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Alex Rosen

Faculty Senate Award

By Jayna Morris | Photography provided | Published May 2020
Alex Rosen, Faculty Senate Award recipient

The Faculty Senate Award is given to a senior student who has demonstrated exceptional skills and productivity in an independent study project. An independent study project is defined as a faculty-supervised research or scholarly work that has as its goal the publication, presentation and/or exhibition of the results. The project should be conducted outside of a formal classroom and last at least one semester, preferably longer. The Faculty Senate sponsors this award.

If there’s anything Alex Rosen loves, it’s Chemistry.

The Cincinnati native loves everything about the subject—from the theory to the coursework to the lab work. So it’s no surprise that Alex began undergraduate research with Dr. Lili Ma in the Chemistry department during the spring semester of his freshman year, including three full-time summer semesters of research. He loved every second of it and credits much of his success to the things he learned while in the lab.

Alex even decided to work ahead during his sophomore year and took upper-level courses to fit more Chemistry classes in his schedule to prepare for what graduate school would be like.

He made eight first-authored research presentations at local, regional and national conferences, and he also had several scientific discoveries in his own research. Alex received the Dorothy Westerman Hermann Award as a rising junior, and he is the only undergraduate who received this competitive award twice. He also has a first-authored paper and a co-authored paper published.

“These are unbelievable achievements for an undergraduate researcher, and they are the testaments of his outstanding intelligence, supreme laboratory skills, dedication, diligence, persistence and self-discipline,” Professor Ma says. "I feel very lucky to have Alex in my research group, and the work he did is nothing shy even comparing with graduate students in the Ph.D. programs.”

Alex graduates this weekend, but his journey isn’t over quite yet. This fall, he’s headed to graduate school to continue his academic career in Chemistry.

“Grad school is going to be an amazing experience,” he says. “I have always known that I have loved chemistry, but now that the first part of my degree is wrapping up, I know I was meant to be a chemist. My job for the next five years or so will be getting my Ph.D., but once that step is done, my dream is to run my own research lab. I don’t know if I will lean toward industry or academia, but I want to do research for the rest of my life.”