My name is Allison Musgrove. I’m a pre-chemical engineering major at The Ohio State University. I am originally from Cincinnati, Ohio. I’ve been playing tennis since I was three and played for my high school varsity team; I volunteered with toddlers for three years at my church back home and I plan to do the same at the Rock City church here in Columbus; and I have already joined the Deaf Hearing Club at OSU to learn sign language.
I became interested in chemical engineering long before I even realized what it was. When I was in sixth grade, one of my neighbors came to my school and demonstrated a powder she helped develop with Proctor & Gamble called “P&G Purifier of Water,” which purifies water through simultaneous flocculation and disinfection. I was immediately fascinated by the process and by how helpful this product could be to people around the world. This demonstration stayed tucked in the back of my mind for the next four years, until my sophomore year of high school when I took honors chemistry.
As I began taking honors chemistry, I learned how our entire world can be broken down into elements and how this understanding can allow us to create solutions to problems that we find in our everyday lives. I decided I wanted to pursue a career in which I could solve problems using chemistry. That’s when I remembered the demonstration from sixth grade and decided to look into chemical engineering. I did some research on chemical engineering and talked to my neighbor, and I realized that this is exactly what I want to do with my career.
In the summer before my freshman year at OSU, I was offered an internship at the Greater Cincinnati Water Works Richard Miller Treatment Plant. I was able to work with other engineers on projects that actually affected the treatment process at the plant. I performed jar testing to test the effectiveness of particle activated carbon on MIB and geosmin and had the opportunity to write a report recommending the company switch from 30% Sodium Hexametaphosphate to a 36% concentration, which was recently approved and will soon be implemented. I also learned how to work in a laboratory and take samples around the plant. The experience gave me many useful skills and showed me how much I would enjoy a career in chemical engineering.
At Ohio State, I am a part of the STEM Scholars program. Through the program, I have the opportunity participate in a multitude of STEM-related activities and live with people who share an interest in STEM. I have also joined several STEM-focused clubs, such as the Society of Women Engineers and Women in Math and Science, both of which give me a great support system of women who are also entering the STEM field where we are in the minority. Additionally, I am involved in Engineers Without Borders, where I am working with a small group of other students to educate Gambians on hygiene and sanitation, and Engineers for a Sustainable World, where I will soon be working on a hydroponics project and teaching STEM topics to middle school students in the Metro School District in Columbus.
Over the next four years, I hope my education in chemical engineering at The Ohio State University will provide me with the skills I need for a successful career in chemical engineering. I want to use my career to develop products that can be used to improve the lives of others and I am excited as I begin my education, knowing that it will help me reach this goal.