Alex Saunders

Chemistry , ’17

It took a trip to Alabama for Alexander Saunders to more fully realize how extraordinary his education in the sciences has been at Wilmington College. Saunders is a graduating senior from Gulf Breeze, Fla., majoring in chemistry and mathematics with a minor in biology. Auburn University accepted him into its doctoral program in chemistry beginning this fall.

“The tools and skills I acquired at Wilmington College, I believe, are what set me apart from other candidates trying to get into Auburn University’s doctoral program,” said Saunders in a note of gratitude to his science faculty members. “At WC, I had exceptional professors in chemistry, biology and mathematics who kept me motivated and highly interested in what I was studying.”

Saunders shared a scenario he experienced while visiting Auburn when he spoke with current graduate students and others considering the school’s doctoral program. “They thought I was crazy for everything I’ve been doing here”: double majoring in math and chemistry, minoring in biology, serving as a math and chemistry tutor since his sophomore year, being a TA (teaching assistant) in chemistry lab, conducting research and the taking advantage of opportunities he had in open lab.

“I also have used most of the instrumentation Auburn showed us on their tour, such as a UV-Vis, FT-IR, FT-NMR and a GC-MS, among others,” he said. “These experiences are invaluable for me and I feel these have set me apart from many others.”

Saunders mentioned that, due to all these experiences, Auburn gave him an extraordinary opportunity to meet individually with a “highly esteemed” professor known for his research. He was impressed with the WC student’s background in math, chemistry, biology and research — which matched the professor’s undergraduate interests. “I fully believe that this was no coincidence and I have the wonderful faculty here to thank for allowing me to have this extra experience and enabling me to have an advantage even in a large university’s doctoral program.

“I am grateful for everything that Wilmington College has done to help me succeed.”