Diana Iovan traveled a long way to join the University of Richmond’s Class of 2012. Going through the college search process in her native country Romania, Iovan learned about University of Richmond and decided to apply. She recalls, “I wanted to attend a school that would provide good academic preparation, allow me to get involved with research and present opportunities to work closely with faculty. Thus, the University of Richmond was the best fit for me.”

When Iovan arrived at the University of Richmond, she intended to study mathematics and computer science. But an introductory science course led by Dr. William Myers uncovered her interest in chemistry, leading her to double-major in chemistry and mathematics. Inspired by the field as well as her professor Iovan offers, “it is thanks to Dr. Myers that I have decided to be a chemistry major in college.”

Iovan took advantage of every opportunity available to learn from Dr. Myers, and eventually became his research mentee. As her mentor, Dr. Myers shared his knowledge and expertise of the field to Iovan and provided her unwavering guidance and support. Iovan spent two summers conducting research at the University of Virginia (UVa) under the leadership of UVa Professor, Dr. Dean Harman.

“The excitement I found from doing research, and the fact that I was able to work so closely with a professor here at University of Richmond have been of utmost importance for shaping my career plans,” said Iovan.  

In addition to being Dr. Myers’ research mentee, Iovan worked as a teaching and preparatory assistant in the Gottwald chemistry laboratory and served as a chemistry mentor for her peers in the Academic Skills Center. Iovan says it was “these opportunities that helped me realize that I would like to be a chemistry professor.” Iovan looks forward to one day helping students to understand and appreciate chemistry just as Dr. Myers did for her.

Her substantive academic experiences at the University of Richmond have equipped her with the necessary skills to explore more advanced topics within chemistry as well as enhance her scientific reasoning abilities. These dexterities will serve as an invaluable resource to Iovan as she completes the inorganic chemistry Ph.D. program at Harvard University.

“I am proud to be a Spider and I am really thankful to have had the chance to be a student at UR. I met wonderful people who were always willing to help me; I learned more about American culture; I was part of a very supportive and cheerful community; and, I was able to explore great opportunities that have shaped my future plans,” says Iovan.