100 Honorary, which recognizes students who are academically successful, but more heavily focuses on campus involvement and service.
The three outstanding chemistry graduates were among 30 graduating seniors from the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences selected to the Senior 100 Honorary for their notable achievements.
Senior 100, which is sponsored by the University of Illinois Alumni Association and the Student Alumni Ambassadors (SAA), is also intended to recognize seniors for their commitment to the future of the university.
“These students will become alumni that enthusiastically bring their sense of responsibility to new communities while staying tied to the University of Illinois,” SAA said.
- Elizabeth McDaniel, a 2020 chemistry graduate, also has a minor in psychology and will be completing the dental school application cycle for admission in the Fall of 2021. Until then, she will pursue a Master of Science in Molecular and Cellular Biology at Illinois during her gap year. McDaniel said she has absolutely loved her time at Illinois. “My involvements in a variety of organizations in addition to a world-class education have made my collegiate experience all the better. Finishing my senior year by getting an honor that recognizes and highlights the importance of both of those things has me feeling very grateful,” she said.
- Elizabeth Murphy, a 2020 chemistry graduate, was also an undergraduate research assistant in Professor Paul Braun's group at the Beckman Institute, where she worked on the synthesis of a redox-active polymer brush as an undergraduate researcher. She also served as president of the American Chemical Society student chapter on campus. A National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, Murphy will be pursuing her PhD in polymeric materials chemistry at the University of California, Santa Barbara as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, and after her doctorate, hopes to pursue a research and development polymer chemist position at a chemical manufacturing company.
- Alayna Johnson, a 2020 chemistry graduate, was also an undergraduate researcher in Professor Steve Zimmerman’s group where her research focused on synthesizing useful, recyclable and degradable polymers to tackle global plastic pollution. A National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, she will pursue her PhD at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Program in Polymers and Soft Matter with a focus on sustainable polymers and polymers for drug delivery. After graduate school, she hopes to become a polymer scientist in research and development.