Each week, the Department of Chemistry highlights a group of graduate students who are doing interesting and exciting work within the department. In this installment of our highlight series, we are featuring Jessica Lee, who is a second-year student in the Keating group.
Jessica’s work focuses on investigating the mechanism of lipid self-assembly leading to membrane formation in the presence of liquid-liquid phase separation.
Outside of the lab, she is the Women in STEM Month co-chair for the Penn State chapter of Graduate Women in Science (GWIS).
This week, we met virtually with Jessica to discuss her life in and outside of the lab! Please enjoy our interview with Jessica Lee.
Question: How did you get interested in chemistry?
Answer: My interest in chemistry began to flourish in high school. During my junior year, I was selected to represent my high school in the National High School Student Academic Contest of Chemistry in Taiwan. To prepare for the contest, my chemistry teacher provided me with extra training for more in-depth knowledge and experimental skills. Since then, I realized that I really enjoy doing experiments.
Q: Where did you grow up?
A: I grew up in Taipei, Taiwan. Taiwan is actually the birthplace of bubble tea. We even put it on pizza (it’s not very good though).
Q: Do you have any hobbies?
A: I love crafting. I’ve tried leather crafting and rubber stamp carving before. I also love reading and watching movies in my free time.
Q: Do you have any pets?
A: I don’t have any now, but I’m considering getting a cat after my comprehensive exam.
Q: What’s your favorite way to spend a day off?
A: Watching a movie is my first choice recently. I also love to go hiking with my friends if they have time too.
Q: What’s your dream vacation?
A: Before the pandemic, I always dreamed of going to more European countries. However, now, I feel like anywhere in the world could be a good place to go as long as I’m with my family.
Thanks to Jessica for these interesting and thoughtful answers! We hope you enjoyed this interview. Stay tuned for more graduate student highlights in the weeks to come!