Alumni Profile

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Bethany Klemetsrud (Waubun, MN - a small town on the White Earth Indian Reservation)

Chemical Engineering
Minor: Environmental Engineering
The University of Minnesota Duluth

Research Interests: Water Quality and bio-renewable energy

Interests outside of school/research:

I love to take pictures. If I didn't love engineering so much, I would become a professional photographer. Camping and hiking are a must when it's finally warm here in Minnesota. If I could I would spend my entire summer camping in the Boundary Waters, I would!

How did you hear about the program? Why did you apply?

I heard about the ACCESS program from the head of my department. He knew I had a passion for teaching and was always curious about research. He suggested I apply for the ACCESS program to see if his suspicions about me wanting to go to grad school were true.

Interesting things you did at ACCESS and people you’ve met

I am a small town person. Duluth is the biggest city I have ever lived in and being able to be in the huge metropolis of Boston was so exciting. I absolutely loved going on the Duck Tour and hearing about our nation's rich history. I really enjoyed driving the boat down the Charles River. I have driven boats on a lot of Minnesota's 10000 lakes, but never in a river in one of the largest cities in the country!

Favorite part of the weekend and why?

My favorite part of the weekend was being able to sit and talk with the grad students and hear them talk about their research. I really got a sense of the passion that they have for learning.

Do you think you benefitted from the program – did it help you in any way? Why or why not?

This program was 100% beneficial to me! I really had no idea what grad school was all about, and thought of myself as somehow inadequate when it came to the next level of learning. Those thoughts were squashed after being in the ACCESS program. I am now looking into going grad school and pursuing my dream of always being a teacher.

Prior to attending ACCESS, did you have plans to apply for graduate school? How did ACCESS impact your decision?

I had no plans of attending grad school after obtaining my Bachelor's degree. ACCESS definitely changed my mind and I will be attending grad school.

Are you planning on applying to graduate school now? If so, where?

I still have one more year left of my undergraduate degree, but afterward I plan on going to grad school. My top choice right now is Michigan Technological University in Houghton, MI.  I visited over winter break and fell in love with the campus, the scenery and the people in Houghton. I am a very outdoorsy type of person and I am confident that Michigan Tech can provide me with the “outdoorsiness” I enjoy, but also the level of education I am looking for.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?

In 5 years I see myself graduating with my PhD and looking for a job in industry helping benefit the environment. In 10 years I hope to apply for a Faculty position at a university satisfying my passion to teach.

Anything else you want to share?

I had so much fun at the ACCESS program. Being able to meet people from all over the United States and hear about their research and just getting to hear about their different backgrounds was a privilege. I am so glad that the head of my department persuaded me to apply for ACCESS. It was definitely a life changing experience. Without it I would not be so eagerly looking forward to grad school.