Ana Narro, Chemistry Ph.D. Student
By Ryan Schoensee, Senior Communications Specialist
Meet Ana Narro, a Chemistry Ph.D. student at UTSA and former College of Sciences graduate student representative for UTSA's Graduate Council.
Ana started her graduate career at UTSA after graduating with her B.S. in Chemistry from St. Edward's University in Austin. During her last summer as an undergraduate, she started conducting lab-intensive research. This continued up until her graduation in spring 2017. Ana knew she wanted to follow that avenue and concluded that graduate school was the next best step for her.
She was initially drawn to UTSA because of its variety of productive research groups and interesting project opportunities. Ana soon came to appreciate UTSA's collective spirit and believes that it makes UTSA unique. "With this group of students, faculty, and staff working together, the sky is the limit on what UTSA can accomplish."
2021 marks the fifth year that Ana has been doing laboratory work under Zachary Tonzetich, a professor in the Department of Chemistry and graduate advisor. Working in the lab has granted her the opportunity to publish research articles in academic journals and present her work in various symposia. For most of her time at UTSA, Ana has also been a part of the Chemistry Graduate Student Committee. She served as Vice-Chair from 2019 to 2020 and was then elected as Chair for the following term.
Last November, Ana received the Best Poster Award for her presentation on "Mechanistic Studies on the Hydroboration of Internal Alkynes with Iron Pincer Complexes" at the 2021 Women in Catalysis and Synthetic Chemistry Conference in Austin, Texas.
Ana recognizes her work as difficult yet rewarding, though she did not anticipate meeting and collaborating with such self-motivated peers throughout her years at UTSA.
"From lab mates to classmates, great people from all sorts of backgrounds came here at the same time as me and I am so grateful to have coincided with them," said Ana. "These tough years of hard work have been so enjoyable thanks to the people in the chemistry department, and I am very grateful for them."
Ana recommends new UTSA applicants utilize the numerous resources available to both undergraduate and graduate prospective students. She cites UTSA's excellent student associations, support programs, and recreational opportunities for their curriculum-building potential.
"Faculty and staff are always excited to see students thrive academically as well as professionally. Take advantage of them!" said Ana. "It is my belief that choosing the right laboratory for you to work in is the most important decision for any Chemistry Ph.D. student, so do your due diligence when looking into the chemistry programs and research groups available."
After graduation, Ana hopes to find a job in the industry where she can continue to learn and grow personally and professionally. "I'm excited about the next chapter and what surprises might come my way; I love new adventures!"