Alumni Spotlight

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Dr. Magenta Julliet Hensinger
graduated from Millersville University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry and a minor in mathematics. She grew up in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, and chose to attend Millersville University to pursue an affordable and quality education in science. She recalls, “I remember thinking the science complex was so nice and up-to-date.” Hensinger discovered her love for chemistry as a teen. “In high school, we had an experiment where we made copper nitrate from silver nitrate and copper. I thought it was so cool how the silver crystals grew on the wire and that the solution turned blue from the copper nitrate,” she explains. She states that this was the experiment that made her want to become a chemist. After graduating from Millersville, Hensinger was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree in organic chemistry from the University of Vermont (UVM) under the advisement of Prof. Brewer in 2021. Currently, she is working as an organic chemistry postdoctoral research fellow at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, in Munich, Germany, in AK Ofial’s research group.

If it weren’t for the encouragement from her Millersville University chemistry professors, Hensinger would not have applied to graduate school. The professors in the chemistry department had a tremendously positive impact on Hensinger. She is especially grateful for Dr. Steven Kennedy, who was her undergraduate research advisor. “I greatly appreciate all the support and motivation he gave me while I was learning how to conduct research,” says Hensinger. Even now, seven years after graduating from Millersville, Dr. Kennedy is still an active mentor in her life. In addition to the chemistry department faculty, physics professor Dr. Zenaida Uy was a great mentor during Hensinger’s senior year and a source of wisdom when she was selecting a graduate school.

In terms of Hensinger’s proudest academic accomplishments thus far, she states that she’s proud of both the experience of defending her Ph.D. dissertation and being awarded the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Individual Fellowship (MSCA-IF) from the European Union (EU). She was also the recipient of the Mariafranca Morselli Leadership Award from UVM, where she cofounded and served as president of the Women in STEM Network. Hensinger has also presented at local symposia, specialized conferences (including the Empowering Women in Organic Chemistry scientific conference), and national conferences, such as the American Chemical Society. Additionally, she has produced five publications, with more expected as she continues her postdoctoral fellowship. Hensinger will be in Germany until at least April of 2023. Following her fellowship, she hopes to return to the U.S. to pursue a career in industry, specifically in a pharmaceutical company.

If you are interested in what research she is working on currently, Hensinger has prepared a short video:

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