Student Spotlight: Deepa Choudhry

Photo Credit: Student spotlight Deepa Choudhry
Student spotlight Deepa Choudhry
Wed, 05/15/2024 - 11:31

Area of Study: Ph.D. in Chemistry

Hometown: New Delhi, India

Why did you select your program?
I chose the Ph.D. program in Chemistry at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for its outstanding research opportunities in renewable energy and green chemistry, aligning closely with my professional goals. The university's interdisciplinary collaborations and state-of-the-art facilities offer an ideal environment to tackle complex scientific challenges. Additionally, the renowned faculty's commitment to mentorship and the inclusive academic community makes it an excellent fit for my academic journey. Lincoln's supportive and affordable lifestyle further enhances the overall experience, ensuring a balance between academic rigor and quality of life essential for focused research. This program perfectly aligns with my aspiration to advance scientific knowledge and contribute meaningfully to societal progress through innovative research.

What has been your best experience as a graduate student at Nebraska?
My standout experience as a graduate student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln was successfully completing a challenging project on converting carbon dioxide into valuable chemicals. This achievement showcased our collaborative teamwork and the impact of our work in sustainable chemistry. The supportive academic environment at Nebraska has been essential for my growth as a scientist, fostering curiosity and innovation through interactions with faculty mentors and fellow graduate students.

Who have been some of your strongest mentors or role models here?
Dr. Barry Cheung has been an exceptional mentor and advisor during my academic journey at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His expertise in catalysis and his commitment to fostering scientific excellence have profoundly influenced my development as a researcher. Dr. Cheung's guidance, support, and insightful feedback have been instrumental in shaping my research projects and enhancing my understanding of complex scientific concepts. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow under his mentorship, and I look forward to continuing to contribute to our research endeavors under his guidance.

Do you have research experience? If so, please describe.
I have gained a lot of research experience during my studies, focusing on chemistry and materials science. Some of my projects include making ceria mixed oxides to turn carbon dioxide into methanol and studying materials like hemp fibers and coco coir for eco-friendly uses. I've used advanced tools like HRTEM, SAED, EDX, XPS, and XRD to analyze materials. My research has been published in journals and presented at conferences, showing my interest in sustainable chemistry and nanotechnology.

What are your plans once you have earned the degree?
After earning my degree, I am keen on exploring opportunities in industry. I aspire to contribute to innovative projects within chemical manufacturing, green technology, or materials engineering sectors. I am particularly interested in applying my knowledge of sustainable chemistry and renewable energy technologies to develop practical solutions that address real-world challenges. I am excited about the prospect of collaborating with industry professionals to advance technologies that promote environmental sustainability and resource efficiency. My goal is to leverage my skills in industry settings to make a positive impact and drive meaningful change through scientific innovation and applied research.

Are you involved in anything on campus?
I am the president of Indian Student Association (ISA).

What are the ISA's purpose and activities?
Our aim is to create an inclusive and welcoming environment by celebrating Indian culture through various events and activities. ISA organizes festivals like Diwali and Holi, cultural showcases, and sports events to promote cultural exchange and community building. Through these initiatives, ISA fosters friendships, educates about Indian traditions, and provides a platform for cultural expression and social interaction on campus.

How have you benefitted from being in ISA?
Serving as President of the India Student Association (ISA) at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln has been immensely rewarding. Leading ISA has not only enhanced my organizational and event planning skills but has also connected me with a diverse group of students, fostering valuable friendships and professional networks. Through ISA, I've deepened my understanding of Indian traditions, festivals, and art forms, enriching my cultural experiences. Moreover, this role has contributed to my personal growth by improving my communication, confidence, and public speaking abilities. Most importantly, organizing inclusive events through ISA has allowed me to make a positive impact on campus, promoting cross-cultural understanding and celebrating diversity within our university community. Overall, being ISA President has been a fulfilling and enriching experience, shaping my college journey and allowing me to share and celebrate my cultural heritage with others.