Dorsheimer ’19 Awarded NSF Fellowship to Pursue Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry

Julia Dorsheimer ’19 will be pursuing her doctoral degree at Columbia University beginning this fall. The National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program supports outstanding students in STEM fields who are pursuing research-based advanced degrees.

“This fellowship will give me many advantages while at graduate school and I’m very thrilled to have it as I’m entering graduate studies,” Dorsheimer says.

She joins Aubrey Paris ’15, who now studies at Princeton University; Jacob Hollingsworth ’16, who is pursuing a doctoral degree at the University of California, Irvine; and Jenna Pellegrino ’17, who is working toward her Ph.D. at the University of California, San Francisco, as recent NSF Graduate Research Fellows from Ursinus College.

The fellowship provides a $34,000 stipend and $12,000 cost-of-education allowance.

“Being able to conduct research at Ursinus for four consecutive years gave me invaluable experience that I will be able to use while entering graduate studies,” Dorsheimer says. “I owe a lot of my success to Dr. [Ryan] Walvoord and Dr. [Amanda] Reig for being fantastic research mentors and helping me with the application process for both the NSF fellowship and graduate schools.”

“The chemistry program has helped me obtain an internship at GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals, which solidified my interest in pursuing organic chemistry in graduate studies,” she says. “After completion of my Ph.D., my goal is to land a job in the medicinal chemistry department in research and development at a pharmaceutical company.”

Dorsheimer is a chemistry major and mathematics minor from Honey Book, Pa., and is a graduate of Twin Valley High School. Prior to her first year at Ursinus, she participated in the FUTURE Summer Research Program, which provides research opportunities to incoming and first-year Ursinus students. She also conducted research in Walvoord’s lab as an undergraduate and earlier this year presented in front of the American Chemical Society in Orlando, Fla.

“[Walvoord’s] lab is interested with the development and optimization of fluorescent probes to be used for detection purposes. My project in particular focuses on optimizing photophysical properties within a series of fluorescent probes that function via photoinduced electron transfer (PET),” she says.

“I feel as if I made my professors proud and that all my hard work had paid off,” Dorsheimer says of the fellowship. —By Ed Moorhouse