Amanda Corkum

Amanda Corkum

Research at its B.E.S.T.

Amanda Corkum

If you were to wander the floors of the Johnson building at Bishop’s University, you would inevitably find Amanda Corkum, one of the Chemistry department’s most dedicated students.

The Honours student from New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, has been deeply interested in research projects since she enrolled four years ago.

“What I love about Bishop’s is that I get to do so much research as an undergraduate student,” says Amanda. “It’s the advantage of studying in a small university.”

Over time, Amanda has developed a fruitful working relationship with Dr. Mihai Scarlete, a professor in the department. One day, he made a suggestion that led her to the B.E.S.T. Projects Fund.

“Dr. Scarlete wanted me to go to the Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition in Halifax,” she recalls. “But I wasn’t sure how I could afford it.” Her roommate mentioned B.E.S.T., and soon after applying, Amanda was granted the funds to travel back to her native province.

“I hope to present the work I have been doing in the lab to support Dr. Scarlete’s research projects,” says Amanda. “For example, I worked as a summer intern to develop processes to synthesize thin films of silicone carbide material that’s used in electronics.”

“Going to a conference like this also means meeting new people and getting new ideas that will feed my research.”

But aside from networking and idea generation, Amanda has a bigger goal in mind with respect to her project.

“My ultimate goal is that my research will become my Honours project next year,” she admits.

Amanda plans on attending graduate school after obtaining her B.Sc. in Chemistry at Bishop’s. Mingling with fellow students and professors from other universities will generate ideas for her future path.

“I think experiential learning opportunities like B.E.S.T. are important for the same reason labs are important,” Amanda explains. “It’s one thing to be in a classroom and read and discuss, but it’s another to talk to people who have done what you’re hoping to do and seeing their point of view.”