Mika Smith ’16
Mika Smith graduated from Ferrum College in 2016 with a B.S. in Chemistry and minors in both Forensic Science and Criminal Justice. A Dean’s List student, she was also a member of the softball team and of Alpha Chi, the National Honor Society.
Regarding Mika, Professor of Chemistry & Physics Jason Powell shared that, “It was a great pleasure for me to be able to work with her as she made the decision to transition from being a criminal justice major to a chemistry major with criminal justice and forensic science minors to better position herself for graduate work in forensic science. I also got to see her skills firsthand while she was working on a project funded by NASA where we developed formulas to make steel more resistant to corrosion. I am proud of what she has already accomplished since she graduated from Ferrum and look forward to seeing where life takes her.”
Mika is currently a candidate for a M.S. in Forensic Science degree in the class of 2018 at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her thesis work entails the analysis of commercially available vaping products through the use of Direct Analysis Real Time Mass Spectrometry (DART-MS) and Gas Chromatography / Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS).
Earlier this month Mika presented her research to a gathering of students, faculty, and staff for the Natural Sciences and Mathematics Friday Seminar. After her lecture entitled “Forecast for Life after Ferrum: Cloudy with a Chance of Vaping”, we caught up with her for a brief interview.
Do you have a favorite Ferrum College memory?
My favorite Ferrum memory really isn’t one single memory but more of a collection of them over the course of my senior year at Ferrum. The memories ranging from completing my senior seminar presentation to spending time with friends during “grad week” to the start of my current relationship and of course the feeling of graduating with a Bachelor’s degree. Ferrum is a place that will forever hold a place in my heart because of the many memories and accomplishments it holds.
Did you have a favorite professor at Ferrum College?
Ferrum has so many great faculty members but I would have to say Dr. Jason Powell because he mentored me throughout my years at Ferrum and still continues to be a point of reference. He is always willing to help his students succeed and challenges students to be their absolute best.
Do you have any advice for current Panthers?
Always take advantage of every opportunity that you have. Every activity on campus is there to make you a better student and a better person.
What’s your next step?
I want to take all my education and experience and work in a laboratory as a forensic scientist specializing in toxicology and controlled substances.