MACON – Mercer University junior Danielle Loving was recently selected as a 2019 Snyder Scholar at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign for her research experience, academic qualifications and commitment to pursuing future graduate studies in organic chemistry.
Loving, a chemistry and criminal justice double-major from Warner Robins, will receive a stipend, travel funds and housing to complete a 10-week research program with Dr. Martin Burke, professor of chemistry at the University of Illinois. Dr. Burke’s cutting-edge organic chemistry and chemical biology research involves the synthesis and study of small molecules with protein-like functions.
“By receiving this opportunity, I am reminded that hard work does pay off and anything is within my realm of possibilities,” said Loving.
At Mercer, Loving conducts research in the lab of Dr. David Goode, associate professor and associate chair of chemistry and director of the biochemistry and molecular biology program. In his lab, Loving has helped to develop the efficient synthesis of a library of potential biofilm inhibiting molecules. She has synthesized a number of the more difficult compounds in the library to improve the understanding of which structural features are responsible for the biofilm inhibitory activity.
“I’m very proud of Danielle,” said Dr. Goode. “She is an excellent and hard-working student in both the classroom and the research laboratory. I know that being a Snyder Scholar is just the first of many accolades Danielle will achieve in her career as an organic chemist.”
Loving serves as a student justice within the Office of Student Conduct Resolution and a member of Sigma Sigma Rho Sorority Inc.
She is a past recipient of the Gilman Scholarship, which allowed her to participate in a Mercer On Mission trip to Peru last summer, where she conducted research mapping mercury concentrations within an artisanal and small-scale gold-mining community.
More than 20 years ago, the students and friends of Dr. Harold R. Snyder established an endowment fund in his honor to support undergraduate students with an interest in organic chemistry. Each year the University of Illinois’ Department of Chemistry uses these funds to host students with a broad range of chemistry interests for a portion of the summer.