Student Stories

Jessica Nicholson

"You need to want to make a difference."
Jessica Nicholson graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Engineering's Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering in December 2014. Nicholson began her internship with MeadWestVaco (MWV) in May of 2013 to enhance her real-world experience. MWV provides packaging solutions for food products, healthcare, personal care- and many others- as well as specialty chemicals, and community development and land management.

Lance Johnson

Lance Johnson, Chemical & Life Science '15, is a young entrepreneur who has founded two successful companies while maintaining academic excellence at the VCU School of Engineering.

Campbell McColley

Campbell McColley, Chemical and Life Science Engineering class of 2016, has a past co-op experience with Altria, which has been advantageous to his academic career.

Brooke Riggs

Anything is possible. Take Brooke Riggs, a senior chemical and life science engineering major, who created an all-natural fly spray for horses. Hear her talk about how she took on full-time coursework, while tackling her dream of formulating her own product for the equestrian community.

Charles Fricke

Charles Fricke, a senior chemical and life science engineering student, shares how his engineering perspective allowed Afton Chemical to model simulations rather than spending time and resources doing manual viscosity experiments. Check out his video to hear more of his story.

Dana Klein

Senior student Dana Klein says engineering is more than complicated math—it’s advanced problem solving for people who are open minded and understand an end goal. As a freshman, Klein eagerly got her hands dirty with lab work. Hear her share her experiences on why interdisciplinary experience is the best real-world experience.

Lynn Secondo

Chemical & Life Science Engineering Ph.D. student Lynn Secondo was recently awarded a Fulbright Scholarship allowing her the opportunity to travel to Thermi, Greece where she will continue her research in air pollution in regards to diesel combustion and the effects on your lungs. Secondo’s research focuses on both the biological effects of diesel combustion and looking for ways to reduce the emission particles.

Sam Wojcicki

Chemical and Life Science Engineering and Chemistry student Samuel Wojcicki, was recently awarded the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Junior Fellowship. He is the first VCU student to win this prestigious award. This fellowship will allow Wojcicki to spend his summer in Washington, D.C. at the Energy and Climate Program of the Carnegie Endowment where he will study energy and climate policy under the senior fellow.

Rachel Judge

Chemical and life sciences student Rachel Judge gained hands-on experience in supply chain planning while working several months for in Los Angeles. She shares her experience with VCU Engineering's co-op program, which allows students to work fulltime in a paid, professional engineering position while taking a semester away from coursework.

News Stories

A few craft beers on a bartop

VCU brews up a craft beer certificate aimed at both enthusiasts and brewing industry professionals

As the craft beer industry in Richmond and across Virginia continues to explode, Virginia Commonwealth University is launching a new noncredit certificate of completion that will give enthusiasts an in-depth understanding of craft beer and will prepare students for a variety of careers at both small and large craft breweries.

Lynn Secondo in Greece

Engineering student's Fulbright Scholarship takes her to Greece

Lynn Secondo grew up in Ohio and stayed in the Midwest for her undergraduate and graduate degrees in chemical engineering, from Trine University and University of Michigan, respectively. But when it was time for her Ph.D., the 26-year-old decided to head east. She chose the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Engineering because of the opportunities it offered within a smaller department in a large university.

Rachel Judge Story Headshot

How I got the job: Rachel Judge

Rachel Judge secured a seven-month internship with Neutrogena while attending the 2015 National Society of Black Engineers’ annual conference. There was just one problem: The internship was in supply chain management and Judge didn’t know what that meant. “On the application it said ‘supply chain/operations,’ and because I was in engineering I figured I would be in an operations role — like manufacturing,” Judge said, laughing. “But then I received my offer letter to come work in Los Angeles in supply chain management.”

Laura Hayward (CLSE '15): Medical Discovery, Across the World and Back

Laura Hayward is working to improve health care — in the lab and in clinical settings. Following graduation from the VCU School of Engineering’s Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering (CLSE) in 2014, Hayward worked for 10 months in the lab of Matt Trau, Ph.D., professor and deputy director of the Australian Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology at the University of Queensland.

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