Alumni Highlights

A degree in chemistry from Radford University provides students with critical thinking, problem-solving, and foundational skills that prepare them for future success in many fields, including chemical industry, government labs, and continuing education in graduate, medical, pharmacy, and other professional programs. Our graduates have jobs where they help design pharmaceuticals, monitor the environment, synthesize and analyze high performance materials, and contribute to cutting edge research.


Graduates in professional school

Alex Atwood

Hi everyone, I am Alex Atwood (RU Class of 2018)! I am currently a 4th year medical student at Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine in Roanoke, Virginia, and I am applying for residency in emergency medicine. I had my sights set on a career in medicine from the moment that I enrolled at RU. The small class sizes, ability to conduct research alongside faculty, and seemingly limitless study abroad opportunities were what truly stood out to me.

If I could give any advice to current RU students, it would be to get to know your professors and the faculty in your department.  They truly care about your success and are always willing to help out. Also, get to know your peers who have similar interest and do not be afraid to reach out to previous RU graduates. We are always happy to give advice or help however we can!



Graduates in industry positions

Lauren Purser

My name is Lauren Purser and I graduated with a Biochemistry degree in 2019. Since then, I have switched from an organic synthesis position to a biology-oriented laboratory environment. I am now a contracted lab manager for the Antibody Biology Unit of the Laboratory of Immunogenetics at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). We aim to use cutting-edge technology to study B cells at the single cell level and to identify and characterize human monoclonal antibodies against Covid-19 and Malaria. In my position, I perform cell culture, clinical/diagnostic microbiology, DNA analysis, DNA isolation, DNA purification, DNA sequencing, flow cytometry, gene cloning, peptide synthesis, protein analysis, and RNA isolation. I also keep the lab on track by maintaining the instruments, ordering materials, and organizing the lab.

I love my position and I would not be where I am without Radford’s Chemistry Department. Every single one of the professors put their heart and soul into student success. The courses prepared me and the professors provided me with all of the resources I needed. The undergraduate research experiences that are available are so important! Your professors are your greatest resource in college, so don’t be shy!



Jazmin Valentine
Jazmin Valentine

Hi, my name is Jazmin Valentine, I graduated from Radford with a chemistry degree in Spring 2018. My first post-graduation job was as a Quality Control Chemist in the Finished Product group at Perrigo Pharmaceuticals (Bronx, NY) working with generic brand pharmaceutical products. At Perrigo I performed both quantitative and qualitative analysis on finished products before they were released. I used HPLC, TLC, viscometry, and optical microscopy to perform analysis. I am now a full time Quality Control Raw Materials Chemist I at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in Rockville, MD. Our site specifically, manufactures specialty pharmaceutical products like Benlysta (for Lupus SLE patients), Nucala (for patients with Eosinophilic Asthma), and Blenrep (to treat patients with Multiple Myeloma, a blood cancer). Aside from testing materials I take lead on several innovative projects that impact the working environment at GSK.

My advice to future and current RU chemistry students, is to take the time to not only get to know your professors but allow them to learn who YOU are! They have a great breadth of knowledge and connections that allows them to set you up for success. Do not be shy to make friends with your classmates. You’ll find that the small study rooms are the perfect places to be for homework, studying and catching a professor as they walk by to ask a quick question! Take advantage of the space around you, the labs are beautiful and fitted with great instruments and equipment so learn as much as you can while your mistakes are seen as nothing but another opportunity to teach and learn. Lastly, find your alumni on LinkedIn and follow us, see where we are, ask us questions, let’s build a network of great connections and opportunities!