UND School of Graduate Studies Blog

Happenings at The School of Graduate Studies at the University of North Dakota

How does doctoral student travel support help?

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I am Christian Jungong, a doctoral student from Cameroon pursuing a PhD in organic synthesis at the Chemistry Department in UND. My research is focused on developing a Carbon-Hydrogen insertion methodology as a tool to revolutionize the synthesis of complex naturally occurring compounds which are of medicinal relevance. So far, I have published three peer reviewed publications; two where am the first author and one where am a co-author, and am currently working on the fourth. I have also been honored to mentor four undergraduate students and one high school student. My responsibilities in the Department of Chemistry also include the weekly maintenance of the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy instrument in the department. Besides research, I have also been a teaching assistant for general and organic chemistry courses.

The UND community as well as the Chemistry Department has provided me with invaluable learning experiences that have expanded and strengthened my educational and professional career. For instance, I have been privileged to serve in leadership positions as president for two student organizations on campus (Cameroon Connection and the Chemistry Graduate Student Association). This has helped me to develop a unique set of skills in public speaking, time management, adherence to instructions and team work.

Last semester (Fall 2010), I was recognized as the recipient of the Dr. Ernest D. Coon and Dr. Roland G. Severson scholarships for outstanding teaching and research respectively by the faculty of the Chemistry Department. I received these awards with much joy and humility cognizant of the huge responsibility and expectations that accompany them. I am truly thankful and appreciate the department’s efforts and the many students that I have thought over the years to recognize my efforts.

It is a great privilege to be awarded the doctoral student travel support as it is an exciting challenge that will uphold and expand my level of achievement as a student at UND. The doctoral student travel support enabled me to attend the 241st ACS national conference in Anaheim, California. At the conference, I had a priceless opportunity to do a mock interview with potential recruiters, during which my resume was thoroughly critiqued, and I was advised to build important connections with peers, speakers, and recruiters, as this constituted a vital network relevant for a successful job search. Also, my preparation for the outside world was further enriched by participating in workshop sessions, notably; jobs in academia, jobs in industry, effective interviewing techniques and planning a job search. The most interesting part was presenting my research to peers and having to showcase its significance in the synthesis of complex natural products which have medicinal importance.

I am extremely happy with the education and training opportunities UND has offered to me this far. I feel I’m being trained as a synthetic organic chemist rather than taught organic chemistry. I am aware of the responsibility and expectation that accompany the doctoral student travel support award, and I believe it has significantly shaped my collegiate experience at UND.



Written by School of Graduate Studies

April 11, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Posted in people, research

Tagged with ,

One Response

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  1. The sky is your limit gentleman. Good job and keep up the great work.

    Divine Dugah

    April 11, 2011 at 1:47 pm

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