Aida Shadrav '17 (foreground) and Willa Mihalyi-Koch '19 wait for a plasma cleaner to do its work in Professor Farah Dawood's lab.

Early on at Hamilton, Aida Shadrav ’17 had a chance to spend a summer doing research with Associate Professor of Chemistry Myriam Cotton, an experience that proved to be a catalyst. “When I first came to Hamilton, I was not intending to major in chemistry, however, when I was granted an on-campus research opportunity as a freshman, I became determined to contribute to the ever-growing knowledge of chemistry,” she says. “Through the research opportunities I have had, I have learned to venture into the unknown and discover fascinating properties of the field hands-on.” Shadrav majors in chemistry and Hispanic studies.

As a rising senior, Shadrav spent a summer side-by-side with Willa Mihalyi-Koch ’19, immersed in Surface Enhanced Raman Sepctroscopy. That’s a cost-effective way to detect small molecules without altering or destroying them, and it has a broad range of uses for chemists and biologists. The students worked with Assistant Professor of Chemistry Farah Dawood to enhance the signaling. “I really enjoyed this opportunity because I was surrounded by like-minded students who also wanted to spend their summer investigating and discovering new characteristics of materials we are surrounded by,” says Shadrav, who wants to attend dental school after she gradates from Hamilton.

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