By Joseph Pratt
Lianna Nina Trankina, of Wheelersburg, is a senior chemistry major at Shawnee State University (SSU), who has recently been accepted into the prestigious National Science Foundation–Research Experience for Undergraduates (NSF-REU) program at the University of California Irvine (UCI).
The program is highly competitive, in many cases with more than 50 students applying for a single spot.
Trankina will be participating in cutting-edge chemistry research in one or more chemistry fields, such as chemical biology, chemical physics, computer science, molecular biology, nanoscience, pharmaceutical sciences, biochemistry, environmental, inorganic, organic, physical, polymer, surface and theoretical chemistry, among many others.
Trankina said that she will be working with computational methods and will be analyzing various chemical reactions using different computer software.
The program provides airfare, a $4,000 stipend, cultural events, social activities, faculty mentors, free on-campus housing; graduate school preparation seminars, local industry field trips, post-program support, travel allowance, and the use of the UCI library and recreational facilities.
“I’m excited and nervous,” Trankina said. “This will give me a preview of what graduate school is like. Eventually, I want to get my Ph.D.”
Trankina hopes that graduate schools comes at a closer location than California and is currently looking at Ohio State University and Marshall.
“Honestly, I have no idea what I’ll be doing just yet, but I do know I want to be doing research,” Trankina said. “So, I may end up in an academic setting.”
Trankina said that her interests lie in physical and organic chemistry and will probably be working in those fields.
“I like knowing how things click. The math behind everything and all of that,” Trankina explained.
The program was originally 10 weeks, but it cut into two weeks of her upcoming semester, so it was cut by one week, so that Trankina wouldn’t miss so much of her fall semester.
Trankina will graduate with her BA in chemistry from SSU in the spring of 2015
Joseph Pratt can be contacted at the Portsmouth Daily Times 740-353-3101, EXT 287, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.