Skylar Nichols

  • Class

    Class of 2025
  • Program

    B.S. in Chemistry; minors in Biological Science, Mathematics ( College of Liberal Arts )
  • Hometown

    Columbus, MS (South)
  • Involvement

    Service and Community Engagement
  • Social Media

  • About

    Skylar is pursuing a B.S. in Chemistry and double minoring in Biological Science and Mathematics. She is a member of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, the Luckyday Scholars, and the American Chemical Society. She is an Undergraduate researcher in the Inorganic and Organic Chemistry Lab. In her free time, she volunteers at the Oxford Animal Resource Center.

Get to Know Skylar Nichols

Why did you choose to attend UM?

I wanted to attend UM because I had actually heard about how good the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry was. I had already planned on attending university in Mississippi as well, so it was perfect. The campus is also very beautiful and full of plant life, which is an amazing bonus.

When and how did you choose your major(s)/minor(s)?

I chose Chemistry because I have loved it since I took my first general chemistry class in high school. My high school chemistry teacher was so supportive of me and encouraged me to pursue a degree in STEM. I also chose biology because I love plants and animals, and I think it is interesting to learn about them. I enjoy learning about how living things function and how that intersects with chemistry.

What would you tell a high school student about your major?

Being a chemistry major gives you so many options in the STEM field. If you are also interested in biology, math, physics, you can easily study those with a chemistry major. I would suggest a B.S. Chemistry degree to anyone who loves STEM because you will have a chance to take classes in all of the exciting sides of this department. You will be able to get a wide spread of chemistry knowledge. The research is diverse as well. My research is in an inorganic chemistry lab and the work is completely different from the computational or physical chemistry labs in the department. I think it would be hard not to find a group you fit into just because of how diverse all of the research in this department is. If you are interested in a career in STEM, I highly recommend starting undergraduate research as soon as possible.

Why is your department a special place?

I feel very welcome in this department. I feel this department is very connected despite being one of the larger departments on campus. I have met so many amazing people just from becoming more involved in the chemistry department, and it definitely makes me feel that I chose the perfect place to study.

Can you tell me about a professor or a class you’ve taken that has had the most impact on you?

Dr. Jonah Jurss has had a huge impact on me. I have done research with him since my freshman year. The research is on artificial photosynthesis and catalysis design. I am grateful to him for giving me the opportunity to work in his lab because I feel that the work is important for our environment and our future. Also, I do not think I would have been exposed to so much of the chemistry world without undergraduate research. The time I have spent in his lab has encouraged me to switch my major to a B.S. in Chemistry and inspired me to do more research in the future.

What has been one of your most memorable or enjoyable moments at UM?

One of the most memorable moments I have had is Mississippi Day. This year, I participated and was helping at the German Language Department tent. It was so fun to meet all of the people from the Oxford community who do not normally go on campus. I got a chance to explore the other tables as well and see all of the amazing programs and diversity that this university has to offer. There was also lots of food from other cultures to enjoy.

Apart from school, how do you spend your time in Oxford?

I like to spend time outdoors when I am not working. I love going to the trails and parks here in Oxford. Much of my camera roll is full of plants and animals that I have seen during my time on the trails in Oxford. Also, I enjoy volunteering at the Oxford Animal Resource Center to help the workers take care of the animals, and I love getting to spend time with the dogs and the cats there. This summer I have picked up crocheting, and I have already made a few hats and gifts for my family and friends. Crocheting is fun for me because it is so rewarding to wear or give someone something that you made yourself.

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