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Student Research at Muhlenberg

Bryan Auvil '16:  Learning Beyond the Classroom
By Jessica Baar



During the school year, you can usually find him on the football field, in a classroom tutoring or helping those in need with the campus Emergency Medical Services team. However, this summer you will also find Bryan Auvil in a research lab.

Auvil ’16 is participating in an eight-week summer science research project here on campus. Working under the guidance of chemistry professor Dr. Sherri Young, Auvil is hoping to modify anti-inflammatory drugs in order to increase their blood brain barrier permeability. He was originally going to take a standard summer physics course, but after a meeting with Dr. Marsha Baar, his organic chemistry professor, he was convinced to do otherwise.

Now six weeks into his research, despite the many ups and downs, he knows it’s been worthwhile. “It’s a good experience that exposes me to more aspects of chemistry” says Auvil. When asked what he’s gotten out of his summer experience so far, problem solving was one of the many skills that came to Auvil’s mind, “I’ve learned a lot. I’ve been exposed to things you can’t learn in a classroom.”

Auvil originally came to Muhlenberg wanting to be a medical student; though, with many different tracks to choose from, he wasn’t sure where to start. Over the course of his freshman year Auvil dabbled in various science classes trying to find the best fit. It didn’t take him long to solidify his pre-existing love for chemistry, and he declared it as his major. Now entering his junior year, Auvil has a new image for his future. Going to graduate school to further study chemistry is an ever-growing vision for him.

 “I guess it’s genetics” Auvil replied when asked why he loved chemistry so much, “My dad is a chemical engineer.” Although that’s not the career path that Auvil himself is taking, he still attributes his father’s passion for helping him find his own.

Valuable learning experiences like this one would not be possible without donor support. To learn more about how you can contribute to research opportunities like Bryan’s, click here

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