2024 CBC Outstanding Senior and Excellence in Research Recipient: Kristen Roehling

April 28, 2024
Kristen Roehling
Congratulations to Kristen Roehling who was selected as a CBC Outstanding Senior and Excellence in Research Recipient.

Kristen Roehling will graduate this spring with honors, majoring in chemistry and applied mathematics and minoring in astronomy. Her time at the University of Arizona has been transformational for her as a person and a scientist. She entered her undergraduate career intending to focus purely on mathematics. Within a few months, she found her love for chemistry, and her plans quickly changed. She was inspired by the innovative research conducted across the CBC department and wanted to start participating in research as soon as possible. In the middle of her first year, she joined the Kukolich Group and began studying dimers in the gas phase using microwave spectroscopy. She has continued her research with the Kukolich group through the end of her senior year, where she has co-authored three publications.

One of Kristen’s long-term goals is to work in astrochemistry. Spectroscopy is a fundamental tool in astrochemistry, and she was excited to learn the basics of spectroscopy in her research. During her sophomore year, she interned under the Arizona NASA Space Grant program, which further solidified her love for astronomy. She also participated in the Air Force Research Laboratory Scholar’s program after her junior year, which opened her eyes to a different area of chemical research.

One of the most impactful aspects of her time at the University of Arizona has been the support of CBC faculty in her journey. She feels that every chemistry course she has taken was designed to set her up for success in the future, and the faculty shows immense care for the success of their students. She wants to give a special thanks to Dr. Adam Daly and Dr. Stephen Kukolich for taking a chance on her as a freshman and devoting so much time to helping her grow and learn as a chemist.

Kristen plans on pursuing a Ph.D. in physical chemistry at the California Institute of Technology next year where she hopes to pursue her interests in astrochemistry, atmospheric chemistry, and spectroscopy. In the long term, she hopes to work for a national laboratory, NASA, or Jet Propulsion Laboratory. No matter where her journey takes her, she will always be a proud wildcat.