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Harvard Bound Ian Hill ’13 Combines Science and Service

From the Triangle to Mexico, Ian Hill ‘13 has been pursuing his love of science and service to others.

As a freshman, Hill began working with InterAct of Wake County for his Civic Engagement Initiatives project. He continued volunteering with the nonprofit organization for the remainder of his time at NC State and was recently named the InterAct Shelter Child Advocate Volunteer of the Year for his commitment to working with victims and survivors of domestic violence and rape/sexual assault.

Ian Hill during a recent service experience in Mexico.

“Through my time with InterAct, I have gained a personal perspective on one of our society’s problems that many find difficult to discuss,” Hill said. “I have been blessed to have been able to reintroduce some aspects of comfort, safety, and stability into the lives of the children with whom I’ve worked.”

Hill said he has been honored to be able to help the children he works with achieve many “firsts” in their lives, such as riding bicycles, throwing frisbees, and committing to their education.

Hill is pursuing a B.S. in Biochemistry and a B.S. in Polymer and Color Chemistry, and has had the opportunity to work in five different laboratories as an undergraduate. From the fall of 2009 to the summer of 2012, Hill assisted in the research of environmentally-friendly chemical processes for treating cotton, plant cell responses to viral infections, and cancer predisposition. In the process, he worked alongside Trino Ascencio-Ibanez, Biochemistry; Linda Hanley-Bowdoin, Biochemistry; David Hinks, Textile Engineering, Chemistry, and Science; and Melissa Srougi, Biotechnology.

“The diversity of research expertise at NC State has allowed me to explore numerous projects and to develop my laboratory skills,” Hill said. “In exploring these research topics, I have become keenly interested in a few, which I will take into my future research career.”

During his time at NC State, Hill had the opportunity to fuse his love of science and community work when he traveled to Todos Santos, Mexico and completed two service projects: one with Escuela Secundaria General, which engaged students in the sciences through biology experiments; and the second with the organization of the annual Todos Santos Por Que 5k race, to raise funds for the Palapa Society.

“The Park program has provided the guidance, connections, and encouragement needed to push myself further than I would have thought possible, and I will maintain this drive for success in my future.”

Hill will begin a Ph.D. program in the biological and biomedical sciences at Harvard University this fall.

posted 2013.04.25