Building a Chemistry Community

One of the most exciting things about studying chemistry for Jackie Trejo (B.S. CHEM 2nd Year) is its everyday impact, whether you’re at the doctor’s office or inside your own kitchen.

“It’s all around us,” says Trejo. “One of my hobbies is cooking. It’s just interesting learning about the compounds and how it works at a molecular level.”

In charge of social media, recruitment, and public relations for Illinois Institute of Technology’s chemistry club, Trejo is working to ensure that the club is intertwined with the university’s community. The club held six events during the spring 2024 semester, ranging from study nights to a mentorship program—and even a build-your-own candy molecule event for Valentine’s Day.

“We want to build a community for chemistry students so we can rely on each other and have a network to turn to,” says Trejo. “We’re also doing things with Society for Environmental Engineers and Scientists and the Student Government Association. They’re there to help the community. I think with those collaborations, we’re forming relationships.”

Trejo’s role in the club is largely in growing the awareness and knowledge of the club’s activities, whether that’s socializing one on one with students or creating campus-wide advertisements. 

Her interest in chemistry was piqued in high school after she had set a goal of becoming a doctor. She knew that getting into medical school would require a significant amount of chemistry knowledge, and as an added bonus, she simply enjoyed doing the work.

“When I took general and AP chemistry in high school, it was fun,” says Trejo. “I liked the lab work, the experiments, learning about the equations and compounds.”

Now Trejo and the chemistry club are aiming to expand their reach within the Illinois Tech community. They’re planning to host a career fair for the fall semester, with the goal of gathering as many connections as possible.

Though the event is in the early stages of planning, Trejo is excited about its potential.

“Right now, we’re in the process of reaching out to other clubs to see if they’ll help participate, bring their own connections with companies or professionals,” says Trejo. “We’d like to have plenty of different areas of science there. It’s going to be a pretty big event.”

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