Although most people are familiar with carbohydrates from a nutritional standpoint, they don't always realize that these molecules are essential in almost all biological processes, including inflammation, infection, growth, development, and cell signaling. As an organic chemistry Ph. D. candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I develop new chemical methods to make structurally complex carbohydrates in a more efficient manner so that biologists can more easily study their roles in the body. Prior to my graduate studies, I worked as a chemical analyst at a medical device testing company and as a food scientist at a food and beverage supplier. As a scientist and science writer, I have the responsibility to engage with the public – not only to communicate research but also to foster an atmosphere of trust between scientists and society. If I'm not on campus for research or science outreach, you can find me writing academic publications or science news for the general public (www.sbsciencespeak.com). In my free time, my daughter, husband and I enjoy crafting, playing volleyball, spending time in the woods, or trying the local ice cream shop's newest flavor. I'm a born and raised Midwest girl, so it's only fitting that I'm staying in Wisconsin to work for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this summer!