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May 12, 2016
Drake Beery has his sights on continuing his education and playing a role in the advancement of science after graduating from Northwest Missouri State University this spring with his bachelor’s degree in nanoscience with an emphasis in nanoscale chemistry.
Beery, of Smithville, Missouri, began his college career in 2011 at Metropolitan Community College-Maple Woods in Kansas City, Missouri, without a clear idea of the career path he wanted to take.
An advertisement for Northwest’s nanoscience program piqued his interest and he transferred to Northwest in 2013 with the assistance of a scholarship.
“I just thought that was the next step,” he said. “I received a scholarship and was eager to see what else was out there. I wanted something more and saw that in Northwest. I looked through the majors offered at the time and the new nano program advertisement video caught my eye.”
To that point, Beery hadn’t given much thought to entering the science field.
“I was like, ‘Wow, that sounds interesting and cool, and I might be able to do something with that in the future so I went with it,” he said, adding the prospect of building a sustainable career in the field also appealed to him.
“It just seemed like it was not traditional science,” Beery said. “It was one step further, and it’s exciting because everything is new in this field. People are still making new discoveries every day.”
Beery found his place at Northwest in a variety of student organizations. He served as the vice president of Northwest’s student affiliate chapter of the American Chemical Society and was a member of the Gamma Sigma Epsilon chemistry honor society. He was a member of Mortar Board, National Society of Leadership and Success, and Tau Kappa Epsilon.
He also gained profession-based experience by collaborating on research with faculty members, including Associate Professor of Chemistry Dr. Mohammed Meziani. Their research involving nanotechnology and spectroscopic techniques to analyze drinking water samples is due to be published in an upcoming scientific journal.
“That really opened my eyes to lab work and to be able to do things with chemistry and science that I never thought I could do or would do,” Beery said. “I’ve gotten a lot of experience. I feel like I’m ready to go out and do things for myself now.”
Beery says his experience at Northwest helped him develop leadership skills and understand the commitment needed to succeed. He challenged himself in upper level courses and began mentoring younger students to continue his research as he leaves Northwest.
Beery said earning a college degree was a necessary step toward realizing his career goals.
“I know it’s an important stepping stone in moving forward and to accomplish goals that I couldn’t have done without the degree and the training,” Beery said. “Hopefully, I can do something in science that makes a difference.”
Beery is exploring employment opportunities in the chemistry field as well as graduate school options to further his studies of nanochemistry.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
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