2014 Graduate of the Greenville College Football program recently became the Director of the Simple Room here in Greenville, IL. We tracked down Coach Tyrell to ask him a few questions about his new position.
This summer, senior linebacker Kirk Pearce was given the opportunity of a lifetime. Read the Q&A to learn about the incredible internship Kirk earned for this summer back in California.
EMAP: What is the name of the internship?
KP: Chem-SURF Research Experience for Undergraduates at University of California, Irvine.
EMAP: Tell us what makes it such a prestigious opportunity?
KP: University of California, Irvine has a chemistry graduate program ranked among the top in the nation. I will be working right along graduate students that were accepted into this program. I will also be working with a professor who is widely acclaimed in the chemistry world.
EMAP: How exclusive is this internship?
KP: It ranges from school to school, but summer REU programs typically have an acceptance rate below 10%
EMAP: How will this help your future career plans?
KP: Undergraduate research experience, along with many other things, is essential in order to proceed onto graduate school. Summer research projects like this not only fulfill this requirement, but act as a "try out" to see what graduate school would be like without any long term commitment. After this summer, I will have two full summers of research experience and hope to be accepted into a PH.D. program for Physical Chemistry or Theoretical Chemistry right out of college.
EMAP: What exactly will you be doing?
KP: This summer, I will be working on a quantum computational chemistry project in which we use a computer program called TURBOMOLE to implement and test new electronic structure methods. In layman's terms, we will be using a very complex computer program to discover how electrons behave at a microscopic level.
EMAP: How did Greenville prepare you for this internship?
KP: If it weren't for my chemistry advisory, Dr. Iler, I wouldn't have the confidence to even pursue a Ph.D. after college. In addition to his encouragement and motivation, the classes I have taken at
Greenville have given me a strong foundation on which all of the concepts I will be learning will build on
EMAP: Where are the other students you are working with from?
KP: The graduate students I am working closest with are from Pomona, Minneapolis, Italy, Germany and China. However the other REU summer students are from all over the US.
EMAP: What have you learned so far?
KP: So far, I have become accustomed to the program, TURBOMOLE and have run basic calculations on simple molecules. Soon, I will be working alongside one of the graduate students here and working with them on their specific research project.