LA GRANDE, Ore. – The corridors of Badgley Hall will feel a bit different after June 11 as chemistry club president and unofficial science mentor Brady Layman takes the next step towards a bright future in academia.
Layman, originally from Gresham Oregon, is the 2022 recipient of the Eastern Oregon University President’s Scholar.
“It feels amazing. My mom was a first-generation student, she came to EOU for her biology degree. So, me coming to EOU again for science and then receiving this award I think shows the power of education. I’m very honored to receive it and I’m very happy that I’ve had such an impact on the community that people have noticed,” he said.
Majoring in biology and chemistry/biochemistry, Layman has had an influential and informative time at EOU, developing his scientific prowess over the years and working toward passing on that experience and enthusiasm to the next generation science majors.
“I came in here not sure of myself and quickly found that I can become a competent young scientist through my research that I’m really passionate about and that I had the opportunity to give the keynote at spring symposium for. I’m really passionate about outreach for the chemistry club and targeting youth that are underserved often out here and also leading toward more professional development events,” he said.
Part of his academic and outreach journey involved ample travel and interdisciplinary research, such as conducting a beer analysis for Side A brewing in the instrument analysis course and attending research conferences across the country.
“This past year we went to San Diego with thirteen students and two faculty. We got to present research, network with all the other schools that were like EOU that have more of a research focus. That was really fun and getting to bring freshmen and sophomores on that trip was really special,” he said.
Furthering his interest in outreach, Layman has also been accepted for a Ross Fellow (Recruitment Fellowship) in analytical chemistry at Purdue University where he plans to shift toward a teaching and research focus.
“I’m leaning more toward academia now, so going more toward the professor route. Whether that be a school like here or more of a research-level 1” (R1) “institution is to be decided,” he said.
Setting the foundation for his future career in academia was his work on an aquaculture bacterial biosensor.
“That long term research ability led me to success like getting into Purdue and getting a fellowship. My academic journey outside of chemistry was really underpinned by that project. It was the one that brought it all together. We combined techniques from chemistry, physics, and biology all into one project so it became interdisciplinary,” he said.
Part of his success was also attributed to the enthusiasm and support of EOU faculty from the biology and chemistry departments, who helped foster his research and learning experiences.
“Here, the faculty have really spearheaded my ability to do research and be a part of the chemistry club, so we have such special faculty that are really passionate about student success.”
As with each President’s Scholar recipients, Layman will deliver a speech at the EOU commencement ceremony June 11.
“The speech is meant to appeal to everybody by using personal short stories about my time here. It primarily focuses on community, how being in a community is important and, once you reach seniority, so is giving back to the community,” he said.
Find more information about Commencement proceedings at eou.edu/commencement.
Written by PR intern Garrett Christensen.