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Student Highlights

Degree being sought: Polymer Science BS
Institution: University of Southern Mississippi
Research group: Storey Group
Hometown: Hattiesburg, MS

Give a brief synopsis of research/work being done:

I am currently working on research that utilizes azide-alkyne “click” chemistry to develop specialty pre-polymer components to ensure safer working environments for factory personnel. I also work with pre-polymer components that utilize the copper(I)-catalyzed azide-alkyne “click” chemistry for development of an out of autoclave method to cure carbon fiber composites.

From your current perspective, what do you see as an ideal fit for your skills, goals and career moving forward?

I can see myself using critical thinking and communication skills to view the world of medicine from a fresh perspective and help reach new heights in research thanks to my education and experience at Southern Miss. The ideal fit for my goals and career moving forward would be a full-time physician and a part-time researcher; my goals are to serve, and by continuing in both clinical and research positions, I can maximize my level of service from within my community and within humanity. 

Why did you choose USM?

I chose the Southern Miss because it presented itself as the most academically engaging school in the Southeast at the most affordable price. The students, faculty, and administration are the most welcoming people one will ever meet.

What USM-related scholarships did you receive?

USM Presidential Scholarship

Waterborne Scholarship

Pi Kappa Phi Housing GPA Scholarship

Awards won

Freshman of the Year Finalist : 2015  

President’s List Award: Fall 2014, Fall 2015

Dean’s List Award: Spring 2015, Spring 2016 - Present

Publications

1.      Cooke III, R. H.; Livingston, H. A.; Brei, M. R.; Storey, R. F.; “A Drop-In Composite Matrix via Azide-Alkyne Cycloaddition” 2017 Graduate Research Symposium, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS, April 4, 2017.

2.      Cooke III, R. H.; Livingston, H. A.; Storey, R. F.; “An Out of Autoclave Matrix with a Triggered Cure via Cu(I)-Catalyzed Azide-Alkyne Cycloadition” 2016 43rd Waterborne Symposium, New Orleans, LA, February 3, 2016. (Poster).

Main USM extracurricular activity – why is this important to you?

My main USM extracurricular activity is my long-lasting development at Pi Kappa Phi. I had the opportunity as serving as an associate secretary and interfraternity council representative for my freshman year, recruitment committee member for my sophomore and junior year, and secretary for my junior and senior year. There isn’t a better group of men on campus that I’ve met and had the opportunity to invest my time in. Together, we have broken IFC and campus GPA records in two consecutive semesters as well as raising thousands of dollars for our national philanthropy, The Ability Experience. Pi Kappa Phi has taught me how to be a servant leader and shown me that the most important man is the next man.

What USM memory do you treasure the most?

I originally planned on attending the University of Alabama with a couple of my friends that I had met over the years; we all had been accepted with presidential scholarships and were excited to pursue various majors, mine being chemical engineering. One afternoon while attending a USM baseball game with a family friend, Dr. Rodney Bennett had stopped by to say hello. He then turned to me asking where I was going to college and why; one thing lead to another, and I ended up in the president’s suite with the question, “If the university were to offer you a presidential scholarship, would you attend?” And the only response I could give was Southern Miss to the Top!

What are your plans for next year and beyond?

I plan to continue my academic endeavors through medicine. It has always been a dream of mine to serve my community as a medical doctor. I have a passion to serve, and using my degree in polymer science, I want to continue research focused in medicine to expand current concepts that may be under-developed by adding a new perspective within the medical community.