October 2006 College Student of the Month
BY KELLY FITZGERALD
Tyler N. Winkelman, University of St. Thomas
“Tyler is an outstanding student, an extremely accomplished researcher and a wonderful person.
Most Minnesotans claim complete disassociation (or pure loathing) for the movie “Fargo,” but we’re not ashamed to call one of their locals our own. Tyler Winkelman, a 21-year-old Fargo native, is now a senior at St. Thomas University in St. Paul, and without a doubt, represents the best of Minnesota’s upper-level education.
“UST was attractive because it was close enough to home that I could easily visit when I wanted, while still allowing me to experience a new city and meet many new people,” Tyler says. “I liked that UST was a liberal arts University because I was able to take very interesting classes that I otherwise probably would not have taken.”
Tyler’s awards and recognitions over just three years at UST are no less than amazing: Leading E.D.G.E. Award (biology department); Chemistry Catalyst Award; Board of Trustee Academic Scholarship; Delta Epsilon Sigma member (National Scholastic Honor Society); American Chemical Society Polyed Organic Chemistry Award; First place, 2005 Department of Chemistry Summer Research Symposium; and lastly, the William H. Larson Scholarship (chemistry department).
Tyler says he doesn’t regret taking a single class. “All the professors I’ve taken classes from have been top notch.”
One such professor, Dr. J. Thomas Ippoliti, has been there to witness some of Tyler’s best—and perhaps most notable—work.
“Tyler has performed undergraduate research since the summer after his freshman year. The work he did that summer is the basis of a patent by a prominent international medical device corporation. Tyler synthesized five new antibiotic compounds during the second summer he worked in my lab (each antibiotic required a complex seven step synthesis). He then turned down a lucrative off campus job to work in our lab this past summer, when Tyler nearly completed the synthesis of a biodegradable drug releasing polymer (the subject of another patent application). That project is ongoing at this time and will be completed soon,” Ippoliti says.
From the sounds of it, Tyler will have no problem finishing this project. And yet, Tyler isn’t spending all his days indoors and in the books. That’s perhaps what’s most impressive about him.
Tyler’s played intramural football, basketball, volleyball, kickball and dodgeball. He was the VP of Administration on the Brady Hall council and general committee member in the Residence Hall Association. Add to the list his tutoring of third graders through Tutor-Mentor, serving on the Student Alumni Council and the exec board for the Chemistry club, not to mention, playing in the Brass Choir and traveling for gigs, and it’s a wonder how he fits everything in.
“I’ve had great opportunities to get involved in the campus and community,” Tyler says. “I have met so many great people and really enjoy my life outside of school as well.”
As if his extracurricular commitments and academic goals aren’t enough, Tyler trained all summer long and is running the Twin Cities marathon on October 1st (he ran before work during the summer and will now run before class). He also took the MCAT in August and will be applying to Medical Schools this year.
With so many experiences and activities, it’s hard to know what Tyler will cherish most from his college years. Two memories that strike him are the band’s trip to Japan freshman year, or his appearance at the National American Chemical Society’s meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, where he presented his antimicrobial research at the Undergraduate Poster Session. Or perhaps it will be those relaxing days spent barbequing and playing Washers with friends that will sit with him the longest.
One thing is clear though: Tyler Winkelman will do great things and go far—we just hope he doesn’t cross back over the border, into Fargo. We’d rather keep his excellence closer to home.