March Graduate Student of the Month

Darci FEb 2013 GSotMThe Indiana University Graduate and Professional Student Organization (GPSO) and University Graduate School (UGS) congratulate our March student of the month, Darci Trader!

Darci comes to us from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville (SIUE), where she initially planned to be a pharmacist.  “After my first chemistry class I quickly changed my mind,” she recalls. Darci discovered her passion for synthesizing molecules while conducting research in organic chemistry as an undergraduate student.  She came to IU to put her organic synthesis skills to work in the more biologically focused lab of Dr. Erin Carlson.  Darci is currently interested in the development of technologies to discover new molecules that have some kind of important biological activity.  When asked about the accomplishments of which she is most proud, Darci names two: “Last summer I won a travel award through the American Chemical Society to attend the EuCheMS Chemistry Congress in Prague, Czech Republic. This was my first international conference and I was selected to give an oral presentation. This trip allowed me to meet some fantastic chemists from the US and also make connections with those that shared research interests similar to mine in Europe. I am also very proud of obtaining a postdoctoral position at The Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, FL. It has been through a lot of hard work and perseverance at IU that I will be able to pursue cutting-edge research at a premier institute.”  Darci cites perseverance as the most essential quality for a successful graduate student.   “It is also helpful sometimes to remember that if it was easy, everyone would do it,” she notes. “Also, taking time away from lab/work and relaxing with friends is a great way to de-stress and allow you to come back later with fresh determination to solve the problem.”  In addition to time with friends, Darci’s favorite non-academic pursuits are getting outside with her dog as much as possible, particularly running on the B-Line Trail.  When asked to break the GPSO Graduate Student of the Month Cake-or-Pie tie, she boldly asserts “I prefer cake because they usually are for special occasions. When something significant happens in lab, like a publication, grant, or award we always have cake. Professor Carlson is not only a fantastic scientist and mentor but a great baker too!”