4 National Merit Scholars Entering Chemical Engineering

By: Ashley Duvelius

4 National Merit Scholars enter the chemical engineering program as they join the CEAS freshman class this fall.


Nathan Duderstadt

“Chemistry is the closest thing we have to magic,” Nathan Duderstadt recalls as his AP Chemistry teacher’s favorite phrase. The draw of this statement and having thoroughly enjoyed his high school courses in chemistry is why Duderstadt enters the chemical engineering program this fall.

The National Merit Scholar also took interest in his Web Design and Visual Arts classes at St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati but always came back to chemistry. As a skilled musician, he was heavily involved in his school's music program, the marching band and concert band. Additionally, Duderstadt was a member of the juggling club and Bridge club. On top of it all, he still found time to volunteer for Cincinnati Parks.

Choosing to attend UC was an easy decision for Duderstadt. He was attracted by its renowned cooperative education program, and also by its location in his hometown of Cincinnati. Duderstadt plans to become a chemical engineer at a major firm like Procter & Gamble, or at any of the other prestigious companies in Cincinnati requiring chemical engineers. Another reason to stay local came to him after participating in a mission trip to Over-The-Rhine, where he discovered a passion to help rejuvenate the aging infrastructures.

Duderstadt reflects, “Being a National Merit Scholar for me is an opportunity. Alone this isn't really an accomplishment so much as an indicator. It tells me that I have great academic potential and more importantly, it tells the university I have potential. A lot will be expected of me but that potential should open doors for me and soon I can make meaningful accomplishments.”

The self-described perceptive, creative and entertaining Duderstadt will no doubt make his mark on Cincinnati in the future.

Incoming chemical engineering freshman, Kathleen Colley, anxiously anticipates starting classes at UC this fall. The National Merit Scholar and Franklin, OH native thoroughly enjoyed her Bishop Fenwick High School classes in Chemistry, English, History and Latin. Even her most challenging course, AP US History, did not stop her from earning top scores of 5 on all of her AP tests. Outside of the classroom, Colley ran Track and Cross Country for four years and was captain of the team her senior year. She was also a member of the Academic Team and Latin Club.

Colley joins the ranks of CEAS students having several accomplishments in hand. She has won the Notre Dame Book Award, the William Otte Excellence in English Award, and came in 2nd place in the “Education and the Power of the Open Mind” school essay contest. Colley devotes her spare time to giving back to the community through volunteer work at the Franklin Area Community Services Food Bank, her Community Blood Center and the Lady Squires girls’ service organization.                                                                      

Colley couldn’t pass up the valuable programs that UC had to offer. After obtaining her bachelor’s degree, she plans to attend grad school. Colley’s overall objective is to lead a successful career in research.

Colley describes herself as a quiet, curious and creative student with the drive to succeed!

Also entering the chemical engineering program this fall is National Merit Scholar and Walnut Hills High School alumnus Daniel Nolan.


Karissa Schroeter

“Being a National Merit Scholar has provided me with the incredible opportunity to earn an education at UC. It’s given me the confidence to push myself to be my best both inside and outside of the classroom. I am so excited to be attending UC! I look forward to diving right into the UC community as a member of the bearcat marching band. I can’t wait to meet my new UC friends who will make this fall and the years to come the best of my life!” remarks Karissa Schroeter, incoming CEAS freshman and National Merit Scholar.

Schroeter hails from Jackson High School of Massillon, OH. She enters the chemical engineering program this fall after realizing her passion during her AP Chemistry, Organic Chemistry and Polymer Science courses. When she wasn’t challenging herself with AP European History and AP Biology, Schroeter served as a percussionist in the school symphony band, marching band and steel drum band. She also took part in Speech and Debate, dance, Student Council, Spanish Club, Chemistry Club, Interact Club and community volunteer work.

Schroeter sets the bar high for herself having already accumulated various awards. The National Honor Society member received the National Spanish Exam gold medal, the President’s Education Awards Program Outstanding Academic Achievement Award four years running and also a Cincinnatus XVI Scholarship Award.

Schroeter was drawn to UC because of its limitless opportunities in engineering and the highly-regarded cooperative education program.  Having graduated in the top 10 of her class, she eagerly awaits her future endeavors as a UC Bearcat.

The self-proclaimed smart, dedicated and friendly Schroeter plans to be a successful chemical engineer working on the cutting edge of her field.

The talents and dedication of these students are sure to continue the excellence of UC’s chemical engineering program!

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