Danielle Meador grew up in Meraux, LA and attended Andrew Jackson High School. When she began in Chemistry at LSU she wanted to become a medical doctor because she wanted to help people. Through volunteering at a hospice she learned that she became too attached to patients to pursue a medical career. Meador began looking for a different way to help people, through chemistry. She decided to participate in a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program.
After completing her summer research program Danielle felt reassured that chemists can make major impacts on society through developing medicines, vaccines, and technology. Chemistry also helps battle hunger by helping to feed the world through ensuring the production of quality crop protection products. Danielle continued to study chemistry at LSU, receiving a PhD in 2014. Her research was conducted in the Spivak Lab.
Today, Danielle is a Senior Analytical Chemist at Syngenta, Crop Protection where she helps to protect farmer’s crops by ensuring the chemicals they using are of good quality. She spends her day developing and implementing analytical methods, and reviewing data to ensure accuracy as well as providing technical support to quality control labs. She describes her job as “feeding the world!” Meador sees hunger as a growing problem and her job improves crop yield by minimizing damage created by pests and weeds.
Looking back at her time at LSU, Meador says she appreciates the connections she made, the support of the people and infrastructure in the Department of Chemistry, and that she would not change a thing! Her advice to chemistry majors is, ”to find an internship or summer program in the field that interests you. There are so many avenues a chemistry degree can take you. With a bachelor’s degree, you can get an excellent job as a laboratory technician or formulations chemist, so an internship would be great to ensure that career suits you while gaining invaluable experience and making connections. Pursuing a higher degree in chemistry may open up different doors such as teaching at a university, doing academic or industrial research, quality control, and management positions.”
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