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Dr. Hiyas A. Junio, Class of 2011

I come from the Philippines, and chose to go to school in North Carolina because my aunt lives there.  Going to the US for the first time was daunting, so having a relative nearby helped assuage that feeling.  I chose UNCG because I was looking for a research experience that would allow me to go from natural products to analytical chemistry, and that turned out to be Dr. Cech’s lab.

After graduating from UNCG in 2011, I did a post doc at Indiana University, and then took my current position as Assistant Professor at the University of Philippines, Diliman.   I currently handle organic chemistry classes for both chemistry major and non-major undergraduate students as well as graduate courses involving mass spectrometry and medicinal biochemistry. I also have my own research group, with one research assistant and 5 undergraduate thesis students.  The interdisciplinary aspect of my training at UNCG really helped me prepare for my current position. I work in different research areas now and collaborate with people from other fields.  My research experience also helped me to become a better career adviser to our graduate students; I am well aware of techniques in other fields.

I think what I liked best about the PhD program at UNCG was the opportunity that I had to work with my mentors. I heard a lot of horror stories about ending up with unreasonable supervisors, and I am just so thankful that mine were so cool and generous. Their generosity, support, and encouragement made me more determined not to be a disappointing student. The mentoring that I experienced at UNCG is the same type of mentoring that I am trying to practice with my students. I hope I become as bold and as aggressive as my mentors in matters concerning research, but as careful and considerate in matters concerning people.  You don’t get to learn that in a manual.  You only get to see and experience it, and I am lucky that I was surrounded with people who are such good examples.

BS, Chemistry, University of Philippines, Diliman
PhD, Medicinal Biochemistry, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Assistant Professor, University of Philippines, Diliman
hiyas.junio@gmail.com

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