A portion of Jennifer's winning essay:
Every chemistry and geology class I took during my undergraduate education only affirmed that science was the best career for me. Not only did I find great satisfaction in the discovery phase of laboratory work, I also found an incredible love for sharing what I had learned within the small venue of study groups. However, I had not yet found in what aspect of chemistry or geology I wanted to focus, that is, until I attended my first class in Physical Chemistry (Quantum). I had never before felt such reverence for a subject. I found it to be complex, stimulating, difficult, thought provoking and abstract, and after taking Thermodynamics the second semester, I was even more captivated.
Since then, I have been driven by wanting to pursue a PhD in Physical Chemistry, not only for the research aspects of discovery, but also for the opportunity to someday share what I have learned with my own students. I have come through my life, thus far, realizing that every person has the potential to do anything they want as long as they believe in their abilities. I understand that I chose to believe my high-school chemistry teacher and that belief kept me from pursuing my goals when I was younger; however, I now see what he said as a positive part of what brought me to where I am today. I see the great responsibility and influence teachers have on the beliefs and ideas of their students and because of my experiences and what I have overcome I want to influence my students to see their own potentials and inherent abilities. Enabling minds is one of the gifts I want to give for the many I have received. My goal is to have that opportunity ,and I have been on that path ever since.