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Chemistry Undergraduate Joins Teach for America

Katherine SharpIt’s again the time of year when the army of undergraduates join the workforce or pursue a higher degree at various graduate schools. When being asked about what you would do after graduation, many answered “travel”, “take some time off” or “enjoy myself”. The answer is different for chemistry undergraduate student Katherine Sharp. “I will Teach for America!” Katherine said proudly.

Graduated Summa Cum Laude as the top science graduate in the College of Arts and Sciences with an Honors Chemistry degree, this smart and beautiful girl was meant to do something great.

“I joined Teach for America to help solve the problem of educational inequity in this country.” Katherine said. “I believe every child deserves to receive a high quality education regardless of their race or socioeconomic status.”

Katherine was born in Lexington, KY and is the daughter of Paula Coyle Sharp. She has an older sister, Nancy Sharp Edwards, and a brother, Benjamin Sharp, who also attends the University of Tennessee. After moving to Knoxville, TN in 2006 she graduated from Bearden High School in 2007.

In 2008 Katherine became involved with the Navigator Campus Ministry at UT and has served as part of the leadership group for this organization. She plans to continue to contribute to college ministries in the future.

During her career at the University of Tennessee Katherine has performed research in the laboratories of Professor Robert Hinde (January 2008-August 2009) and Professor Craig Barnes (August 2009-May 2011). Her current research focuses on the synthesis and characterization of zirconium (IV) centers in a silicate matrix.

Katherine is assigned to teach high school science at a school in the inner city of Dallas, TX for the next two years. After that, she plans to either go back to school to pursue a higher degree or continue teaching.