Student Profile: Senior Chemistry Major Madelyn Kist

What do you research?

Madelyn Kist

Kist: I'm a new member of the Shen research group. We use single molecule microscopy to study polymeric materials and their functionality in everyday life. By utilizing 3D super-resolution microscopy and other techniques like NMR, we monitor polymerization in real time. 

What has research taught you?

Kist: Research can unite people from any and all backgrounds, which is probably the most beautiful thing I've ever witnessed. My department is comprised of mainly international students, and I love to learn about their experiences. But at the end of the day, no matter what we look like or where we're from, we are all human beings in the pursuit of discovery. 

What advice would you give someone interested in research?

Kist: Literally just Google "Kent State (insert your major here) Research". Scroll through the links and find a topic that makes your heart beat faster. Email someone involved with the project, and chances are they'll be thrilled to talk to you. It's scary, but that's the point. Research still scares me. That's part of what keeps you wanting to do it. 

How has research impacted you?

Kist: Often times, students think they're in love with an area of study, then they get their first job in that area and absolutely hate it. I didn't want that to happen to me, so choosing to engage in research as an undergrad helped me to confirm that I want to be a chemist. You don't know until you try. Because of this, as well as the networking opportunities like poster sessions that come along with being a part of a research group, I now know the direction in which I want both my personal and professional life to go.