Chemistry alumni working with the CDC (from left): Avery Arndt ’17, Jessica Holmes ’15, Madison Brush ’15, Jonathan Michaud ’18, Komal Dahya ’15 and Nick Ehmann ’19.

Now working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), six UNG graduates returned to campus to share valuable advice with UNG chemistry students this past January.

Dr. Brad Herbert, professor of chemistry, invited these scientists, whom he taught, to share their real-life experiences working in CDC labs. “It’s important for our students to know how technical skills learned in these applied laboratory classes truly prepare them for work in government, pharmaceutical companies, or clinical laboratories,” Herbert said. CSM has a dedicated laboratory course for most lecture courses, providing 400 hours of laboratory experience needed to graduate with an American Chemical Society-certified degree.

Each of these alumni found their path to the CDC through the ORISE Fellowship Program (Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education). Komal Dahya encouraged other graduates to participate in public health research at the CDC through this program.  As a precursor to their Fellowship, several of these alumni performed undergraduate research with UNG faculty and credit the excellent lab and research instruction which prepared them as leaders in their careers.  

These alumni scientists are working in the following areas:

  • Michaud, is with the CDC’s Inorganic and Radiation Analytical Toxicology Branch of the Division of Lab Sciences.
  • Holmes, previously at an industrial environmental testing lab, now works in the CDC’s Clinical Chemistry Branch Lipid Reference Lab, as do Ehmann, Dahya and Arndt.
  • Brush is with the Nutritional Biomarkers Branch at the CDC. She began her career as a toxicology lab manager at AEON Global Health in Gainesville, Georgia.

Herbert is proud these knowledgeable graduates chose to pursue work in analytical labs. “Students like these are in labs today around the world doing testing and researching COVID-19 and other therapies.”