2022 Outstanding Graduate Student
Daniel Powell named 2022 College of Science Outstanding Graduate Student.
Having completed his B.S in Chemistry here at the U, I was extremely thrilled when Danny joined my research group in the spring of 2016. This was surprising since I was listed as a Materials Chemistry Professor as opposed to an Organic Chemistry Professor (organic synthesis is Danny’s forte). As a young Assistant Professor, I was in desperate need of a student with strong organic synthesis skills that could push the development of solution-processable and high efficient organic electronics to another level and Danny certainly delivered!. With my laboratories in their infancy, Danny displayed both the initiative and drive to push through all the troubleshooting that is required to take a novel idea and turn it into a full-fledged research project without the luxury of senior students to mentor him.
Danny displayed both the initiative and drive to push through the troubleshooting that is required to take a novel idea and turn it into a full-fledged research project.
As Danny’s Ph.D. mentor, I have had the opportunity to experience first-hand how he has grown scientifically throughout the challenges of his research projects and his ability to independently solve scientific problems, while staying enthusiastic and engaged. He has repeatedly demonstrated himself to be eager to face and conquer scientific challenges with high ambition and strong work ethics. Danny’s dissertation work displays effectiveness in managing multiple projects with different reaction mechanisms and materials undergoing optical and structural heterogeneities that are often difficult to elucidate. Driving these complex projects to completion illustrates his organizational skills, self-motivation, and independent nature.
Danny was actively engaged with the Lassonde School of Entrepreneurship during his graduate studies. It is quite rare that graduate students will pursue extracurricular activities during their graduate studies given the difficulty and attention it requires, yet Danny not only participated but excelled in this area as well. I have to say that Danny is a very talented scientific communicator and writer!. Often, his papers were ready to be submitted without much addition from my end. He also helped me write ≈85% of a recently funded NSF proposal. I have to admit that I would dearly miss him when he is gone.
Danny recently defended his PhD work and will be joining Blackrock Neurotech (a company housed in Research Park dealing with the development of implantable neurological devices). At Blackrock Neurotech, he will be responsible for seeking both federal and investor funding for the company. I am very sure he will be very successful in his future endeavors.
by Luisa Whittaker-Brooks, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry