2022 Research Scholar
Tyler Ball named 2022 Research Scholar by the University of Utah - College of Science.
Tyler Ball is a first-generation college student who grew up in Salt Lake City. She enrolled at the University of Utah in 2018 and participated in the ACCESS Scholars program as a member of the 2018-2019 cohort. Through the ACCESS program, Tyler was introduced to broad topics related to sustainability which cemented her desire to pursue a degree in chemistry. The program also enabled her to get involved with research during the second semester of her freshman year – she joined Dr. Matt Sigman’s lab in January 2019.
Her first research project was a mechanistic study of the oxidative addition of cobalt complexes into benzyl bromides using electroanalytical techniques, which was published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society in October 2019. She was hoping to expand on this project using different substrates, but the COVID-19 pandemic pushed her to start a fully computational project in the spring of 2020. Tyler began a project using Symmetry-Adapted Perturbation Theory to study trends within and between different types of non-covalent interactions. She is currently working toward publishing this effort in the near term. In an effort to expand the breadth of her research experience, Tyler participated in an NSF-funded REU program at the University of Minnesota during the summer of 2021. Working with Professor Ian Tonks, she evaluated cobalt catalysts for the hydroesterification of small molecules.
Tyler’s learning is propelled by her passion for sustainability. During her sophomore year, Tyler became involved with our American Chemical Society Student Chapter’s Green Chemistry Committee (GCC).
During the fall of 2020, Tyler applied for the Goldwater Scholarship and earned the award in March 2021. Alongside the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship, Tyler has earned various awards through the Department of Chemistry and the College of Science, including the College of Science Dean’s Scholarship and the Leon Watters Memorial Award.
Tyler’s learning is propelled by her passion for sustainability. During her sophomore year, Tyler became involved with our American Chemical Society Student Chapter’s Green Chemistry Committee (GCC). The GCC helped to introduce Kimberly Clark’s glove recycling program into teaching and research labs in the chemistry department and recently worked with the College of Science to introduce mask recycling into lab spaces. Tyler’s involvement in the GCC has also helped her to focus on outreach efforts – she has organized multiple outreach events this year, with the hope of earning a Green Chemistry Award for the student chapter through the national ACS organization.
Going forward, Tyler will be pursuing her PhD in chemistry at Cornell University. Her emphasis will likely be in green catalysis with an application to polymer synthesis and her studies will be funded by the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program. She is incredibly grateful for all the opportunities the College of Science has afforded her during her undergraduate studies and the supportive community of scientists she has been able to surround herself with.
Outside of the lab, Tyler enjoys hiking and rock climbing. She is always looking for vegan recipes to cook and loves trying new restaurants around SLC.