Marisa Barilla is a fourth-year student pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry with a minor in Mathematics. She is from Avon Lake, OH, which is in the Greater Cleveland area. She comes from two generations of Ohio State alumni before her, destining her for a future as a Buckeye. She worked hard in high school to get into Ohio State, becoming the Valedictorian of her graduating class, maintaining a 4.93 GPA when she graduated, holding numerous leadership positions and being involved in clubs and sports throughout her four years.
At Ohio State, she has tried to maintain the same grit because she values learning and the importance of new experiences. She is part of the Honors & Scholars program at OSU, which allows her to take stimulating courses and stay connected to likeminded individuals. She is also a member of numerous organizations on campus, including Alpha Xi Delta Sorority, Chemistry and Biochemistry Club, The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and more that expose her to leadership opportunities and teach her networking skills. Recently, she was elected Outreach Chair for Chemistry and Biochemistry Club, and Treasurer of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.
She has been a member of Professor Bern Kohler’s physical chemistry research group since her second semester at Ohio State, which allows her to learn about chemistry outside of coursework and expand her experience in the field. She has also continuously expanded her experience beyond coursework through her experience working as a Peer Leader for the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, where she mentors first-year chemistry and biochemistry majors. She has earned numerous scholarships and awards from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry’s Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, including the “Sophomore Organic Chemistry Award,” which recognizes a top student in the honors organic chemistry sequence, in May of 2020, and the “ACS Undergraduate Award in Physical Chemistry,” which recognizes outstanding achievement by an undergraduate student in physical chemistry who is committed to a career in chemistry, in May of 2021.
She hopes to one day to attend graduate school, pursuing a PhD, with a focus on physical-organic chemistry or pharmacology. She is interested in drug discovery, characterization of molecules, and interdisciplinary science. Ultimately, she hopes to have a career in industry, research or consulting after college because she is excited about the idea of continuing to learn something new every day in her life.