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New Year, Same Ambition

Kicking off 2018 in true Lion fashion, recent biochemistry graduate Kelly Hunter is pursuing a rigorous five-year Ph.D. program in theoretical chemistry at the University of California San Diego. A native of the San Fernando Valley, Kelly hopes to strike a career path in academia and research, with her fond memories of LMU and its mission as her guiding light. 

“LMU helped me become more well-rounded and exposed me to so many wonderful opportunities,” Kelly said. “Just being around peers who are so passionate and inspiring motivated my own passion to do more, be more, better myself and ultimately helped me to become who I am.”

Among the opportunities Kelly was afforded, she says the rich research experience and close working relationships with professors stand out.

Under the guidance of her biochemistry professor, Dr. Emily Jarvis, Kelly did a two-year study on water oxidation using mononuclear metal catalysts in search of a source of clean renewable energy. Her efforts earned her an Undergraduate Research Award at last spring’s American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition in San Francisco.

“My LMU professors, in particular Dr. Jarvis and Father Marc Reeves, have inspired my learning and have been incredible support systems,” Kelly said. “Not only within school, but life in general, and have always encouraged me to pursue what I’m passionate about.”

Drawn to LMU for its Jesuit ideals and friendly community of students, Kelly says that she was happily surprised to see her faith blossom while on the bluff through LMU’s many Jesuit channels and opportunities. In addition to her studies, Kelly was a member of Sursum Corda service organization, the Chemistry Society and was a student worker for Campus Ministry. 

Following graduation last May, Kelly took advantage of one of LMU’s popular summer study abroad programs. She spent two weeks in Rome taking a course on art and Christianity, and got to attend World Youth Day in Poland.

As for what advice she has for new and incoming future lions? 

“Meet as many people as you can and explore as many opportunities as possible,” Kelly said. “And be on the look-out for people who are going to motivate and inspire you.”