XULA BUILD Scholar Featured in 2021 Journal of Undergraduate Chemistry Research

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Contact Info: bwashi15@xula.edu

By Brhea Washington

Quarterly, the Journal of Undergraduate Chemistry Research selects students to be featured in the publication. With 2021 marking its 20th anniversary, the journal selected Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA) BUILD Project Pathways student Holly Honore, highlighting her undergraduate research at Xavier. 

As a senior chemistry major, Honore was thrilled to learn of her journal feature

“To be honest, it was a great honor to have been nominated and have them reach out asking if I wanted to be featured,” Honore said. “My parents were also super excited and proud. I really appreciate the Journal of Undergraduate Chemistry Research for including me.” 

Since 2020, Honore has worked with her mentor Florastina Payton-Stewart, Ph.D., associate provost for faculty affairs at Xavier. Payton-Stewart’s research laboratory focuses on designing and synthesizing anti-cancer agents through organic/medicinal chemistry, which was the focal point of the research project. Honore plans to continue her current research path while also exploring another research interest near and dear to her heart—cosmetic chemistry. 

It was Honore’s love of cosmetics that sparked her initial interest in science and research. She says her fascination with makeup artistry originated with YouTube tutorials, but continued to evolve throughout her teenage years as she learned how to apply makeup. 

As Honore’s love of makeup continued to flourish, she began seeking out a deeper, scientific understanding of cosmetics. She knew there was much more behind the creation of makeup and pigments, such as the chemical processes used to formulate cosmetic products.

“After talking with mentors about my interests, I learned that there are scientists in the cosmetics industry—cosmetic chemists—who develop all kinds of personal care products, from makeup to skincare to haircare. I instantly knew that I wanted to be a part of this industry, and I’m exploring graduate school programs that offer cosmetic science,” she said.

After reflecting on her college experience, Honore shared that what she loves most about Xavier is the supportive and community-oriented atmosphere of the campus and the great opportunities afforded to students. She advises future Xavierites and BUILD students to reach for and seek new opportunities, and to utilize all resources available. 

Honore credits XULA Project Pathways with preparing her for success through its wide range of available resources and mentoring, including the program’s accommodating staff. She also valued the strong student-teacher relationships she was able to develop during her time in Project Pathways, in particular with her mentor Payton-Stewart.

“The BUILD mentors were always more than willing to help us, whether it was getting us in touch with programs we were interested in, application processes, or summer research opportunities,” she said.

The Diversity Program Consortium Coordination and Evaluation Center at UCLA is supported by Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health / National Institutes of General Medical Sciences under award number U54GM119024.
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