Brianne Dudiak holds a lot of surprises: The biochemistry & molecular biology/chemistry double major is a big-time football fan, she plays the marimba and she learned to embrace organic chemistry by attacking “horror stories” she had heard head-on. She recently finished an internship at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, which combined her academic loves. Learn more about her favorite class, where she likes to hang out on campus and the family connection that she sees driving her postgrad ambitions.
Clubs and organizations:
DICE (Dickinson Improvisation and Collaboration Ensemble), chemistry teaching assistant and Alpha Lambda Delta.
On choosing a major:
I knew I wanted to be a chemistry major after I took the midterm in my AP chemistry class during my junior year of high school. Taking a midterm had actually been fun for a change, and that experience set the subject apart for me. During my first year at Dickinson, [Associate Professor of Chemistry] Amy Witter encouraged me to add the biochemistry & molecular biology major as well, and that decision led me to focus on medical genetics in my internship this summer.
Organic Chemistry I & II with Professor [of Chemistry] David Crouch. I had always heard horror stories about organic chemistry, but after both semesters, it’s now my favorite class ever. I liked tracing reactions through their mechanisms and using a variety of reactions to figure out a larger synthesis.
Hopes/dreams for life and career after Dickinson:
I plan to attend grad school, possibly focusing in organic or medicinal chemistry. I would love to do research in either of these fields, particularly to focus on something like cancer or Parkinson’s disease, both of which have affected my family.
The Harry Potter series.
I love all of the Disney Pixar movies, but Toy Story 3 is amazing.
Favorite place on campus:
Anywhere in Rector.
Favorite Dining Hall food:
Nothing compares to the excitement of grilled cheese day. It is definitely worth waiting in line.
As a kid, I wanted to be …
… a dancer. That didn’t quite work out.
I’ve never been an athlete, so everyone always finds it surprising that I absolutely love watching football. I know way too much about the NFL, especially the Steelers, and I get extremely emotionally invested in games.
What appealed to me about my internship:
I [did] a research internship at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. I’ve always wanted to be involved with the medical field, and I’ve loved chemistry and lab work ever since I took AP Chemistry in high school. This internship just combined all of these factors perfectly.
My biggest influence:
My gram has undoubtedly been a huge influence in my life. She taught me to play scales on the piano when I was extremely young, and it was her love of music that convinced me to take lessons when I was older. Without this, I never would have ended up playing the marimba or participating in any of the ensembles that have honestly shaped me into the person I am today.
Published January 15, 2015