Growing through Opportunity

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It was the site of the new Center for Science and Business building that immediately hooked Illinois Alpha Antonetta Axup. As she continued her tour through the massive 138,000 square-foot building, she noticed the technology available in the classrooms and could imagine herself researching in the laboratories. She appreciated the friendliness of professors and the various opportunities she would have to grow as a scientist. Antonetta knew she would spend her undergraduate career at Monmouth College.

Antonetta is a Biochemistry major and takes every chance offered to her through the college. Antonetta is part of the Monmouth Coffee Project (MCP), a unique educational experience offered at the College. MCP buys coffee from a fair-trade farm in Bolivia then they roast, grind and package the coffee on campus. Science and business students collaborate in running all facets of the company — business students interact with the customers and buyers while the science students focus on the caffeine concentrations of different coffee roasts and analyze the oil from the coffee beans for potential properties. “It’s cool to collaborate like that,” says Antonetta. Not only is Antonetta in unique projects on campus, but she has the chance to bring her studies offsite as well.

Through a chemistry department endowment, Antonetta attended the National American Chemical Society Conference and Exposition in San Francisco, California, this spring. At the conference, Antonetta presented a poster of her studies on the Antibacterial Properties of Essential Oils in the Medicinal Chemistry Division. Conference attendees walk through the hall to read the posters and can stop to ask the researchers about their studies. The thing standing out most is those presenting from Monmouth College are undergraduates, and they presented alongside graduate and post-doc students. Such an honor!

Congratulations on your first national-level presentation, Antonetta! I have no doubt you will continue to make an impact on the science world.

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