Jordan Tryhubenko is working this summer to synthesize a new class of aromatic ketones. But it’s not just chemistry that she’s learning. Trained to use sophisticated scientific instrumentation, she is also gaining confidence in the laboratory.
It’s the perfect preparation, she says, for her future plans: a Doctor of Pharmacy degree and a career in psychiatric pharmacy.
Jordan became interested in the specialty when she began job shadowing at a pharmacy in her hometown of Cockeysville, MD. “This pharmacy happened to be located near a psychiatric institute,” says Jordan, “so outpatients would drop their prescriptions off there. I had an interesting encounter with one woman in particular. At first, she was very hostile towards me because of her condition. But as our relationship developed I realized how quickly these patients will open up to you.”
Jordan has witnessed first-hand the positive impact psychiatric medications can have for troubled patients. “This area of pharmacy is very rewarding because you tell instantly tell that you are helping these patients achieve mental clarity.”
As a high school student in the college selection process, Jordan Tryhubenko planned an overnight stay at Washington College. “I immediately fell in love with the college,” she says. “I realized that smaller classes would allow me to meet my peers quickly as well as gain relationships with my professors.” That is exactly what she did.
During the school year, she works as a lab assistant for chemistry professor Anne Marteel-Parrish. “Professor Marteel has become my role model by always challenging herself, and a mentor by always challenging me.” It was she who encouraged Jordan to apply for a summer research position in Aaron Amick’s lab.
Their research investigates new organic reactions to aid in the synthesis of curved molecules, which Professor Amick describes as “a new tool for the chemistry toolbox. The reactions we are working on use the metal palladium as a catalyst, which allows these reactions to be characterized as ‘green chemistry.’”
Reflecting on her research experience, Jordan is grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow. “Opportunities like this allow undergraduates to figure out who they are and get the best experience they can,” says Jordan. “You start by working for a professor within your major, which leads to other opportunities, such as tutoring or even working as a course mentor. Each experience is followed by another, which can help you define your course of study.”
- Major: Chemistry
- Minor: Biology
- Concentration: Pre-pharmacy
- Captain, Softball
- Resident Assistant, Kent Crossing
- President, American Chemical Society
- Vice-President, Health Occupations Students of America
- Peer Tutor, General Chemistry
- Course Mentor, General Chemistry
- Lab Assistant, General Chemistry
- Honors: Tri-Beta, Cater Society of Junior Fellows
Jordan is a PharmD candidate at Campbell University in North Carolina.