Lab Analyst, CITGO Petroleum Lake Charles Manufacturing Complex
Talitha Pitre is a native of Lake Charles, Louisiana, and a graduate of LaGrange Senior High School. She began her studies at LSU in the Fall of 2000 and was a member of the Tiger Band, a participant in the Minority Engineering Program, and a student laboratory worker with Drs Gambrell and Faulkner at the Wetland Biogeochemistry Institute. One day, while walking to the lab, Talitha met Dr Isiah Warner. Subsequently, she spent a semester working with a graduate student in the Warner Group. Talitha recalls, “That semester gave me the real world lab experience to prepare for a career.” Not only did Dr Warner become her mentor, he also connected her with another distinguished Chemistry professor, Dr Saundra McGuire. Talitha says, “These two people are the reason I am successful. I met with Dr McGuire weekly to help me with my classes and learning strategies. They taught me more than chemistry. They taught how to be a professional.”
In August of 2005, Talitha received her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. Today, she works as a Laboratory Analyst at the Citgo Petroleum Lake Charles Manufacturing Complex, determining octanes, testing water samples for compliance, and creating certificates of analysis for petroleum products that await shipment. In her spare time, she also works as a real estate agent.
Asked if there was anything she would change if she had her time again, Talitha said “I would have gone to graduate school for chemistry.” It is never too late! Her advice to current chemistry majors is to “utilize the academic and career resources available on campus, get involved in extracurricular activities, associate yourself with goal-oriented people, and get as much lab experience as possible.”
Profile contributed by Charlotte Moore and Carol Taylor