Changemaker in the Classroom and Beyond

Submitted by Villanova

When it comes to pesticides, what happens in the Midwest, doesn't stay in the Midwest. Toxins travel from farms in the heartland to Alaska and beyond, with global consequences.

But changemakers like Villanova's chemistry students and professor Amanda Grannas, PhD, travel, too. They head to the Arctic each year to examine the contaminants, which make their new homes in lakes and snowfall. It's a powerful academic experience for students. It's also a critical scientific look into how pollutants from pesticides could damage fish and wildlife—ultimately threatening our food supply.

Research like this might be a rare opportunity for students at other universities, but at Villanova, 50 percent of undergraduates in the chemistry department are conducting research with professors.

"Our students are trained as scientists and educated as students in the liberal arts tradition," Dr. Grannas says. "The combination enables them to think through a problem."

A brilliant professor, she could be teaching anywhere in the country. But Dr. Grannas believes Villanova's commitment to teaching and research creates something totally unique: Unlimited research opportunities for undergraduates and graduates students alike, and classroom instruction from leaders in their fields.

Together, they work to ignite change globally. "It's the best of both worlds. It's why I came to Villanova."