Elliott Anderson '22 receives a $50,000 Cottrell Post-baccalaureate Award
The award will support his research investigating peptoid-membrane interactions under Professor Grace Stokes
By Catherine Joy ’23
Senior Elliott Anderson (Chemistry) received a $50,000 Cottrell Post-baccalaureate Award from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement. This past summer, Anderson learned how to utilize Professor Grace Stokes’ laser and surface analysis equipment in the new Sobrato Campus for Discovery and Innovation. This award will help fund twelve months of his research continuing to investigate peptoid-membrane interactions using a combination of cutting-edge analytical methods including second harmonic generation, Langmuir trough, Raman, and infrared spectroscopies in Professor Stokes’ lab.
Working in the lab will hone Anderson’s chemist skills, as well as grant him the freedom to explore new areas of research full time without the added workload of classes on the side. “The opportunity to present and publish my work will allow me to have access to a wider variety of career paths after this year which will be invaluable down the road,” he says.
Like many Santa Clara University students, Anderson took several of his undergraduate laboratory courses online due to COVID-19. “Next year is going to be a valuable learning experience to get more hands-on research experience working in a laboratory setting,” he explains. “Being able to work in a lab for the next year will more than supplement the time I was unable to do so while on campus.”
Ironically, Professor Stokes was Anderson’s Chemistry 11 professor during the fall quarter of his first year. “I remember her presenting about her research on the first day and thinking that the laser lab sounded like an awesome place to work,” he recalls. Almost three years later, he took a class with her again, and is now working in that very lab. “I’m sure my freshman year self would get a kick out of that!”
As he concludes his final undergraduate year at SCU, Anderson is incredibly grateful to be receiving this award, saying, “I would not have been able to have access to the opportunity if it wasn’t for the awesome guidance of Dr. Stokes and all the wonderful staff here at SCU.”