Sarah Geegan

By

College: Arts and Sciences

Incoming UK Freshman Makes Big Impression

Published: Jul 24, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 24, 2013) When UK chemistry professor Susan Odom was asked about one of her students at the 244th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Philadelphia, her answer rendered her colleagues speechless.

 

Her colleague's question: "How many years of graduate school has she completed?" Odom's response: "She's still in high school."

 

Her student, Corrine “Nina” Elliott, works to synthesize and study new compounds for overcharge protection in lithium-ion batteries — essentially creating chemicals which can be added to batteries to make them safer and more efficient. Elliott won first place in chemistry at her regional and state science fair competitions, and presented this research at the Intel International Science Fair, all as a high school student. 

 

Since this meeting in the spring, 18-year-old Elliott graduated from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School and plans to attend UK in the fall. She began working in Odom's lab in the fall of 2011 as a high school junior, on a project involving specific organic molecules and their utility in lithium-ion batteries.

 

"I create what’s called a 'redox shuttle,'" Elliott said. "If too much electrical energy is forced into a [rechargeable] battery, then the redox shuttle will put it to a productive purpose, or at least divert it from harming the battery itself… It gets rid of that extra energy in order not to harm the battery."

 

This research has significant implications. Odom said that if Elliott finds the right derivative of the chemical phenothiazine to enhance the performance and efficiency of lithium-ion batteries, the product could immediately go to market.

 

For Elliott, the lab represented a new sense of belonging, allowing her to be among the first people working there, as well as an opportunity to catapult herself ahead of the curve in research. For Odom, Elliott's involvement in the lab provided a window for her to watch and help a developing scientist emerge.

 

"It's been amazing to watch Nina mature as a young scientist in the laboratory," Odom said. "It was clear early on that she was a bright student, but it was not long until she surpassed my expectations, both in her understanding of her project and in the amount of work she has accomplished.  She quickly picked up synthetic techniques that advanced undergraduate and graduate students learn, including setting up reactions for which oxygen and water must be rigorously excluded."

 

After recognizing Elliott's work ethic and potential, Odom said she realized the importance of exposing her to scientists outside of the laboratory. She brought Elliott to the 244th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Philadelphia, Penn., not to present formally at the meeting, but instead to attend presentations and meet with a variety of professors.

 

At the 245th ACS meeting in New Orleans, Elliott presented her research poster among a group of undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral researchers.

 

"I was very proud of my presentation," Elliott said. "I think that my public speaking improved as I presented at various venues, which will help me in the long run. Also having the contacts will certainly help me succeed at the university."

 

Odom said that she at first hovered in the background of Elliott's presentation to see if she needed help answering questions delivered by Ph.D. scientists.

 

"Soon it was evident that she was well prepared to answer even the most difficult questions and was ready to be on her own," Odom said.

 

Elliott worked in Odom's lab as a paid assistant throughout the summer of 2013, and plans to continue her research in the fall of 2014 as a freshman.

 

Interested in computational research, Elliott plans to major in mathematics at UK and is considering minors in statistics and chemistry.

 

"It's funny because I always thought that I was far better at English than I was at math," Elliott said. "But math has logic to it; It makes sense to me. So, I suppose the logic behind math and to an extent behind chemistry is why they both fit me so well. I have a penchant for following logical trains and figuring out what the next logical step would be."

 

And the next logical step for Nina? Odom has watched the young scholar in action long enough to know, she's likely to leave some pretty big footprints.

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Sarah Geegan, (859) 257-5365; sarah.geegan@uky.edu

odom3.jpgodom1.jpgodom2.jpgodom4.jpg
August
 
 
 
 
 
1
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Fri
2
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Sat
3
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Artful Sunday: Wrapped Art
Sun
4
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Mon
5
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Tue
6
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Get Moving - A Walking Group for Caregivers
Wed
7
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Thu
8
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Fri
9
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Sat
10
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Sun
11
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Mon
12
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
UK Working Moms Connection
Tue
13
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Wed
14
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Thu
15
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Fri
16
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Sat
17
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Sun
18
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Mon
19
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Tue
20
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Chronic Disease Self-Management Program
Wed
21
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Thu
22
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Midnight Dodgeball Tournament
CARES First Year Focus Parent Meetings
CARES First Year Focus Parent Meetings
Parent and Families Reception
Residence Hall Floor Meeting
Off-campus Freshmen Check-in
K Team Meeting: K Week Kick-off
Death By Chocolate
Fri
23
Employee Educational Assistance Award
A Parent's Guide to Life after August 23
Campus Safety Information Session
Donut Avoid The Study
Common Cents: Money Management for College Students Session 1
See Blue...See Community
Succeeding in A Large Lecture Classroom
Horses, Bluegrass, Basketball, and More: Welcome to Kentucky
Success at Any Age: College Tips for Adult Learners
Write Right: Tips for Writing Well in College
Common Cents: Money Management for College Students Session 2
How to Graduate in Four Years
Parental Involvement in Fraternity and Sorority Life
Parents Watch for Warning Signs: Suicide Prevention for College Students
Preparing to be a Pre-Professional
Presentation U!: Where YOU are the Ultimate Presentation
Religious Life at UK
Successful Off-Campus Living
The Transfer Student Cruise: Navigating your way through UK
UK Parking & Transportation 101
You Heard It Here First: Tips From A Faculty Member
New Student Induction Ceremony
Minority Student Welcome
Transfer Student Cookout
K Team Meeting: K Week Overview
Men's Soccer vs. Georgia State
Big Blue U
Campus Ruckus
Campus Ruckus
Sat
24
Employee Educational Assistance Award
LNFS Presents: Jackass 3
LNFS Presents: Godzilla
Pedalpalooza
K Team Meeting: Lunch and Campus Tour
Center for Community Outreach: Do Good, Start Here.
UK Lex-Mart
Alternative Service Breaks: See the World, Change the World
From the Real World to the Amazing Race, Don't Wipeout: Your Advisor, Advising, and You
Blackboard Basics
Student Government Association Information Session
EMPOWER: Women’s Leadership Retreat Interest Session
Student Center Spectacular
Student Center Spectacular
Sun
25
Employee Educational Assistance Award
UK FUSION
UK Parking & Transportation 101
University of Kentucky Association for Transfer Students Interest Session
Candy, Condoms, Coffee
Cleaner, Healthier, Cheaper, Faster: Why Bicycling is the Best Way to Get Around Campus (and how to do it safely)
Working on Campus
K Team Meeting: Dinner with your K Team
Meijer Mania
Mon
26
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Last Day to Drop a Course with 100% Refund
Chem at UK Cafe-N-OJ with the Student American Chemical Society
Coffee (or Coke), Cookies, & Communication!: Come see blue. at Presentation U!
Don't Blow Yourself Up: Surviving Chemistry
Fraternity Recruitment Info Session
OMG! Did I Just E-Mail That to My Professor???
Surviving Your First Year and Beyond: Strategies To Do Well in Your Classes
Sustainable UK: Exploring Environmental Programs in the College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment (CAFE)
A User Guide for Your Mathematics Class
Discover the UK Art Museum
K Team Meeting: Common Reading Experience Discussion
Common Reading Introduction for International Students
Transfer Student Meet and Greet
We Are UK
Rec 'N Roll 2014
Big Blue Bingo Night
Mic Check
Tue
27
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Fraternity Recruitment Info Session
LNFS Presents: Jurassic Park
First Day of Classes
Campus Outreach
Opening Act: The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Wed
28
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: Her
LNFS Presents: Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Student Involvement Fair
OrgSync Info session
LGBTQ* Welcome Back
Dive Into Diversity!
Residence Hall Floor Meetings
Thu
29
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Sea of Blue
One Last Beach Bash: RSA Block Party
LNFS Presents: Team America: World Police
Pills and Pizza
K Week Event: Pills and Pizza
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Wichita State
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Francis Marion
Fri
30
Employee Educational Assistance Award
LNFS Presents: Neighbors
The Tailgate "Kick-Off"
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Butler
Kentucky Football vs. UT-Martin
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Virginia Tech
Sat
31
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Ohio
Men's Soccer vs. Belmont
Sun
 
 
 
 
 
 
Aug 22
Midnight Dodgeball Tournament 08/22/2014

Fri, 08/22/2014

Reset Page