Crystal Gunther, ’17, arrived at Meredith College with one goal in mind – earn a chemistry degree. Along with earning her degree, Crystal has been able to dive deeper into her love of chemistry and the unknown.
“I enjoy the science of something we cannot always see,” said Crystal. “It amazes me to be able to learn about something that is on such a micro level, where we cannot visually see the molecules and bonds. I also love that chemistry is so versatile; its applications go into every field in this world.”
Her love of science has given her many opportunities to get involved at Meredith. She has participated in research alongside Sasha Ormond, assistant professor of chemistry, and has served as a senior lab teaching assistant for general chemistry labs.
“Each experience that I have completed has built on the skills that are necessary for the workplace and graduate school,” said Crystal. “I have gained these experiences by being involved in different organizations across campus.”
Crystal is actively involved with the American Chemical Society (ACS), where she works with other students to help find ways to spread knowledge of chemistry around campus. ACS holds events that focus on helping non-chemistry students understand chemistry in a way that is not intimidating.
The Nashville, N.C., native has presented her research at several conferences and on campus. She credits Ormond for her success in chemistry and for supporting her through this journey.
“Dr. Ormond has been my advisor for my research projects and she went out of her way to introduce me to what research looks like in the chemistry field,” said Crystal. “She pushed me to explore other research experiences for undergraduates (REU) programs and internships.”
During her time at Meredith, Crystal interned with Chemtura Corporation and served as a student advisor which allowed her to help make a difference in the lives of freshmen interested in chemistry.
As a freshman, she was determined to develop close-knit relationships with faculty, but not so much interested in forming relationships with her classmates and peers.
“When I came to college, I had my eye on the prize, which was my degree,” said Crystal. “I remember saying ‘I did not come here to make friends, I came here to get a degree.’”
Fortunately for Crystal, she realized by the next year that lifelong friendships begin within the walls of Meredith. Though she regrets not spending more time getting to know more of the students in her classes and in her residence hall during her first year, she has made up for that over time.
“By my sophomore year, I spent more time trying to develop relationships with my classmates through intentional conversations,” said Crystal. “I have enjoyed being a part of a large sisterhood here at Meredith and I have developed friendships that will last a lifetime.”
Crystal recently earned the Iota Sigma Pi Undergraduate Award for Excellence in Chemistry by a first-generation student. Iota Sigma Pi is a national honor society for women in chemistry.
After graduation Crystal will attend North Carolina State University for graduate work in chemistry, where she will obtain her Ph.D. She plans to use her degree to conduct innovative research that impacts society.
Learn more about majoring in chemistry at Meredith