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Ursinus Student Selected for American Chemical Society Symposium

Jon Stoeber ’17 presents original research during national meeting in Philadelphia.

When he’s not opening holes on the line of scrimmage for running backs or acting as a human roadblock for defenders after his quarterback, Jon Stoeber ’17 can be found tackling a different challenge: chemistry.

The Ursinus College football player and chemistry major from Reading, Pa. was one of 25 undergraduate students selected to participate in the 2016 Physical Chemistry Symposium Workshop, held Aug. 21-25 in Philadelphia during the national meeting of the American Chemical Society. Participants must be engaged in undergraduate research and interested in pursuing a graduate degree in a chemistry-related field to be considered for the symposium.

During the symposium, student participants attend a series of talks with scientists, students, and faculty, and are encouraged to present their own original research as part of the Division of Physical Chemistry poster session.

“The symposium gave me insight into what my life would be like down the road, whether I teach or pursue a career in industry,” says Stoeber, who wants to earn a doctoral degree in chemical engineering. “It also provided me with a lot of good feedback on my own research.”

Stoeber, an Ursinus College Summer Fellow in 2016, presented research he has been performing under the guidance of Mark Ellison, a professor of chemistry at Ursinus. The research studies the motion of ions through carbon nanotubes — which can have applications in drug delivery, Stoeber says — and is being done in partnership with researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It is funded by the National Science Foundation, and Stoeber will continue working on the research this fall.

“I can’t put into words how much research has helped me,” Stoeber says. “I started doing research during fall of my sophomore year and it has been invaluable. Students at other schools don’t get to start research until their junior or senior year, so I feel like my experience has given me a leg up.”