Isabelle Behrman is a second-year student in the College of Sciences and Humanities and will graduate from Ball State in 2023 with a double major in Chemistry (American Chemical Society concentration) and Spanish. At Ball State, she is a member of the Women’s Tennis team, a Supplemental Instructor in Organic Chemistry and has been working in the lab of Dr. Robert Sammelson, Chair of the Department of Chemistry, since her freshman year. Recently, Isabelle was selected as one of Ball State’s Top 2 Students in the University’s inaugural Top 100 Student Awards program. She has also been awarded a Barry Goldwater Scholarship, one of America’s most prestigious scholarships for undergraduates who intend to pursue careers in STEM research. After pursuing a doctorate in molecular engineering or material science and engineering, Isabelle plans to launch a research career aimed at creating environmentally friendly and biodegradable materials.

How has being a Top 100 student impacted how you view your work while at Ball State? 

While at Ball State, I have been focused on completing my double major in Chemistry and Spanish in three years. Therefore, it is an honor to be recognized for my work toward both degrees in the College of Science and Humanities.

What inspired you to pursue a nomination for the Top 100 students? Which professors assisted you in your journey?

Ultimately, the professor that has been most influential in my journey to become a Top 100 student was Dr. Sammelson, Chair of the Chemistry Department, who nominated me for this prestigious recognition.

How has your time in MLC been worthwhile to you? Do you have a moment that sticks out to you as the most beneficial? 

As a Spanish major in MLC, I have not only learned a lot about the language and the Hispanic culture, but the professors have also allowed me to see the greater applicability of Spanish. One course, in particular, that had a great impact on me was SP 362 with Professor Geyer. In that class, we studied a variety of Hispanic poetry, which opened my eyes to the greater possibilities of language overall and the meanings that words, specifically in Spanish, can hold.

As a Spanish major, what is your ultimate goal / dream job?

After completing my degrees in Spanish and Chemistry, my ultimate goal is to conduct research in materials science and engineering that is focused on improving our environment. In today’s world of international organizations and global research projects, my knowledge of the Spanish language will serve as a great asset to me in this endeavor.

For those who might want to pursue being nominations for the Top 100 students in the future, what advice would you give them?

For anyone that aims to be a Top 100 student, one of their main goals should be to embrace the spirit of beneficence at Ball State. The Top 100 program is not just focused on a person’s GPA, but rather on the ways that we give back and involve ourselves in the University and our community.

If you’d like to connect with Isabelle, you can do so via Instagram.

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