Adams State chemistry majors receive prestigious internships

ALAMOSA – A track and field athlete from Pennsylvania and a San Luis Valley native will spend the summer pursuing their passions for chemistry, thanks to REU (research experience for undergraduates) paid internships. Adams State University junior chemistry majors Samuel Reid and Jeremiah Givens will switch up their hometown environments; Reid, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, accepted an internship at Colorado State University and Givens, Del Norte, will travel to John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

Reid learned about the internship from Dr. Renee Beeton, professor of chemistry. “I expect to get more lab experience, learn more chemistry techniques, and learn more instrumentation from the internship this summer,” Reid said.

After learning of the internship from Dr. Robert Astalos, professor of physics, and Dr. Chris Adams, associate professor of chemistry, Givens submitted the necessary documents and received the REU from John Hopkins University. “I am extremely excited for this internship, and I hope to gain valuable experience working in a professional research facility. This will help me develop an understanding of what research is all about, and will give me a much better idea of what I’d like to pursue in graduate school.”

The chemistry professors continue to encourage and support Givens and Reid. “Since my first year at Adams State, I have had an endless supply of encouragement and advice from my chemistry and physics professors,” Givens said. “They are always willing to discuss my future goals and always help me decide what will be best for me.”

Reid agrees: “My professors ask about my future goals and help as much as possible. All my professors are great mentors who continue to lead me in the right direction.” He is currently a teacher’s assistant for the chemistry department, where he preps chemicals and assists students with their labs. A member of the track team, throwing shot put and discus, Reid has a track and field scholarship.

Also a teaching assistant for the chemistry department, Givens has worked as a lab technician at Alta Fuels and last semester had an internship with Cloud Co Farms, extracting CBD from hemp. He also helps Astalos run the free Thursday shows at Zacheis Planetarium. Givens has received the Douglas Thomas Memorial Scholarship, the Kay Watkins Scholarship, and the Vice President’s Merit Scholarship.

The first in his family to earn a college degree, Reid said he strives harder to attain his goals. “My family is always in my corner and pushing me to take advantage of all my opportunities. I want my nephews to look at me as a role model and follow my footsteps in getting a college degree.”

Both students plan on pursuing master’s degrees after their 2019 graduation. “I am not sure about what specific field of chemistry I want to study,” Reid said. “I am leaning towards studying forensic science, but I am finding interesting topics as I get into my higher courses.”

Givens eventually plans on earning a PhD in chemistry or physics. “A common bit of advice I’ve received from all of my professors, is do what I must to conduct research while I’m still an undergraduate, as undergraduate research is incredibly important when applying for graduate school.”

Captions: Jeremiah Givens, pictured in Adams State STEM Center, works on an equation for his quantum mechanics project. He accepted a paid REU internship with John Hopkins this summer./Courtesy photo by Amy Kucera


Adams State chemistry major Samuel Reid, pictured in a chemistry lab, will spend the summer as a paid REU internship at Colorado State University./Courtesy photo by Linda Relyea