Student speaker will discuss the Linfield experience at graduation

Jonathan Williams, Editor-in-Chief

A chemistry and math double major will deliver the student speech at this year’s commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. in the Oak Grove on Sunday, May 31.

Kevin Romero, a native of Reno, Nevada, will speak at commencement on Sunday before he heads off to the University of Michigan this fall to start a doctoral program in organic chemistry.

“Having a liberal arts education has been super helpful … it has given me a well rounded and thorough experience [while attending Linfield].”

Romero’s favorite class while at Linfield was organic chemistry, which was taught by professors Liz Atkinson and Bob Wolcott.

Romero’s speech at commencement will focus on the Linfield experience and what it means, as well as how graduates can be successful after graduation.

He will also talk about how this year’s graduating class can continue the trend of Linfield alumni success as a millennial generation. He hopes his speech will be “meaningful and will resonate with the audience.”

He has completed many research projects in the past three summers, one at Northwestern University, another at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and one at Linfield last summer.

Some of his best memories he said came from his January term study abroad experience during his junior year with professors Christopher Gaiser and David Sumner in Mexico.

While at Linfield Romero has been involved in campus activities as a student ambassador for the Admission’s Office, a brother in the Theta Chi fraternity, an organic chemistry teaching assistant and through a summer research project with Linfield faculty. He is also a part of the math department’s Pi Mu Epsilon honors society.

Romero’s summer research project at Linfield last summer, which he completed with chemistry professors Jim Diamond, Liz Atkinson and Brian Gilbert, focused on molecular modeling of biological molecules.

Romero says that he has always loved the chemistry department and that all of the professors in it had a large influence on his decision to apply to a doctoral program in organic chemistry.

Romero originally came to Linfield as a pre-med student and decided after completing summer research projects to look into graduate school.

He likes the impact research has in the science community as well as the change it can create for society as a whole.

Romero said that if he were to have done anything differently during his undergraduate career it would have been to join Greek life much sooner and to have been a part of student government and active in more clubs.

Romero loves the research aspect of graduate school and has thought about becoming a professor at a small liberal arts college after he completes his doctorate.

Five years from now, Romero hopes to have learned more about organic chemistry and be defending his dissertation.