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Support the UCLA Chemistry and Biochemistry student center so students can tackle society’s greatest health and environmental crises.
Emma Pelegri-O’Day came to UCLA in 2014. A Ph.D. candidate in organic chemistry (’18), she’d just left the University of Braunschweig, where she was studying on a Fulbright Scholarship. After weathering a particularly harsh winter in Germany, she was eager for UCLA’s sunshine and the opportunity to work with Professor Heather Maynard, whose pioneering research program is finding ways to stabilize proteins as they synthesize critical drugs.
But when she first arrived at UCLA’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Emma was surprised to learn that the Chemistry Library had been closed in 2010. That meant there was no longer a dedicated study space for undergraduates. “Undergrads have been sitting on the hallway floors outside classrooms,” she explains. “When I was a T.A., I didn’t have a place where I could talk to my students. They had trouble even finding me.”
That’s why Emma is excited about the new Student Center and Lounge, which is destined to become the heart of the department’s student life. Located in the former Chemistry Undergraduate Library in Young Hall, the 6,500-square-foot space will be repurposed for 21st-century scientific study and collaboration.
Emma says it’s critical for undergraduates to have this kind of dedicated space, especially a place for seminars. “Students need a place where they can meet speakers and ask questions after lectures.” The more students can interact with the faculty and visiting scientists after seminars, the better.
For $2 million, we will build a space that includes:
• A new seminar and conference room with seating to accommodate up to 140
• A student study lounge that features “study pods”
• Two offices for faculty and Teaching Assistants (TAs) so they can meet privately with students
• Two private study rooms equipped with projectors for tutoring sessions and group meetings
The Student Center will greatly enhance the student experience for thousands of undergraduates. Your gift will go a long way toward helping those students prepare to solve today’s most pressing health and environmental crises.
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