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Cody's Higher Education Fund

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I found interest in science at a very early age. I was very intrigued by how our physical world is explained and categorized. For fun, I found myself purchasing science kits as a kid. I was always curious about the outcome of the experiments. The unknown of the results always drove my passion. Today, I still have this drive. While performing undergrad research with Dr. Shaibat, he has guided my passion even further. Even though I may be getting great results from my experiment, Dr. Shaibat has taught me to question my results and ask myself what I can do to improve the research. Or, how to look at it in a different light. The reason why I am pursuing an education in STEM is just that. I want to fuel my curiosity for research. Pursuing this education is teaching me how to problem solve and think critically in different ways that I could certainly apply to my own research. With an education in STEM, I can continue to feed my curiosity while conducting research that answers questions that cannot be answered yet.
     I am currently in my second year at Prairie State College pursuing an associates in chemistry. I chose this field because I am very passionate about science. Currently, I am performing undergraduate research with our own Dr. Shaibat in chemistry as well as with Dr. Davis-Berg at Columbia College Chicago in biology. With Dr. Shaibat, I am studying the effects of silver nanoparticles on different amino acids and proteins found in the body. My ultimate goal with this research is to look at the possible toxicity of silver nanoparticles on the body. With Dr. Davis-Berg, we are studying the population of gastropods and trying to create a census over many years. The goal of this research is to see how changes in the environment are affecting the population.
     I plan on transferring to UIC in fall 2020 to pursue a B.S. in chemistry with a minor in biology. At UIC, I want to apply to be in one of my professor’s labs doing research or a TA position. After UIC, I plan on attending graduate school to obtain a Ph.D. in chemistry. As far as professional goals, I am leaning towards a career as a research scientist over academia. To me, research is more rewarding. Potentially being part of a team that researches real life systems and problems excites me and drives my passion for helping others and advancing our society as a whole.
     The current global pandemic of the coronavirus is quite serious, and serious enough to put individuals out of jobs. I worked as a server at La Voute Bistro and Bar and as a STEM peer tutor at Prairie State College. These jobs were deemed as “non-essential”. Due to the precautions put forth for the coronavirus, I have been laid off of both my jobs. Yes, I am able to receive unemployment benefits, but this monetary assistance is nowhere near what I have been making at my current position. I fear I will have trouble paying for my current as well as future education because of this.


  • Leianna Tanedo
    • $20 
    • 4 yrs


Cody Arnold
Homewood, IL

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