Sam was raised in the countryside of Butler, PA and received her BS in chemistry from Penn State Behrend in 2011. During her undergraduate career, she conducted research synthesizing hypervalent iodine compounds under the direction of Dr. Michael Justik. Tired of the snowy weather, she moved to sunny Texas A&M University where she worked under the direction of Professor Karen Wooley on synthesis and characterization of phenolic linear and cross-linked polymers for various applications. Looking for adventure and another area of research, she moved to Australia for 1.5 years and worked as a postdoc in material science in the laboratory of Professor Frank Caruso at the University of Melbourne. In September 2018, she joined Professor Jeremiah Johnson’s group to work in the area of polymer synthesis towards biomedical applications.
She is slated to start her independent career as an Assistant Professor at Texas Tech University, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, starting Sep 2021.
In her free time, Sam enjoys hiking, outdoor adventures, watching college football, and cooking.
The Kristufek Group is seeking motivated graduate and undergraduate students who are interested in working in the areas of polymer, organic, and/or materials chemistry!!!