Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

December 29, 2013

IUK chemistry student's article on solar energy published in scientific journal

From Staff Reports
Kokomo Tribune

---- — There aren’t too many undergraduate students who can call themselves published authors, but Heather Ramey can.

Ramey, a chemistry major at Indiana University Kokomo, recently coauthored an article with Kasem Kasem, professor of chemistry, in The Journal of Material Sciences and Applications, detailing their research in harvesting solar energy.

She is grateful for the opportunity to research with a professor as an undergraduate.

“Research makes me feel like I’m exploring uncharted territory,” Ramey said in a press release. “I like the feel of ‘you put two and two together and see how it reacts’ rather than reading about it in a book or hearing about it in a classroom lecture. I get to see it for myself. I might not have hadthis opportunity at a bigger university.”

Kasem has involved students in his research for more than 20 years, calling it a valuable teaching and learning tool.

“Research is part of education,” he said. “Students who get trained as undergraduates gain experience in research and understand the expectations in the lab. It sets them up for success, both in research labs and in graduate school.”

In addition to coauthoring the paper, Ramey presented their research at the IUPUI Undergraduate Research Conference and at the IU Kokomo Spring Research Symposium.

Eventually, Ramey plans to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry, but first will work for a while, preferably in a lab. The Noblesville native is proud not only of her research, but of the example she sets for her 9-year-old son. She returned to IU Kokomo in 2011, after an eight year hiatus when she married and started her family.

“I knew I would regret not finishing my degree,” she said. “When I become a chemist, I am showing my son that you don’t have to keep your life on hold, you can work hard, grab opportunities and achieve your goals.”