Meet the new class

September 6, 2019 by Dan Haves

This week, the department of chemistry welcomed 65 incoming graduate students who will be pursuing their research interests at our UTM (Mississauga), UTSc (Scarborough) and St. George (downtown) campuses. We asked a few of them about their research goals and why they chose U of T.

 

Isaac Huidobro

Isaac Huidobro

Isaac completed his BSc and MSc in chemistry at UNAM (National Autonomous Univeristy of Mexico). His research interests are focused on non adiabatic transitions and their effects on physical and chemical properties of molecules.


Where did your interest in chemistry come from?

I was perplexed by the great variety of reactions that occur and how small details on reaction conditions could favour one product over other. Thus, I wanted to know on a molecular level how the reactions procede and what physical properties could change the behaviour of a substance. That is why I went towards quantum chemistry.

What are you looking forward to most as you begin your graduate studies here at U of T?

I'm looking forward to two things mainly. First, to work and study in a world renowned university. And second, to get to know people in grad studies here. I think that the diversity of cultures that one can find here is very enriching. 

 

Alina Trofimova

Alina Trofimova

Alina moved to Canada five years ago from Krasnoyarsk, Russia. She completed her Honours Bachelor of Science degree here at U of T in chemistry and nanochemistry. She also completed an honour’s thesis focused on intramolecular nitrogen-linked Frustrated Lewis Pairs systems under the supervision of Prof. Douglas Stephan.


After doing your undergraduate studies at U of T, what was it that made you decide to continue your graduate studies here in the Department of Chemistry?

After my undergraduate studies, I wanted to stay in Canada to pursue a PhD degree. I decided to continue my studies at U of T as it's a leading research university with a huge infrastructure. I like the friendly atmosphere in the department, as everyone knows each other and is ready to help.

What are you looking forward to most about this next stage in your academic life?

During my undergraduate research, I always wanted to lead my own research, which will be possible during my graduate studies. Looking back, I realize that five years ago I knew zero chemistry. Hopefully I will say the same in another five years. 

 

Kelly Yokuda

Kelly Yokuda

Kelly is from Washington State where she graduated from Western Washington University. During her undergraduate studies, she worked as a research assistant for in materials and computational chemistry. 


Where did your interest in chemistry come from?

My interest in chemistry started when learned about quantum mechanics during my first undergraduate general chemistry class. I wanted to become a medical doctors all my life about but after that class, there was no turning back.

What are you looking forward to most as you begin your graduate studies here at U of T?

What I’m looking forward to the most is all the academic and professional opportunities the program has to offer. But above all else, I’m excited about the science. 

 

Timothy McTiernan

Timothy McTiernan

Timothy was raised in Kincardine, Ontario, but moved away from the countryside in 2015 for his undergraduate studies. He received his Honours Bachelor of Science from the University of Guelph where he performed senior thesis work in carbohydrate chemistry under Prof. France-Isabelle Auzanneau. Timothy joins the department with interests in synthesis and methodology pertaining to peptide macrocycles.


Where did your interest in chemistry come from?

My interest in chemistry began in my first high school chemistry class. My teacher Mrs. Wilson was my most important early influence in chemistry and remains a person who commands my respect. She was instrumental in taking me from a mostly preoccupied teenager to a person beginning to realize the creative freedom chemistry grants to design systems with diverse and interesting properties.

What are you looking forward to most as you begin your graduate studies here at U of T?

I’m looking forward to being part of the U of T community. I’m excited to work on collaborative projects in my own group and on projects across disciplines. The community around me and the relationships I can build with people in science is the most exciting thing for me. 

 

Our 2019 Incoming Class

Our 2019 Incoming Class

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