Joshua Hollett is a Senior Chemistry Major at ENC from Saugus, Massachusetts. In his years at ENC he has participated in A Cappella Choir, Chamber Singers, and 2009 Summer Ministry, in addition to working in the Chemical Stock Room, the IRC and as an RA.
Hollett enjoyed math and chemistry in high school and wanted to employ those studies in detective work. He entered ENC as a forensic science major, which encompasses chemistry and biology in equal proportions. Knowing that he was more passionate about chemistry, he discussed his options with his adviser, and changed his major to chemistry.
While at ENC, Hollett performed a small independent organic research project with Dr. J. Williams. He also participated in two REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) programs: one at Kent State University in Kent, OH and one most recently at the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ.
The research he conducted at the University of Arizona under the keen guidance of Dr. D. McGrath, entitled “Synthesis and thin film study of novel cholor-indium phthalocyanines and naphthalocyanines,” investigated organic chromophores (the light harnessing layer in organic solar cells). In his research, Hollett synthesized organic compounds that harness light from the sun, and studied their absorptive properties in various morphologies. The hope is to mitigate the current energy crisis, utilizing the sun for its vast constant wealth of renewable energy. Perhaps one day, organic solar cells that rival their expensive inorganic counterparts in efficency can be constructed. The drastically lower cost of organic materials is why such devices are so alluring.
Reflecting on his experience, Hollett said, “My goal in life is to serve God in whatever capacity He’d like me to. If that means using chemistry to bring about more efficient means of energy to people all over the world in order to serve Him, then that is what I want to do. If not, I hope He leads me wherever He will have me serve.”
He encourages other students to apply early to these programs for the best chance of receiving an invitation to gain firsthand experience of what it means to conduct research at the graduate level. These experiences are enriching and will truly help students decide whether or not research is something in which they would like to participate. As Hollett is preparing to graduate this spring, he has been accepted to several graduate programs and is currently weighing his options, “I am excited to see where God leads me.”