Sky’s the Limit

Fourth-year student Diana Csercse is the first-ever Illinois Institute of Technology student to enroll in the new Bachelor of Science in Bioanalytical Chemistry program, which is the first program of its kind in the United States.

“I knew this was my chance to be unique, stand out, and excel,” Csercse says. “I saw an opportunity to be more advanced in a field of great importance.”

A native of Brasov, Romania, Csercse earned an associate’s degree in biotechnology from Triton College before transferring to Illinois Tech. During the spring 2021 semester she gained hands-on experience in an Analytical Method Development Lab course, working with gas chromatography, high-performance liquid chromatography, ultraviolet-visible spectrometry, and atomic spectrometry machines.

Csercse has also made valuable connections, including with industry experts who visit her courses as guest speakers. One of them—a bioanalytical chemist working at NASA—made a particularly strong impression.

“[The fact that she worked for NASA] gave me chills,” Csercse says. “I didn’t know it was possible to be a chemist and work for NASA. I should’ve known, but it was almost an unreachable goal in my brain. She showed me it is possible.”

Csercse says she now dreams of one day working for NASA, too.

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