Hope Strickbine’s first exposure to BG Products, a Wichita-based company that manufactures automotive products like cleaners and specialty lubricants, was during her senior year of high school.
As a participant in the Newman STEM Exploration Program, Strickbine took a tour of the company’s headquarters. At the time, Newman alumna Madeleine Dellinger ’20 was doing an internship there.
“That is where I first heard about the BG Products internship,” Strickbine said. “Then, as I was looking for ways to get research experience this summer, Assistant Professor of Chemistry Ryan Huschka reminded me of the position and encouraged me to apply.”
Strickbine completed an internship with BG Products this past summer.
As part of her experience, Strickbine completed several projects, including gathering data, updating procedures and running quality control checks on raw materials.
“Through each project, I learned a lot: how to use more instruments, perform more procedures and more tips and tricks for each technique,” she said. “All of the work that I did was really satisfying because they made it clear that each project really was helping them.”
Strickbine, a biochemistry major, said her internship at BG Products provided her with great experience in the lab setting. She added that the conversations she had with others in the lab helped her determine that she wants to eventually pursue a doctorate so she can teach at the college level. Her time at Newman has confirmed that desire as well.
“I know from the tutoring that I have done both as a lab teaching assistant and through my job at Complete Education, where I tutor math for the ACT, that I really enjoy teaching,” Strickbine said. “The research that I have gotten to participate in at school and the work I got to do at BG this summer showed me that I would like to be able to do research as well. Teaching at the college level sounds like the perfect way to do both of those things.”
When Strickbine isn’t in class or working, she likes to stay as involved on campus as possible. She’s been on the Honors Council for two years and served as a house leader for the “Good Vibes” Honors house for the last two years. She was part of the Student Government Association last year and is active with Campus Ministry and other clubs as she’s able. At the end of this past spring, she even started a book club with some friends called OverBooked that focuses on classic literature.
“I have loved my time at Newman,” Strickbine said. “I have made so many good friends and learned so much from all my teachers and mentors. I have had many opportunities to learn new skills and hone old ones.”
Her advice for other Newman students is to find ways to get connected on campus.
“Just find a way to build your community here,” she said. “Everybody here is rooting for you. Find faculty and staff and students to connect with. A good way of doing that is attending events, but it can also just be attending the professor’s office hours. It doesn’t have to be complicated.”
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