Anna Krueger wants young girls to realize there's a place for them in science-related careers.
Krueger, one of the captains on the Hope College women's soccer team, is pursuing a career as a chemistry teacher at the secondary level. The senior midfielder has had a lifelong interest in the sciences, one that she credits in large part due to female role models who taught science at Traverse City Central High School.
“I like learning about how the world works. I see God in His creation and I love learning about (science), especially the chemistry in our bodies,” Krueger says. “I think it's important the next generation of students realizes the beauty in science. A lot of people think it's hard and give up.
“I think there are a lot of cool fields that you can go into, and I want to help kids see the possibilities, options and opportunities that are in the science field, especially for girls.”
Krueger is a three-year member of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Honor Roll, maintaining a grade point average of 3.77 while majoring in chemistry education with a minor in mathematics.
She made an impression on Dr. Jason Gillmore, an associate professor of chemistry at Hope, in the fall semester her freshman year, as she took his class on organic chemistry. Taking a course with primarily upper-class students, she placed fifth among the 67 students in Dr. Gillmore's course.
“More than being smart, you need to be very disciplined and hard-working to succeed in organic,” Dr. Gillmore said. “Challenging for all students, the time and effort and study skills demanded can be a particular challenge for freshmen new to college-level coursework. But Anna truly shined in that class, working very hard but never seeming to sweat.”
The following semester, Krueger took an optional independent synthesis project for an elective organic chemistry lab credit. “Anna chose a project synthesizing and purifying a very challenging photochromic dye for use in my research group,” Dr. Gillmore said. “This project became a real nightmare, but Anna soldiered through it, putting in a lot of extra hours with a smile on her face.”
Dr. Gillmore touts Krueger as a highly disciplined student, yet “incredibly humble and exceptionally good-natured.” He said she has taken charge of her own studies, going above and beyond the requirements of her major.
“Anna could have been very successful in graduate or professional school, or as a professional chemist, but she has never wavered in her commitment to pursue a career in teaching,” Dr. Gillmore said.
Krueger has a lot to be excited about in her senior year, as the Flying Dutch have gotten off to a strong start to the season. But she's also excited about the opportunity to student teach next semester. She's eagerly waiting to find out where she will teach. She says she made the right decision to come to Hope.
“Whether or not I made the soccer team, I knew I wanted to come to Hope,” Krueger said. “The small class sizes were attractive to me, I wanted to get to know my professors, and I wanted them to know my name. The professors really care about their students and their learning.”
By this time next year, perhaps Krueger will be sharing her love of science in her own classroom, and influencing a new generation of scientists.