CU grad has early start on excellence
Not bad for a 16-year-old.
This fall, she’ll begin a doctorate program in atmospheric chemistry at Harvard University on a three-year National Science Foundation fellowship.
She arrived at CU-Boulder at age 13 after graduating from Silver Creek High School in Longmont and, she said, never looked back.
“I found that in high school a lot of people found my age to be something unusual, worthy of comment,” she said. “At CU, it was just about whether you were an intellectual peer. I was fortunate to be in good courses, both honors courses and starting in advanced science and math courses. I found that everyone there was just interested in learning … so I was able to talk about those topics and socialize.”
Her colleagues at CU-Boulder have found her self-assured from the very moment she first set foot on campus.
“She walked into my office one day in the summer of 2009 and said, ‘So, I have been looking at everything the Environmental Center does, and I think I can help you a lot,’ ” recalled Dave Newport, director of the center and associate in the Environmental Studies Program. “ ‘And the good news is,’ she said, ‘you don’t have to pay me because I’m only 13.’
“She was just confident in her ability to execute work,” Newport said, “because she said, ‘I love homework.’ If I had a nickel for every time an incoming student said that to me, I’d have a nickel.”
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