From left: Associate Professor Adam Van Wynsberghe, David Dacres '18, Kalvin Nash '18, Erin Lewis '18, AB Abera '19 and Rich Pastor '73. The students presented their computational chemistry research at the 15th Annual Molecular Educational Research Consortium in Undergraduate computational chemistRY conference at Bucknell University.

At the time, it was a scary proposition. David Dacres ’18 had barely finished his first year at Hamilton when he signed on to spend a summer working with a chemistry research group and a professor he didn’t even know. It was a gateway experience.

“I gained so many great skills that I joined again for the academic year, and again for this summer,” Dacres says.

He’s presented work with other students at an American Chemical Society National meeting in San Diego and at the Molecular Educational Research Consortium in Undergraduate computational chemistRY (MERCURY) conference at Bucknell University.

“Doing research helped me to discover that I want to do graduate school after Hamilton in chemistry and probably become a professor or do industry research,” he says.

But Dacres doesn’t spend all his time in a lab. That’s one of the reasons he wanted to experience Hamilton’s open curriculum. “I’ve taken a lot of classes from different departments such as Hispanic studies, philosophy, physics, Africana and women’s studies, computer science, economics and English. If I never had that opportunity, I would have never learned that I like economics,” he says.

The self-described extrovert is the editor-in-chief of the College yearbook, a resident advisor, the host of a radio show called Interlude and a worker at Café Opus.

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