Headed to Germany
Two students and one alumna receive prestigious DAAD scholarships to study in Germany.
Nicholas Gutsche ’17 was one of about 300 students from the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom who received a summer scholarship from the Research Internships in Science and Engineering (RISE) program that matches successful applicants with doctoral student mentors in some of Germany’s top research institutions.
A chemistry major, Gutsche spent the bulk of his time at the Max Planck Institute in Chemistry in the city of Mainz, where he explored the properties of nanoparticles — microscopic bits of matter with a range of biomedical, optical and electronic applications. “Nanoparticles are widely researched for various medical and pharmaceutical reasons, the main one being drug delivery,” Gutsche, from Wilmington, Delaware, said.
Nanoparticles have the potential to carry pharmaceuticals to specific parts in the body, making medications more effective with fewer side effects, Gutsche added.
Gutsche said his research experience at Kenyon under Associate Professor of Chemistry Yutan D.Y.L. Getzler, a specialist in biodegradable plastics, prepared him for his study abroad and helped him earn the highly competitive scholarship. After he leaves Kenyon, Gutsche may enroll in a doctorate program with an eye toward a career in medicine or research.
The son of a father from Hamburg, Germany, Gutsche speaks fluent German and has been to the country several times with his family. Being there alone to study and travel felt differently. “I think it takes an individual experience versus a family one to fully engage in another culture because you literally are doing everything for yourself,” he said.
He appreciated a schedule that permitted long weekends for sightseeing, dining out and attending music festivals. The institute organized barbeques and soccer games for its visiting students.
A Kenyon swimmer, Gutsche stayed in shape for the upcoming season by swimming two hours a night with a local swim club. “Swimming is a huge part of my life. I just love it,” Gutsche said. “It keeps me focused on a schedule, provides access to a great group of people, and helps shape my work ethic and goals. I wanted to make sure it continued to be part of my college experience when I was abroad.”
Gutsche chose to attend Kenyon for its research opportunities and academic diversity. “I’ve been interested in science since high school but was unwilling in college to give up studying other areas such as history and English,” he said. “I think maintaining a balance of study is important. Kenyon not only allows it, but insists upon it.”