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First Year Graduate Student Gives Talk at Alma Mater

Tanei Ricks (first from right) with students at GRU.

Tanei Ricks (first from right) with students at GRU.

Tanei Ricks, a first year graduate student at Professor Best‘s group went back to his Alma Mater, Georgia Regents University (GRU), on Wednesday, June 12 to give a talk about graduate school preparations to students in the Summer Scholars Program sponsored by the NSF through CURS (Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship) at GRU.

Ricks was invited by Dr. Andy Hauger, director of the summer program, as an alumnus and former recipient of the Savannah River Scholarship (SRS). Ricks was also the first person to graduate from the SRS program and the only one to go to graduate school so far. Around 20 students attended the talk. Tanei shared his experiences at the UT Chemistry Department and concentrated on graduate school preparation.

“I feel like I’ve learned and progressed so much in the year since I’ve left,” said Ricks, “I feel like I was very well prepared by GRU to handle the pressures of grad school and perform at a high level so it was nice to come back and share my first year experiences with other students who are considering going down this road as well.”

Ricks joined UT Chemistry Department in 2012 and is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Professor Best’s group. His current research emphasizes on synthesizing inositol probes to study biological systems using click chemistry. Ricks recently received PEER Fellowship.