John B. George Award: Nick Weires
Chosen from the Dean’s Award nominees and presented to the outstanding graduating senior in the college based on academic achievement and service to the university community.
Nick Weires didn’t come to college with a career in science in mind. Growing up in Eagle, Idaho, he thought for a while about trying to make a career of his guitar skills. Once he arrived at the University of Idaho, however, Engineering seemed a more practical pursuit, and Nick spent his freshman year living on the Engineering floor of the dorm as a Chemical Engineering major. Through a circuitous route that included a brief stay as an Economics major, Nick found his calling in the Department of Chemistry, and in particular, in the research lab of Professor Jakob Magolan.
In Magolan’s lab, Nick helped with research into the development of “green” techniques for chemical processes. Now Nick’s goal is to complete his Doctorate in Chemistry (he’ll enter UCLA’s graduate program this fall) and follow in his advisor’s footsteps of running a research lab at a university. “I’m really excited to graduate,” he says, “but it’s also a little terrifying. Graduate school will be extreme, I’m sure!”
Nick was recognized at commencement as the outstanding graduating senior in the College of Science, with the John B. George Award. When told about the award, his reaction is that “it’s fantastic – and unexpected.” It may have been unexpected by Nick, but it’s hardly a surprise to any of the faculty who’ve worked with him over the past four years!