Amanda Ritz

Coffee and Conversation with Amanda Ritz and Honorine Rouiller | English | Digital Narratives | April 16, 2021

Why FSU?

During visitation weekend for FSU in 2019, I received a warm welcome from the faculty and graduate students alike. I appreciated that the Analytical Chemistry program looked at you as an individual, considered your research interest and disinterest, and cared about you as a student.

Motivation to pursue a graduate degree

My true interest in science began as a young girl wanting to better the world for people like my younger brother, who lives with special needs. I wanted to understand the inner workings of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and the brain chemistry underlying it. With these motivations, I became enthralled by science and wanted to become a contributing member of the scientific community. During my undergraduate studies, I started on a pre-med track as an emergency medical technician (EMT) and quickly realized that this was not the right path for me. I felt more fulfilled pursuing long-term research projects than treating short-term patient health. I enjoyed the research development behind analytical public health challenges such as drug delivery, therapeutics, and biochemical analysis. My experience engaging in an REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) inspired me to continue into a chemistry research-based graduate program.

Importance and impact of research

Electrochemical sensing has shown excellent potential to make significant broader impacts in chemical and biochemical analysis. Point-of-care devices like glucometers, breathalyzers, and thermometers that employ electrochemical sensors are designed to be accessible, low-cost, and user-friendly. My work focuses on the fabrication of low-cost, disposable E-AB biosensors based on nanostructured gold surfaces. Future production of a low-cost E-AB point-of-care device would have considerable potential as an affordable clinical device.

Advice for prospective graduate students

Decide whether graduate school is for you before applying. Ask others in your field for guidance. Graduate school is tough, and if you don’t love what you do, it is even tougher. Ensuring that you are passionate about your research and goals is essential for success in graduate school.

Career aspirations

I aspire to pursue a career in academia that would involve teaching and researching at a university.

GradImpact Profile