Student Spotlights

Trevor GrandPre

trevor GrandPre’s Fearless Pursuit of Science

Confident, well-spoken and knowledgeable are just a few words to describe ILSAMP student Trevor GrandPre. At the 2014 Spring Symposium in STEM, Trevor presented an oral presentation that earned him first place in the Physics category. Having had the honor to sit in on his presentation, I wasn’t surprised. I found out later from Victoria Simek, Associate Director of DePaul University’s STEM Center that, before the conference, GrandPre was debating between an oral and poster presentation, considering an “oral presentation a bit more daunting.” Obviously, Trevor had the ability to rise to the challenge. When talking about Trevor GrandPre, Simek says, “Trevor has been fearless in his academic and research career at DePaul University, seeking out new challenges and making the most of his participation in LSAMP, McNair and his other research endeavors”.

Like many science students, Trevor started out as a college freshman pursuing the goal of becoming a medical doctor. He took the required biology and chemistry classes, but when he started university physics, something changed. GrandPre states that he “found it [physics] much more captivating than my previous science classes”. Soon after, he started to consider studying physics. He did a summer research program at DePaul called the Chicago Initiative for Research and Recruitment in Undergraduate Science (CIRRUS) and began conducting research alongside a professor. That summer spent collecting water samples and comparing the dissolved solids via X-ray diffraction led GrandPre right to the path of Ph.D. instead of M.D. Trevor dove head first into becoming a physicist. He traveled to Dublin, Ireland to present a research poster at The National University of Ireland, Maynooth and attended the Euroscience Open Forum where he was surrounded by an international group of scientists. Most recently, Trevor participated in a research summer at Berkeley. There, he had the chance to showcase the skills and knowledge learned over the past three years in Physics and Mathematics at DePaul. Of his time spent at Berkely, Trevor says, “the professor I worked with treated me like his colleague.”

Also impressive about Trevor is his ability to encourage other students to pursue their own academic dreams. “I think that aspiring students should know that graduate school is competitive, but it is not impossible for great things to happen to them.” From an undergraduate degree at DePaul to a Ph.D. program at Berkeley, this attitude is one that has propelled Trevor GrandPre into his own accomplishments – fearlessly.