Hometown: Ridgefield, Conn.
WCSU Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry
Internships: Chemistry-related internship at ATMI, Inc.
Activities: Chemistry Club, including chemistry tutoring; Tutoring Resource Center, physics tutoring; supplementary instructor for Survey of Chemistry; laboratory teacher's assistant for organic chemistry
Honors and Awards: Polyed Outstanding Achievement in Organic Chemistry Award, Division of Analytical Chemistry American Chemical Society Undergraduate Award, Boehringer Ingelheim Outstanding Achievement in Biochemistry Award, 3.93 GPA
In 2004, Chelsea Higgins received a Bachelor of Arts in electronic media from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She worked in the entertainment industry for a year before deciding to go back to college at WestConn. "I specifically came to WestConn for chemistry," she says. "I chose the university out of pure convenience because it offers affordable tuition and allowed me to further save money by living at home; but I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the chemistry department. Originally, I just wanted to take a summer to explore the possibility of going back to school for science, which was an early interest of mine -- I was a Boehringer Ingelheim scientific scholar in high school. I enrolled in two classes between television seasons and decided to stay permanently."
It took Higgins three years to complete her biochemistry degree. "I basically only have had to take science classes (and gym) since I was able to transfer over most of my GenEds from another degree."
Higgins says Assistant Professor of Chemistry Dr. Alycen Nigro has been not only her research mentor, "but she has also been a valuable resource for me throughout the graduate school application process."
Asked what she will remember most about her WestConn experience, Higgins says, "Working as an assistant with Professor of Chemistry Dr. Paul Hines in the organic lab was a memorable experience for me. The formulation of my current career goal to be a university professor was greatly influenced by the time I spent working with other chemistry students in that setting.”
After graduation, Higgins plans to earn a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "The school choice is actually not an official decision, but it's the front-runner right now," she says."
Higgin’s advice to new students entering WCSU is: “WestConn is unique in the accessibility of the faculty to the students, especially in the chemistry department, where one-on-one attention from faculty members is not rare. It is a great chance to form relationships with people who are already professionals in the field of your interest. I would advise incoming students to take advantage of this opportunity and really get to know their professors and benefit from their experience.”