Student Spotlight: Sophia Staggers

Dec 9, 2020 3:50 PM

Sophia Staggers

Lanham, MD

FSU Activities

President - Student Members of the American Chemical Society (SMACS); General Chemistry II Learning Assistant; Resident Assistant; Campus Tour Guide; Burg Peer Education Network PR Chair; Tennis Team

After Graduation

Chemistry PhD program to research protein structure and function relationships.

Sophia's Summer Research Projects

This summer, I participated in an NSF-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) through the Research-Intensive Summer Experience (RISE) program at Rutgers University. During this six-week online internship, I worked with members of the Protein Data Bank (PDB) and Institute for Quantitative Biomedicine to analyze mutant variants of the proteins encoded by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. SARS_CoV2.pngThis REU also engaged me in group seminars, graduate school preparation workshops, and research presentations from Rutgers faculty and graduate students. I am keeping in touch with my Rutgers mentor, Dr. Stephen K. Burley, and my fellow summer research students. After this experience, I feel very prepared to apply to PhD programs. I would encourage any undergraduate students interested in research to apply to REUs to gain experience, meet faculty and students from other schools, and learn what to expect in graduate school!

Why Sophia Chose Chemistry

I was interested pharmaceutical science when I started at FSU and was encouraged by my advisor, Dr. Robert Larivee, to do a chemistry major. I've enjoyed the chemistry classes I've taken and have had a great experience with all my professors. I like that getting research experience is very accessible in our department. As a junior, I began researching solid-phase peptide synthesis with Dr. Matthew Crawford. The professors in chemistry are personable and are always available to provide help to students.

Why Sophia Chose FSU

I was immediately attracted to the welcoming and diverse community at FSU. I like the small class sizes and that the faculty are very committed to the success of the students.