Student Spotlight: Jacy Ball

Jacy Ball Photo

I grew up in a small town, Pine Knot Kentucky located in McCreary County, but attended Whitley County High School which exposed me to chemistry.  As a result I developed an interest in pursuing a science degree.  As a  freshman in college, I had no clue what type of science degree I wanted, options seemed endless. I came across a show on television called "Forensic Files", it immediately had me interested so I began doing research on that area of science.  Once I found out EKU offered a Forensics program I immediately transferred to that college to pursue my dream.  I have not looked back since and will be finishing my B.S. in Forensic Science (Chemistry) in spring 2016. I am taking advantage of the accelerated 3+2 program I will attain my M.S. in Chemistry in the fall of 2017. I wanted to do an internship.  A mentor identified the Pathway program run by the US government.  I applied and was fortunate enough to qualify for an internship at the United States Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington D.C. which began in the summer of 2014, I am starting my second year.  My internship was picked up by the Center for Corrosion Science and Engineering Branch.  I work in the Analytical Laboratory that addresses a wide spectrum of developmental and applied projects.  Some of these projects validate new organic formulations used as the basis for new coatings or chemicals, while other projects address material failures in the US Navy Fleet.  The group I work in derive answers to mitigate those failures and identify ways to take future corrective actions that will allow the US Warfighter to do their mission.  Forensics is a significant part of the work I get to do at NRL I get to look at the big picture and help figure out what the mechanism of failure might be.  The internship has exposed me to the real working side of a scientific institution.  The Pathway program has afforded me the opportunity to stay at NRL upon completion of my degree which means I have a good job at the end of my college career, that's the best part.

Published on June 30, 2015