Dec 12 2017

Chemistry at New College

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Chemistry at New College

Visit New College of Florida and you might find Alex Bottorff in any number of places.

He might be in the Hamilton student center, watching his beloved St. Louis Blues playing hockey on television. He might be on the tennis court playing soccer, a New College twist on the sport. Or he might be in a lounge leading the Bible Club, the College’s group for Christian students.

Most likely, though, you’d find him in a chemistry lab. Alex, in his second year, is tackling rigorous coursework and landing research opportunities in outside laboratories.

While in high school, he worked in college labs, folding the DNA molecule and creating catalysts. Last winter, at Florida State University, he examined ways to bond the lanthanide cerium with large organic molecules. 

The freedom to concentrate in a chosen field and to do intensive research is the reason Alex chose New College.  He’s looking forward to his annual independent study project (ISP), and to New College’s famed senior thesis.

“The ISP and thesis were what mainly attracted me to New College,” he said.  “It allows me to really delve into a certain type of research that I wouldn’t normally get to until graduate school.”

Alex isn’t sure where his studies will lead, but he knows he’s on the right path. “I’m a religious scientist, so I’m not allowed to believe in coincidence,” he said, laughing. “There’s definitely a purpose as to why I’m here. I haven’t figured it out yet, but I’m working on it.”

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