Chemistry Student Phil Weiser '12 Shines Locally and Nationally

Philip Weiser '12 attended the American Chemical Society's Leadership Institute, where he met ACS president-elect Dr. Nancy Jackson.

As a sophomore, Phil Weiser '12 already has demonstrated not only an aptitude for chemistry, but also the leadership traits that will help ensure his future success. In January, he received a Student Leadership Award from the American Chemical Society, allowing him to attend the ACS Leadership Institute in Fort Worth, Texas. For the coming summer, he has been accepted by a highly competitive program at the Brookhaven National Lab, sponsored by ACS.

Weiser stood out from the start, says Daniel Libby, professor of chemistry. Entering Moravian with Advanced Placement credits in chemistry, Weiser began attending ACS local section meetings his first month at Moravian. He was elected secretary of the Lehigh Valley ACS section for 2010— the first student to hold the office. Fellow chemistry students also quickly recognized his leadership abilities, electing him ACS student chapter president last fall (an office ordinarily reserved for seniors). At Moravian, Weiser tutors chemistry, zoology, anatomy, and physiology; he's also organized the ACS student chapter to provide tutoring sessions and initiated chemistry demonstrations at a local elementary school.

Last summer, Weiser was awarded a SOAR grant to work with chemistry professor Carl Salter and Christine McCarl '12 on a research project, "The Kinetics of Iron (III) and Thiosulfate: Measuring the Rate of an Inorganic Redox Reaction." Weiser and McCarl presented their work at the 2010 National Conference on Undergraduate Research held last week at the University of Montana.

For summer 2010, he was accepted by both the DAAD-RISE undergraduate program in Germany and the Brookhaven National Lab's six-week nuclear and radiochemistry course program. He selected the Brookhaven program, which he believes "will help guide me in the best direction" for graduate work. Weiser is certain he will attend graduate school but does not yet know whether he will study chemistry, physics, or nuclear chemistry or physics.

A native of Kutztown, Pa., Phil Weiser says he chose Moravian College for his undergraduate studies when he was junior in high school, soon after competing in the Regional Science Olympiad held at the College. "That brief interaction spurred me to visit again," he explained. "While attending a spring open house, I sat in on a genetics class taught by Dr. Chris Jones and premed sessions with Dr. Cecilia Fox. Dr. Jones' relaxed style, Dr. Fox's friendly and encouraging personality, and my interactions with the students made my decision for me. Before I left that day, I knew with 100 percent confidence that Moravian was the best choice for me."