5 questions with…chemistry PhD candidate, GSS representative Shu Situ

Shu SituToday marks the end of Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week at Case Western Reserve University—a week filled with activities and events, many of which third-year chemistry PhD candidate Shu Situ helped organize.

As co-chair of the activities committee for the Graduate Student Senate (GSS), Situ and fellow co-chair Adriana Popa focused their efforts on the planning of the inaugural formal ball, which was developed in collaboration with the Graduate Professional Council. More than 400 students and guests attended the ball, which took place last Saturday at Windows on the River.

Throughout the course of the year, Situ and Popa also organized an array of events for graduate students, such as: a trip to Cedar Point, a welcome back barbecue, a day of volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House, and the Spring Saturday of Service cleanup at Euclid Beach, among others.

Relay For LifeRight now, Situ is in the midst of planning an event close to her heart: Relay For Life, which will take place April 12-13 at Coach Bill Sudeck Track in the North Residential Village.

“I lost several family members to cancer when I was a young girl,” she said. “Relay for Life was the first event that I became involved with at CWRU, and it eventually led to my involvement with GSS.”

Situ’s journey to CWRU was a long one, literally. When she was 14 years old, her family made the 7,843-mile move from Kaiping City, China, to Ann Arbor, Mich., to seek better education. So far, Situ has achieved that goal. After a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from the University of Michigan, she decided to further her education at Case Western Reserve.

“CWRU has a great research program that is highly interdisciplinary,” she said. “I’m interested not only in chemistry but applying it to other subjects, like biomedical engineering. It’s rewarding to be able to see the process from the inception of an idea all the way to the creation of an actual product.”

The third-year PhD candidate bolsters an impressive group of young women in Case Western Reserve’s chemistry department, including Popa and Brittney Bunn, who recently was featured in her own “5 Questions.”

Situ works in assistant professor of chemistry Anna Samia’s research group, where they are interested in developing magnetic nanoparticle composites for improved magnetic resonance imaging, magnetic particle imaging and hyperthermia applications in cancer therapy.

Both in the lab and the community, Situ makes significant contributions to the education, prevention and eradication of cancer.

“My research and my involvement with Relay For Life enhance each other and helped me to come out of my shell during my time thus far at CWRU,” she said.

Read more about Situ in this week’s five questions—and don’t forget to attend Relay for Life April 12-13.

1. Facebook or Twitter?
Facebook. I tried Twitter, but never got used to it. I don’t even remember what my password is anymore.

2. What is your favorite building on campus and why?
My favorite building is Millis Hall. I like my lab on the fourth floor because of the view. I can see half of the Cleveland skyline and the sunset.

3. What is your favorite vacation spot?
Somewhere warm. I like going to new places. Right now some of the places on my list are in Southeast Asia, or maybe the Silk Road.

4. What is one of your hidden talents?
I recently started doing a lot of painting. I do watercolor painting because you can’t tell where the lines are, giving me some room to mess up. [Editor’s note: She will sell her artwork at Relay For Life to benefit the event.]

5. What is your favorite thing about Case Western Reserve?
I like that there are a lot of opportunities for me here. Case Western Reserve does a good job of focusing on the professional development of graduate students. I’ve been able to do a lot of interesting research here. My experience with GSS and Relay For Life has helped me grow as a leader and has allowed me to become more involved with the campus and surrounding community.