“I never thought I’d get into Oxford, but McNair Research made a world of difference. When I interviewed with faculty, we were able to speak a common language because I had hands-on experience.” -Kelly Schutt, July 2016
Kelly Schutt (BS Materials Science and Engineering ’16) is completing a Ph.D. in Condensed Matter Physics at the University of Oxford, where he researches new materials for affordable solar energy. As the first in his family to attend college, Kelly had no plans for graduate school when he began attending Boise State. That all changed when he discovered the McNair Scholars Program, which prepares first-generation and underrepresented students for doctoral studies. He soon began working in Boise State’s Nanoscale Materials and Devices Group as part of a collaborative project with Harvard University.
Later, he began independent research with support from the McNair Scholars Program, the Student Research Initiative, and professors in the Micron School of Materials. He says, “Boise State is unique in matching outstanding undergraduate experiences with professors who take a personal interest in your success. The knowledge, experience, and the relationships you build as an undergrad can take you anywhere in the world. The Honors College was pivotal in helping me transition to graduate studies at Oxford on a Marshall Scholarship.”
After finishing his Ph.D., Kelly plans to prototype radiation detectors at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado. With a little luck, he will launch a start-up providing safer and more affordable medical imaging.