The size of the chemistry department allowed me to create deep connections with my STEM peers and the faculty. It seems like the faculty are always in their office with the door open and ready to help!
Degree and Class Year
What three words would you use to describe L&C?
What’s your favorite class? Why?
Music Theory II taught by Associate Professor Lance Inouye was definitely the most enjoyable class I have taken at L&C. I had already had Lance as an instructor for orchestra, but I got to know him much more when I took his theory class. He’s an amazing pianist and composer, and he’s so funny. This class was on Zoom, and Lance was entertaining, enriching, communicative, and responsive despite the challenge of an online music class. I really enjoyed being able to dive so deep into music theory even though I ended up choosing a different major. I still play and perform music constantly, and I am grateful for everything I learned in his class.
What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?
I liked how involved I would get to be in the music department regardless of my major, and I felt that I would find community in the ensembles I joined, which eased my first-year nerves. I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to major in, and I liked that Lewis & Clark encouraged me to explore all my interests. I got the sense that as a first year it was perfectly fine that I didn’t have my life planned out yet, which made me feel safe to explore my passions. The generous merit aid I received and the amazing overseas opportunities were other factors that affected my decision to attend Lewis & Clark.
What do you like or find most interesting about your major?
The size of the chemistry department allowed me to create deep connections with my STEM peers and the faculty. I joined the chemistry major at the end of my sophomore year, but it didn’t take long before I found a community in the department that I hadn’t yet found on campus. It seems like the faculty are always in their office with the door open and ready to help! With the small major size, there is so much opportunity for one-on-one instruction. Professor Louis Kuo, Visiting Assistant Professor JP Gourdine, and Associate Professor Barb Balko are some of the amazing professors who always make themselves available to help and want you to succeed! Many of the professors are active researchers who hire students to work in their research lab, and it’s an amazing opportunity to get research experience with a mentor you already know.
How are you involved in the arts at L&C?
I came to L&C as a music major, having played classical music all my life, so I became very involved in the music program as a first year and have stayed involved! I study Jazz Voice, sing in the Cappella Nova choir, play the violin in the Orchestra, and I am also on stage crew! I love all the music faculty and I’m so glad I can be so involved even though I ended up choosing chemistry as my major.
Describe any arts-related highlight(s) of your time on campus. These could be classes, performances, a study abroad experience, or something else entirely.
My arts highlight was having the opportunity to learn from my jazz voice teacher, Zsofia Csikos-Tardy, for the past four years. She is an amazing working musician, teacher, and mentor, and has helped me with my musical and personal goals. She helped me increase my confidence, secure performance opportunities, build a jazz repertoire, and make connections in the Portland music scene. She pushes me out of my comfort zone so that I can improve, and she always has faith in me!
How did you decide on your major?
I was a music major for my first two years, until I took General Chemistry with Associate Professor Anne Bentley during my sophomore year. I originally took it to fulfill a general education requirement, but I instantly knew I wanted to take more chemistry courses. I loved the problem solving, data analysis, and math elements of chemistry, and it just seemed to make perfect sense to me. Anne was a lovely source of guidance who took me under her wing and encouraged me to continue my studies and be a chemistry major. I knew that if I switched my major, I would still be able to stay in all the ensembles I loved and even take music classes with my favorite faculty. It was extremely challenging to start and finish the major in two years, while also spending a semester abroad, but I have learned so much from all the wonderful chemistry faculty and found a home in the department.