Senior chemistry major Becca Toor’s time at Winthrop has revolved around two things: academics and volleyball.
Big South Conference head coaches chose Toor as the Conference’s Preseason Volleyball Player of the Year. She is the fourth Winthrop student to earn this honor. Her goal is clear: to close her career with a championship ring and a 4.0 GPA, even if it takes a lot of work to balance it out. “My studies are very important to me, but at the same time my team and volleyball also are very important,” said Toor. In addition to succeeding academically, she also wants to be the best player in the Big South Conference as well as the top student athlete on her team.
Toor, a middle blocker, finishes her volleyball career this fall and plans to graduate in May 2012. During her studies, she worked with Nick Grossoehme, assistant professor of chemistry, as one of two student research assistants. Grossoehme’s project, supported by a $35,000 grant from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, could lead to advancements in human medicine.
During her pharmaceutical research, Toor worked on how the streptomyces coelicolor organism regulates potentially toxic levels of metal ions in cells. One possible outcome of the research could be a new way to produce antibiotics in more natural and efficient ways. Toor said the research will “further my knowledge about different fields that are out there.”
“I believe this experience is going to help me because [Grossoehme] teaches me new things every single day and he is guiding me in the right direction,” added Toor.
After graduation, she hopes to attend pharmacy school in Florida or south Florida. Grossoehme is confident that Toor will do well in research and achieve great things in her future career. “Becca has been doing well; in fact, she has exceeded expectations … she has just been phenomenal,” he said.
Last updated: 08/03/2011