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Kianna Jimenez’s Innovation and Excellence In Science Accent Her Barton Experience

by Giovanni Amado-Sanchez, 2017 Public Relations Intern

Beginning at a young age, students are encouraged to do well in school and attend college. Every hard-working student dreams of receiving an acceptance letter to the college of his or her choice. Some students choose to continue beyond the baccalaureate level and seek acceptance in master’s and doctorate programs. Such is the case with Barton College senior Kianna Jimenez, whose hard work has earned her acceptance into North Carolina State University’s doctorate program in chemistry.

Jimenez enrolled at Barton College in the fall of 2013, selecting pre-engineering as her major. Her initial intention was to obtain an engineering degree from NCSU after two or three years in the dual-degree program at Barton. However, after becoming fully engaged and enamored with her Barton Experience, Jimenez changed her majors to mathematics and chemistry and chose to remain at Barton to complete the four years. Engineering was still on the horizon.

Then, as is the case with several students, her academic interests led her to alter her path. Jimenez decided to change her course and pursue a career in analytical chemistry rather than engineering. She credits her mentors, especially Dr. John Dogbe, Dr. Susan Bane, Dr. Kevin Pennington, Dr. Zhixiong Cai, and Dr. Murali Ranganathan, for encouraging her early exploration of her majors.

Jimenez enjoys grasping opportunities inside and outside the classroom to enrich her Barton Experience. For example, during the summer before her junior year, she began a chemistry project with Dr. Dogbe that led her to find ways to produce more accurate measurements regarding the use of alkali metals. This experience allowed her to transfer important concepts she had learned in the classroom into a laboratory setting. Last summer, she had the chance to participate in a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. This program helped her to confirm her interest in analytical chemistry as she headed into her final year at Barton.

“Both projects involved presenting my results orally and through writing,” she shared. “As a result, I learned how to effectively write a scientific report as well as how to put together a professional presentation. Regarding my research skills, I increased my knowledge of laboratory techniques and discovered some new instrumentation that will be beneficial to my future endeavors. Additionally, I was able to put what I learned in the classroom into practice, which helped to validate my abilities.”

Jimenez’s Barton Experience has served as the perfect companion to her innovation and excellence in the science program. “Barton has prepared me for my graduate studies by emphasizing the importance of being a well-rounded student,” she said. “College can be easy when a student solely focuses on the schoolwork, or competes in sports, or simply participates in clubs and organizations. Many students think that they must choose only one of these options, but students can do all of these things at Barton. Personally, I took advantage of these possibilities, which assisted in my acceptance to graduate school. I know that once I begin my graduate program, I will learn necessary information while getting involved with additional activities to ensure that I am bettering myself wholly, just as I have done at Barton.

“I value my entire Barton Experience, but most importantly, I value the relationships and friendships that I have gained, Jimenez continued. “Professors, staff members, classmates, and many others have made me realize that Barton is truly a community and, in most cases, a family. Everyone wants to see you succeed, not only as a student but also as an individual. For this reason, I have had an amazing college career and will be graduating in May. I am very sincere in stating that Barton was the perfect place for me and that I made the greatest decision to attend this college.”