GWU Chemistry Professors Gave Alumna Confidence to Pursue Graduate Studies

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Makenzie Reynolds ’18 Studies Analytical Chemistry in Doctoral Program

Makenzie Reynolds stands in front of a poster about her research as she explains her findings to another personher
Makenzie Reynolds, right, explains her research to an attendee at a recent chemistry symposium held at Clemson (S.C.) University.

After attending a larger college for a year, Makenzie Reynolds ’18 transferred to Gardner-Webb University because of the smaller school setting. “I thought back to a visit I had at GWU when I was in high school,” reflected Reynolds, a native of Forest City, N.C. “I knew I would get one-on-one communication with my professors at GWU.”

Her professors provided the support and encouragement she needed to succeed, and Dr. Venita Totten gave her confidence to apply to graduate school programs. “I always knew that my Gardner-Webb professors would help me with anything, whether it had to do with their class or not,” Reynolds observed. “They pushed us to do great things. Dr. Totten cared so much for her students and wanted us to come up with our own ideas and experiment with things. I would never have considered graduate school if it wasn’t for her telling us about it and all the benefits.”

Reynolds graduated from Gardner-Webb with her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and was accepted into the doctoral program in chemistry at Clemson (S.C.) University. Like GWU, she chose this program because of its smaller size. Working in the lab of Dr. Carlos Garcia, Reynolds studies paper-based sensors. When she completes her doctorate, her goal is to work in the field of forensic or environmental chemistry.

The transition to graduate school has been smooth. “My classes at GWU have helped me a lot in my graduate studies,” Reynolds shared. “At Clemson, the professors assume you know all the undergraduate concepts. I have understood them, because they were taught at Gardner-Webb.”

Learn more about the Department of Natural Sciences at GWU.