After growing up and attending high school in Brewerton, New York, Daniel Lazzaro made the decision to attend LSU and major in Chemistry. During his time here Daniel says he enjoyed a “wealth of knowledge and great facilities” that allowed him to explore all the great fields of chemistry. He discovered a particular affinity for analytical and inorganic chemistry and participated in a research semester with Dr. Murray, an opportunity he says helped him to be more successful in graduate school at Purdue where he earned his PhD in Inorganic Photochemistry.
Daniel says a firm foundation at LSU is what allowed him to keep an open mind and eventually find what truly made him happy in the field of chemistry. Today Daniel works in Freeport, Texas for BASF, a chemical company. His day-to-day work involves ensuring that plant activities are in compliance with state and federal operating permits as well as coming up with daily solutions to keep the plant producing in a safe, legal, and efficient way. The problem solving skills he began to develop during his time at LSU are still in use today.
Having a fundamental understanding of reaction chemistry and an inquisitive mind he feels there is nothing he cannot learn. While he would not change the path to where he is today he does encourage students to talk more openly about their interests with counselors and professors. There is so much to experience and learn at LSU which can help point a student in all the right directions.
Finally Daniel offers three pieces of advice: "Get involved and get a mentor, go to lunch with professors, and try to meet the grad students." When these people share their experiences and ask about your future plans they are teaching and spreading knowledge they have already gained, so just listen. "You never know when the light bulb is going to go off and suddenly the things they are talking about apply to you directly and start to make more sense and cross your thought path." Lastly, "Do more than one research semester and if you can do them in a few different fields. You never know when your interests will peak in an area you didn’t even think of."
Profile contributed by Carol M. Taylor
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