Anna Davis


Greensboro, NC

Academic Interests

Chemistry, Economics, and Spanish

Fun Fact

My first job was a ballerina!

I have been fascinated with chemistry since I took it as a part of my freshman year engineering program. Through that requirement my trajectory has changed drastically. I have spent the last three years majoring in chemistry and pursuing research with the future goal of entering the materials biomedical industry after attaining a doctorate in chemistry. Research has challenged my curiosity, organization, and pride as I have had to stay determined in asking
questions, manage year-long studies, and accept that discovery is only meaningful because of the failure that precedes it. I have covered areas from degradable scaffolds and tissue engineering, polymer therapeutics, and metal binding with Dr. Matthew Becker, Dr. Nathan Gianneschi, and Dr. Katherine Haas, respectively. In graduate school I plan to further deepen my understanding of bio applicable polymers and hope to utilize tools such as 3D-printing in that process.

Once I have finished my education and entered industry I aspire to stay connected to laboratory work, but shift into a position where I am determining the direction future research might take and communicating outcomes with business colleagues and customers. Because of this goal, I have chosen minors of economics and Spanish which will further my business and communications understanding, as well as pursuing extracurriculars that promote collaboration. These have included being vice president of Duke University Union Speakers and State, a campus organization that brings speakers ranging from comedians to politicians, working both as a board member and then director of diversity, equity, and
inclusion and as vice president of philanthropy for Delta Gamma Fraternity Beta Theta Chapter, and currently serving as the head of the vestry for the Episcopal Center at Duke.

Through each of these ends I have enjoyed the challenge and had a lot of fun whether that was learning the intricacies of physical chemistry, taking a course on Shakespeare and Financial Markets, or moderating an event with Margot Lee Shetterley (the author whose book inspired Hidden Figures). I am grateful for all the opportunities I have been afforded in my time at Duke and am excited to continue that education in graduate school before taking on industrial research.

What do you like about being a SPIRE Fellow?

The best part about being a SPIRE fellow is the community. I made some of my very best friends living in section our sophomore year and had such fun that we returned for junior year!

Anna Davis