BHSU senior accepted into five Ph.D. programs in chemistry

Michael Hurst, biology and chemistry double major from Spearfish, was accepted into five chemistry Ph.D. programs. Michael will attend the University of Oregon this fall where he plans to continue his research in chemistry that helps the environment.

Black Hills State University graduating senior Michael Hurst has his pick of universities after being accepted into five chemistry Ph.D. programs.

Michael says three years of hands-on experience working in a chemistry lab at BHSU was a nice boost to his resume.

"I've had many good opportunities at BHSU. Going into my Ph.D. with the experience of research I gained here will help in the future," says Michael, a chemistry/biology double major.

Originally from Spearfish, Michael says he planned to spend only a couple of years at his hometown college. But with opportunities like the University Honors Program, presenting his research at national conferences, and working at the Writing Assistance Center on campus, Michael says he's glad he made the decision to stay and graduate from BHSU.

Michael will graduate this weekend as a University Scholar, marking his successful completion of the Honors program at BHSU. He'll present his Honors capstone project titled "Investigating the Effect of Ligand Substitution on Copper (I) Complexes in the &alpha-Alkylation of Aldehydes" this week on campus.

"I've worked in Dr. Katrina Jensen's chemistry lab on campus for the past three years. We're trying to optimize a common process used in chemistry, in pharmaceuticals for example, by using copper rather than something that's toxic and more expensive," says Michael.

Michael's career goal is to use his biology and chemistry degrees to work in environmental and sustainable science. Its work he's already begun at BHSU, and work he plans to continue at the University of Oregon.

"I liked the University of Oregon's emphasis on environmental projects. It's broadly similar to what we've been doing in the lab at BHSU, improving efficiency to reduce waste and environmental harm," says Michael.