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ISU Research, Innovation, and Creativity Insights with Dr. Cori Jenkins

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Dr. Cori Jenkins, ISU Associate Professor of Chemistry and Kyler Sayer, an ISU Master’s student in Chemistry, join Marty Blair, VP for Research and Economic Development to discuss innovative research on “green” chemistry. Jenkins and Sayer discuss ways in which the native plants we find in our yards are helping us break down plastics, and how natural plant compounds are being tested and used as adhesives…“green” glue. Sayer, an ISU student, talks about his hands-on experience as a student researcher, and together, Sayer and Jenkins explore how his ISU experience sets him apart from undergraduate research at other universities.

The ISU Department of Chemistry involves undergraduate students in all aspects of faculty research. Providing funding to support these students is always a challenge. The Department uses funds from the American Chemical Society to give students real-world research experience. The Project SEED (Summer Experiences for the Economically Disadvantaged) internship program, “...ensure[s] that students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds have opportunities to experience the challenges and rewards of chemically-related sciences.” “The interns will gain real-world research experience working with ISU professors and researchers,” said Dr. Joshua Pak, Chemistry Department Chair. “We encourage all high school students who have taken or are taking a high school chemistry class and meet the eligibility requirements to apply.” To learn more about the SEED program, click on this link:

We invite you to connect directly with the ISU Department of Chemistry to learn more about all the cool stuff going on in Chemistry.

If you are interested in helping to support research activities for ISU chemistry students, please visit the ISU Foundation website.

Guest Bio:

Dr. Courtney “Cori” Jenkins is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry. She received her PhD in Chemistry from Purdue University and was a Postdoctoral Scholar at the California Institute of Technology. She also worked at Ball State University before joining the faculty at ISU in 2019. Dr. Jenkins has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and the American Chemical Society. Her work is focused on developing more sustainable sulfur-based polymers as well as developing methods to break down plastic waste.

Kyler Sayer is a master's student in Chemistry at Idaho State University where he also received a Bachelor's of Science in Biochemistry. His research in the Jenkins' group is focused on the preparation and testing of glues made from garlic essential oil. Following graduation he intends to pursue a PhD in Analytical Chemistry.

Martin Blair joined Idaho State University in 2022 as the Vice President for Research and Economic Development. Dr. Blair began his career as a special education teacher. Then, spent two decades at the Utah State University Center for Excellence in Disabilities in a variety of research and training leadership roles. In 2013, he moved to Missoula, Montana where he spent nine years directing the University of Montana Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities. In these various roles, Dr. Blair has worked extensively across the U.S. to improve the quality of services, supports and policies for individuals with disabilities of all ages, and their families. <a href=""></a><br/>