Dillon Yost’s firsthand experience at Berry College has not only changed his future goals, but it’s also broadened the scope of science.
A chemistry and mathematics double major from Cleveland, Tenn., Dillon came to Berry looking for research experience. He wanted to enhance his learning by working side-by-side with faculty on meaningful projects.
“The truth is that my current career goals are primarily based on my experiences so far,” Dillon said. “As a sophomore, I was able to conduct original scientific research relating to my majors, which is an opportunity that I wouldn’t get at many other schools.”
Dillon is a recipient of the Synovus Scholarship, one of several scholarships under the umbrella of the Fund for Berry Scholars, which supports inquiry-based, hands-on learning opportunities for students and provides resources and support for faculty members who serve as their mentors and guides.
“The funding from the Synovus Scholarship has provided us with cutting-edge software tools that we can use to conduct computational chemistry research,” Dillon explained. “Over the past year, I worked with faculty members on a project that seeks to uncover certain structural properties of a type of molecules called carbon nanotubes. We presented our results at a symposium, and we plan to continue the work in the spring when I return from my semester abroad in Scotland.”
Currently, Dillon is studying abroad at the University of Glasgow, where – as a result of his Berry experience – he was able to obtain a research assistantship in the Chemical Models and Simulations group.
“My research advisor at the University of Glasgow told me that he is not used to undergraduates taking on work and school at the same time,” Dillon said. “At Berry, it’s just what we do.”
Dillon feels that his experience at Berry is vital to his future, but the recipient of the Willis and Nora Pirkle Endowed Scholarship knows that none of it would be possible without the assistance he has received from his donors.
“I am only halfway through my undergraduate career, but I already feel well on my way to being able to accomplish my career goals,” he said. “It is amazing that there are so many Berry alumni and friends who donate their time and money to give amazing opportunities to students like me. All that I can say is thank you, but I hope that my actions of making the most out of my four years at Berry will show how appreciative I am.”
By Alyssa Hollingsworth
Student Editorial Supervisor