Alumni Spotlight: Liz Isaac ’18 (Chemistry)
Posted Apr 02, 2021
Liz Isaac, ’18, Chemist at the Lubrizol Corporation.
I think Otterbein is best at getting students involved. Everyone is encouraged to join organizations/clubs, reach out to faculty for research experience, and find on campus employment. There are a lot of opportunities on campus.
I have had so many great experiences at Otterbein that it’s hard to summarize them all. With the help of Dr. Esson and Dr. Grote I was able to start up our ACS chapter again and had so many wonderful experiences through that. I was able to network at local meetings, travel to two national conferences, charter a bus to the March for Science, and hold local events for the community. My heavy involvement in the chemistry department earned me an internship at the Lubrizol Corporation which I held for three summers before starting full time employment there.
I think there is a lot of peer-to-peer learning through helping each other in lab, student led SI sessions, and other study groups. I remember my whole inorganic class took over an empty classroom before finals week to study together.
My job is often quite busy, and my time is split between the lab and office. During college I learned the critical skill of time management as well as task management. I need to be able to be safe and efficient in lab while not neglecting my desk duties.
Dr. Esson and Dr. Grote have helped me grow so much that it is difficult to capture in words. I have worked in both of their research labs and have learned so much from each of them. I couldn’t have restarted the ACS chapter without their help, and that opportunity has done so much for me. They really care about helping students reach their full potential.
What makes Otterbein unique? “I believe we have a strong sense of community that others might not have.”
What is something you learned about to persist and be successful at Otterbein? “To be frank, I didn’t do well in organic chemistry the first time I took it. Up until that class I had never truly been academically challenged in any way, and I didn’t actually learn how to study until the second time I took the class. Dr. Grote was supportive through it all and I know work in an organic chemistry field.”
What makes Otterbein unique? “The people! Everyone on campus is so friendly.”
What do you love about Otterbein? “I met friends for life at Otterbein. I had so many experiences at Otterbein that I never thought I’d have like chartering a bus to the March for Science, wearing the Cardy suit, midnight donut runs with aforementioned awesome friends, the list goes on.”
What advice do you have for new students? “Get involved!! Reach out to everyone and everything you find even remotely interesting. It’s the only way you’ll discover what you are passionate about.”
“STUDY. I never had to study in high school and didn’t even know how to when I got to college.”
What can students expect from the faculty? “I’ve been bowling, mini-golfing, to cook outs, etc with the faculty. They are awesome and not at all scary. Approach them! Ask about their research.”
What did you value most about Otterbein? “The relationships I had. I had awesome friends, was on good terms with faculty, and had great coworkers at my on-campus job. I felt like there were a lot of people around me I could reach out to for support.”
Was there a moment when you knew Otterbein was a special place? “Probably the time campus allowed me to (and paid for) to rent a cement mixer and fill a kiddie pool full of slime. That was an experience I certainly won’t forget.”