Research Interests

My graduate research focuses on developing new synthetic strategies for making and modifying polymers. One way that I have been approaching this problem is with the use of light. I’ve used everything from simple handheld lamps to complex LED set-ups, and even natural sunlight as an enabling tool to prepare synthetically diverse materials that may find potential use in an array of applications ranging from microelectronics to 3D-printing.

Mentoring Experiences

My role as a mentor has been so rewarding because I am in a position where I can directly impact the future of my mentee. It is immensely motivating to see an undergraduate with no prior research experience develop into a knowledgeable scientist in my field. Perhaps the most challenging part of my experience is making sure to let my mentees know that they should not be discouraged by failure. Research is intrinsically full of failure, but, understanding how to use that as a learning experience to design the next best experiment is one of the biggest messages I try to drive home. It gives me great joy to know that both my mentees plan to pursue Ph.D.s after graduating from UCSB.

What the Award Means to Him

While I have made great strides as a scientific researcher, I can say with utmost confidence that my role as an undergraduate mentor is an accomplishment I am equally, if not more proud of. Receiving this award really validates that sentiment. This award means a tremendous amount to me in large part due to the fact that my mentee and my advisor nominated me. I think it is wonderful that the graduate division and both Fiona and Michael Goodchild work together to recognize graduate student mentors. This is one way to show the UCSB graduate student body just how rewarding mentorship can be.