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Professors invested in student's success

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October 02, 2015

Organic Chemistry alumna, Annie Labut ‘06, credits professors and the UDM experience in shaping her career as a successful leader and chemist. 

Anne LabutWhen Labut arrived on campus as a freshman, she was unsure the direction her studies or career would lead.  In high school, she desired to be a biomedical engineer.  However, a scholarship and alumnus father encouraged her to the sciences at UDM.

Dr. Mark Benvenuto’s passion for chemistry and his students provided the impetus for declaring chemistry as her major.  “Dr. Benvenuto changed the way I looked at chemistry,” says Labut.  “I was not excited about chemistry until taking Dr. Benvenuto’s course.”

During Labut’s sophomore year, Dr. Matthew Mio taught his second class at UDM, organic chemistry, and she joined Dr. Mio’s research laboratory.  “Dr. Mio invests in his students and wants to see them succeed,” says Labut.  “He took me under his wing and cared about my success.”

Labut credits UDM’s small class size and professors knowing who you are as a benefit of her experience.  “These two professors mentored me through my entire undergraduate career,” says Labut.  “By my senior year, they made sure my resume was distinctive and making graduate school an option for me.”

At UDM, it is common for undergraduates to gain valuable experience in research laboratories with their professors and present findings in papers and conferences.  Labut presented at numerous meetings of the American Chemical Society and traveled to 7 states to support her research and education during her undergraduate career.

Throughout her four years at UDM, Labut participated in a wide variety of experiences from the Chemistry Club to backpack leadership experience with Fr. Cavanagh to Prologues, Transitions & Viewpoints (PTV).  These experiences provided skills Labut would embrace throughout her career: diversity and leadership.

Many chemistry majors aspire to be doctors or dentists.  Labut’s path led to a master’s degree in chemical biology from the University of Michigan and a successful leadership position within NSF International as a managing toxicologist.

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