McNulty Scholar Elise Brutschea graduated last week with a B.S. in Chemistry and a minor in Physics. While at SJU, she conducted a variety of chemistry research projects under the guidance of chemistry professor Mark Forman, Ph.D. Most recently, her work focused on exploring greener alternatives to the synthesis of the pyramilized alkene Pentacyclo[4.3.0.02,4.03,8.05,7]non-4-ene. This research culminated in a University Scholar Thesis Project.
Elise has also presented this work at many conferences, most recently last summer at the 16th Belgian Organic Synthesis Symposium in Brussels, and at the 256th National American Chemical Society Meeting in Boston, MA. Her work has earned her several commendations, most notably a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship last spring. She has also been recognized by the American Chemical Society (ACS) with an Undergraduate Leadership Award and the 2019 Scholastic Achievement Award. Last summer, her research was fully funded by the ACS Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, a competitive award sponsored by Pfizer Inc to support organic chemistry research.
While at SJU, Elise served as Co-President of the Molloy Chemical Society, Secretary of Saint Joseph’s chapter of Sigma Zeta National Honor Society, and Student Representative on the university’s Board on Student Academic Review. She worked as a supplemental instructor in General Chemistry I & II and tutored students in algebra-based business courses, pre-calculus and calculus, as well. She was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and an Associate Member of Sigma Xi National Research Society. She was also an active leader within the McNulty Program community, spearheading student-led experiments at two different STEM education outreach initiatives: The Wagner Free Institute of Science Harvest Festival and Philadelphia-Area Girls Enjoying Science (PAGES) mini conferences.
At graduation, Elise received the University Student Senate Award for Scholarship. She leaves SJU to pursue her Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry at Harvard University with a 5-year National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.
Congratulations, Elise! We can’t wait to see what awaits you in Cambridge, MA!