ENMU Student Hopes to Make the World a Better Place with Career in Chemistry

David Arellano
David Arellano

ENMU Student Hopes to Make the World a Better Place with Career in Chemistry

David Arellano graduated from Eastern New Mexico University with a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary chemistry with a minor in biology in spring 2015. After graduation, he decided to continue his education and work toward a master's degree in chemistry at ENMU.

David chose to pursue a degree in chemistry because he has "always understood it. As I continued studying chemistry, none of the concepts seemed to be strange or alien; everything seemed to make sense."

His favorite class was "Quantitative Analysis" with Dr. Juchao Yan, professor of chemistry and chemistry graduate coordinator. David said the work was difficult at first, but quickly found a passion for lab work. "I loved spending the hours in the lab working through the experiments, then the hours afterward doing the data analysis," he said.

He was mentored by "the entire chemistry department," including Dr. Yan, Dr. William Cooper, assistant professor of chemistry, Dr. James Finley, associate professor of chemistry, Dr. James Constantopoulos, professor of geology, and Dr. Elliott Stollar.

David is a graduate assistant for Dr. Cooper's "Organic Chemistry Lab." He prepares lab materials, helps manage the lab itself and assists in grading lab reports. He is also a research technician for Dr. Yan's Algal Turf Scrubber project, managing and taking care of the site with maintenance and effluent transport and helping with data collection.

His favorite part about being a Greyhound is that attending Eastern teaches independence and self-reliance. "I've met students from other universities that will not get their hands dirty and need constant assistance. Here at Eastern, it's all you," he explained. 

His advice to students interested in the field is that "It is chemistry, the law of conservation, you get out what you put in. No one is going to do the work for you, the more time and dedication you put into your work the more it will pay off overall."

When asked what he hopes to achieve in his career, David responded, "What every scientist hopes to achieve, to make the world a better place somehow."

David was born and raised in Los Alamos, New Mexico, where he lived with his parents, older brother (who passed away a few years ago) and younger sister, who will graduate from high school and go to college this year. His parents own and operate KRSN AM 1490, a local radio station in Los Alamos. His mother also owns a floral shop.

David will graduate with a master's degree in chemistry this spring.