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Reem Karaballi

PhD student in Chemistry, Dalhousie University 

You all are smart and capable in doing anything you set your mind to.

What do you do?

I’m on my second year of the PhD program and my project focuses on studying nanomaterials that can be used for many different applications for example cancer treatment or water desalinization.   

Why did you choose this field?

I always knew that I wanted to study science, but I wasn’t sure what I really wanted until I went to University. On my second year of my undergrad, a friend of mine suggested doing research in a chemistry lab and I decided to give it a try, and it was the best decision I’ve ever made. The day I started research in a chemistry lab, my life completely changed and I knew I wanted to pursue chemistry. My supervisor from Saint Mary’s University (Dr. Brosseau) was my role model and I always looked up to her. 

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

I wish younger me would have known that reaching out to people and asking questions is necessary to become successful. I wish younger me would have known that with determination everything can be possible. 

Why do you love working in STEM?

"I always look forward to helping people in anything possible."

I love working in STEM because I think we all have the same struggles, and sometimes sharing these struggles can be very helpful. Therefore, I know that my experience can be useful to other young scientists in STEM.

Best advice for the next generation

Be confident and don’t doubt yourself. I always struggled with doubting by myself and thinking I’m not good enough. However, you all are smart and capable in doing anything you set your mind to. Therefore, always believe in yourself and have role models that you look up to and make sure you seek help from them whenever you need it. 

Role models 

My role models are my parents and my two supervisors and mentors (Dr. Brosseau/Dr. Dasog)