Hunter Gits (EC ’09, WCAS 2012)
“The Integrated Science Program (ISP) was a driving factor for my choice to attend Northwestern.” says Hunter. After his fascination with an organic chemistry course in the fall quarter of his first year, Hunter decided to pursue the subject more in depth. In my second year, he began research in Prof. Silverman’s laboratory where he performed medicinal chemistry research, working to develop selective inhibitors of neuronal nitric oxide synthase as potential treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. In the summer before his third year, Hunter continued his research in Prof. Silverman’s laboratory and decided to pursue medicine as a career. In spring 2013, Hunter was accepted into Neurasmus, a European Master’s of Science program in neurosciences. He received a considerable scholarship to study and perform research at two prestigious international universities. “I largely attribute my acceptance to my advanced science background and my research experience, both of which were made possible by ISP.” states Hunter.
After graduation from Northwestern in three years with a double major in ISP and Chemistry, Hunter went to Berlin to begin the Neurasmus program. Currently, he is studying at Charité – Universitätsmedizin, where he take classes in medical neuroscience and perform laboratory rotations. Next year he will study and complete his Master’s thesis at Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. Hunter says, “Thanks to my ISP education and learned skills, I am better able to address subjects at the interface of sciences and medicine.”
Rene Boiteau (EC05)
Rene graduated from Northwestern in 2009 as a chemistry, earth science, and integrated science major. His interest in organic chemistry began during his freshman year, when he began working in the Meade laboratory on a research project to develop zinc activated MRI probes. After taking an ISP geophysics course during his sophomore year, Rene developed an interest in environmental applications of chemistry, which he pursued as a summer National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) summer intern. Outside of research and academics, Rene enjoyed running along the lake, playing intramural Frisbee, being an active member of the Undergraduate Chemistry Council, and exploring Chicago. After graduating, Rene went on to research paleoclimatology at the University of Cambridge as a Churchill Scholar. He is currently pursuing a PhD in the MIT/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution joint program in Chemical Oceanography.
Tim Klitz (EC 87)
Tim graduated from Northwestern with degrees in ISP and Psychology in 1987. After spending 10 years as a graduate student at the University of Minnesota, and earning a PhD in Cognitive and Biological Psychology in 2000, he started his teaching career in 2001 at Washington & Jefferson College, a small (1400 students) liberal arts college south of Pittsburgh, PA. He is now an Associate Professor of Psychology at W&J.
While it may not seem on the surface that a Psychology professor would be using his roots as an ISP, just the opposite is true. Tim says, "While successful in my coursework in ISP, I was looking for someplace else to apply my science and math skills beyond chemistry, physics and biology." While an undergrad at NU, he did summer research on visual precursors to Alzheimer's Disease at Case Western Reserve University. Tim's research work at the University of Minnesota focused on eye movements in reading in those with visual impairments, including working on a computer simulation of the eye movement process in reading. While Tim, is not currently a publishing researcher, he uses his research background and interest in visual perception, cognition, and reading to guide students in their capstone research work in his department. Tim's ability to think as a scientist allows him to fit in well in the Psychology Department as it is housed within the Science Division at W&J. The expectation is that students leaving with a Psychology major have background in reading and analyzing research articles, designing and executing research studies with human participants, and reporting their results in various professional formats at the end of their capstone. Tim writes, "I am thankful for my ISP background in every course that I teach and every student that I mentor."
Interestingly, when Tim left Northwestern, he had no intention at all of teaching as a career: "I gained a passion for teaching as I paid my way through graduate school as a teaching assistant, helping with day classes and teaching night classes in Sensation & Perception and Introductory Psychology. I found some time (when I was supposed to be doing my PhD research work) to take some classes on the art of teaching, and that sent me on my way."
Tim and his wife, Jane Caldwell (also an ISP EC88 graduate), have now been happily married 16 years and are the proud parents of almost-4-year-old Erin.