Science opportunities have certainly played a big role in Will’s life while attending Davie County High School and beyond. Will was the recipient of the Davie Community Scholarship in 2011.
“The scholarship from Davie Community Foundation was a great head start and allowed me to purchase textbooks for my introductory classes, which I still use and are on shelves in my office!”
He graduated manga cum laude with a degree in Chemistry from Wake Forest University in 2014. He later attended graduate school at the University of Florida and researched for his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry, graduating in 2019.
After graduation he started his postdoc assignment. “Postdocs in Chemistry are where you continue to perform research in your field of expertise before taking on a permanent job. I had the privilege of being a postdoc in two different laboratories. I was a postdoc twice at Wake Forest (briefly after leaving UF and again for a few months before I started the job that I have now).
“The majority of my postdoc research was for the United States Department of Energy (DOE) at Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL), in Aiken, SC. Last August (2022) I started my career as an Assistant Professor of Analytical Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of North Florida (in Jacksonville, FL)” said Will.
Will’s passion for teaching and research continued. He started his career as an Assistant Professor of Analytical Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of North Florida.
He stated, “its very rewarding to be on the other side of the college experience by impacting student’s lives in the ways that my professors impacted my life just a few short years ago. I’m wrapping up my first academic year as a professor in the beginning of May, and both my students and I have learned a lot.”
As rising seniors and juniors are phased with many big decisions, I asked Will what advice he could give, he said, “My biggest piece of advice is to make sure to take some time for yourself. High school and college-when you get there may seem like the most important things in life, but you have to take some time on your own and be able to relax and unwind. It is important to work hard of course, but you need to be able to pick and choose your most important things to focus on, which won’t be possible if you overexert yourself and never take breaks.
“Another piece of advice (this one specifically school related) is to take at least one or two classes that you think at first you won’t enjoy. Some of my favorite classes that I took at Wake Forest I only took initially because they were required classes outside of my major. Learning from many different fields exposes you to things that you may not realize you actually enjoy!”
Will married his wife, Autumn, in January 2022. They have three dogs and bought their first home in August. They are enjoying life in Jacksonville and hope to pursue their first backyard garden this upcoming Summer. Your community is very proud of your personal and professional achievements over the years, and we are very excited to watch your continued growth!