Colton Miller (left), Steve Hornak, Emily Pavlovic, Jiqiao Shi and Chinwude Nwana pause by the Indy pace car during the American Chemical Society's annual meeting in Indianapolis.

Team Places 2nd in Chemistry Competition

September 10, 2013

Earlham College senior Emily Pavlovic says she never thought studying chemistry would place her in a racecar with an Indy 500 driver doing laps around the world-renowned Speedway track.

As part of a second place prize package in the “Chemistry in Motion Challenge” sponsored by the American Chemical Society (ACS), Pavlovic joined fellow Earlham seniors Steve Hornak and Jiqiao Shi for laps on Sunday in an Indy racecar.

“Racing around the track was incredible,” Pavlovic says. “Our driver casually talked to us as he drove really close to the wall and then zoomed around the corners.”

 The 246th ACS National Meeting and Exposition takes place September 8 – 12 in Indianapolis. The Challenge encouraged chemistry students at U.S. colleges and universities to present research and compete with one another for points to win prize packages that included laps and photos with Indy car drivers.

The three Earlham students were randomly selected from the College’s team, which is composed of five faculty research advisors: Kalani Seu, Mark Stocksdale, Lori Watson, Michael Deibel and Corinne Deibel, as well as eight student presenters: Hornak, Colton Miller ’14, Pavlovic, Shi, Michael Nsoesie ’14, Diana Ainembabazi ’14, Chinwude Nwana ’16, and Elizabeth Harper ’15.

“The Earlham team was awarded at the beginning of the event, making me feel very proud of our small and tight research group at Earlham,” Shi says.

Pavlovic agrees.

“The professors are what make Earlham such an astounding college, so having an opportunity to collaborate with them directly has greatly impacted my experience,” Pavlovic says. “I love that Earlham faculty are so willing to collaborate with students. Whether it is in the lab or the classroom, they make students feel like they are making a substantial contribution to the learning process.”

The students presented their research on Monday afternoon.

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