David Kempe ('12) | Chemistry & Biochemistry
from Tulsa, Oklahoma
David Kempe knew he wanted to do something related to biochemistry since he was a kid. He always thought he wanted to be a doctor like his father, a cardiovascular surgeon. As he grew older and began to have more opportunities to explore science, his fascination with chemistry deepened.
"It was something that I always loved," he said.
In high school, his favorite classes included AP Chemistry, infectious diseases and genetics. David also discovered he was a math person who liked things to be "nice and concrete." He found that chemistry made him think about science in entirely new ways.
"Chemistry is about looking at science on a really small scale," he said.
One of his most exciting experiences occurred right before he graduated from high school. As part of high school requirements, he did a two-week internship with the Oklahoma University Medical Center in Tulsa. Because his father had connections with the research leader, David was able to enter the lab and do advanced experiments with high-quality machines. His research involved working with a mouse thymus, a gland that is part of the immune system and is located close to the heart. He conducted a few experiments dealing with T cells, white blood cells that originate in the thymus. He was also allowed to dissect a thymus.
David looks forward to the research opportunities he will have at ACU. As a freshman, he has taken Honors Chemistry and found the class full of interesting challenges.
Coming to ACU was a natural transition for David, who was looking for a school that wasn't too far from home and where he already had connections. Since his mother and father both attended ACU, it seemed a good choice.
"I love it - I think it's a great place," he said.
ACU also offered David a chance to develop relationships with both faculty and students. "Everybody's so nice on campus," he said. "They really care."
David is not yet sure what he will do with his life once he graduates. He's thinking of working in a lab as a research scientist. He is currently pursuing two minors, one in counseling-based psychology and the other in Bible. He also is considering going to Oxford over the summer with ACU's Travel Abroad program for the Symposium on Faith and Film.
He believes he has found his niche in the chemistry department. "I'm really just there because I love science," he said.
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