Update: Metcalf is now a Ph.D. student in biochemistry and molecular genetics at the University of Louisville School of Medicine.
When you’re a student in junior high school, events like your teacher accidentally setting the classroom ceiling on fire tend to stick in your mind. For Stephanie Metcalf, the mishap helped spark her interest in science and soon will lead to a career in biomedical research.
As a student at Borden Jr./Sr. High School, Metcalf was fortunate to have a teacher, Ross Shauver, whose enthusiasm for chemistry was contagious. That passion led her to IUPUI and the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology.
“I like solving things,” said Metcalf, from Sellersburg, Indiana. “I went to a forensic summer camp when I was in high school, and I fell in love with all the instruments and the samples and all the preparation that takes place in the lab. My counselor said I should look into it further.”
And she did. The School of Science at IUPUI has an accredited undergraduate program in forensic science, but it was the chemistry program that she found to be the best fit for her. The opportunities for research matched her career plans, and she’s made the most of every chance she’s had to work in a lab, participate in mentoring programs, and even help recruit students to the school she has grown to love.