Judy Roth Clark

Judith (Roth) Clark

Doctoral Student, Florida State University

Judith (Roth) Clark was one of 62 graduate students from across the nation selected for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science Graduate Student Research program.

How did you earn this esteemed fellowship?

I was encouraged to apply for this fellowship by my principal investigator, Dr. Michael Shatruk. I have been working with a collaborator at Oak Ridge National Lab, known as ORNL, for the past year and they both thought I could get more done with less time if I was able to obtain this fellowship and go to ORNL to work. Although the research I will be doing at ORNL is primarily physics based, I was able to make a case for why I needed a neutron source to study the magnetic materials I have been working on and how this research will aid my Ph.D. thesis in chemistry. I also made sure when applying for this fellowship that my research interests aligned with the research interests of the DOE.

Why did you choose UWF?

I actually chose UWF initially because of the marine biology program. I switched majors in my first year to chemistry after doing a summer marine biology internship. It was one of the best decisions I could have made. I really enjoyed chemistry at UWF because the faculty were very caring and invested their time into making sure students had plenty of exposure to teaching chemistry, in the lab and as a tutor, as well as participating in an undergraduate research environment. The classes were small and I was able to get to know everyone in the department. I still keep in contact with many of my classmates and professors. It is a very supportive environment that I will not take for granted.

How has your degree helped your career path?

My degree and the faculty at UWF had a huge impact on my career path. I would have not gone to graduate school were it not for the Chem Scholars program and Chem Club. It just isn’t something I would have thought was possible for me. But after attending the meetings and being given the information on writing a cover letter, taking the GRE and being provided plenty of other advice and resources, I felt confident that I would get into a graduate school program. I actually was accepted into three of the six schools I applied for! I am actively using my degree in chemistry every day and I love it! I still have two years until I obtain my Ph.D. and then I plan on pursuing a postdoctoral position. My dream is to work in a research team at NASA or SPACE X.