Cassandra Porter's Story

Cassandra Porter is an outstanding and talented chemical engineering undergraduate student performing membrane research in Dr. Dibakar Bhattacharyya’s lab under NSF EPSCoR, NIH-NIEHS-SRC, and Center of Membrane Sciences. She is currently doing research in the area of nanofiltration and porin based membranes.  
       As she begins, she stresses that her story is one of inertia. Even so she says, "I have kept going, and as I travel down the path, surprising and encouraging events have added to my momentum. I wish to keep going further, and, above all, to find myself in a career that I find thrilling and that utilizes my talents to their fullest." She says at seven years old to her mom that she will become a ballerina. She did pursue that talent even during her educational experience and her classmates voting her most likely to join NASA because of her reputation as a science aficionado. She goes on to say she had metaphorically joined the circus, except this time, to her surprised her peers were her fellow ballerinas and as an apprentice dancer in Alabama Ballet she would dance every day from 9 a.m. to 5 pm; and work every other day from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. she worked at a fine dining restaurant job. However, from dance to science is not such a long leap. She goes on to say, her deeply-rooted artistic talents and interests easily evolved into scientific curiosity, and vice versa. As a young child, the scientific and artistic projects she adored so much were categorically indistinguishable to her. A cake in which she patterned swirls of rainbow icing very soon transitioned into a study of gas-producing chemical reactions. Sitting at the piano composing a song soon left her with questions of how instruments make sound. She could not accept that the world just existed and had no deeper explanations. She says both her art studies and science projects, at their root, were experimental investigations that she conducted in order to produce either an aesthetically pleasing piece or some answers to her ever-rising questions. She says thankfully, she accredits that her electrical engineering parents enjoyed explaining phenomena on a simultaneously basic and extraordinary molecular level and she listened.  To follow Cass’s full story click here.

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Cass Porter wins Separations Division Undergraduate Poster Competition Award at the Annual AIChE Student Conference in Salt Lake City, UT.

Research was funded by NSF KY EPSCoR Program.