Major spotlight: Chemistry major Alyssa Holley (C’18)

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Alyssa Holley (C’18). Courtesy of Holley’s facebook.

By Julianna Morgan, Staff Writer

Sewanee senior Alyssa Holley (C’18) will be graduating with a versatile and unique set of degrees, majoring in chemistry and minoring in mathematics, dance, and Asian Studies. Holley’s high school teacher inspired her to pursue the chemistry field. From her junior year onward, she knew this was the path she wanted to take during her undergraduate studies.

When it comes to minoring in three different disciplines, Holley said the math minor goes well with a chemistry major and she loves the professors in the department, justifying her decision to study both. As for the dance and Asian Studies minors, Holley said, “I took classes within those departments just because I enjoyed them and figured I might as well make them into minors too.”  

Holley’s favorite learning moment in the chemistry department was on Halloween when she was taking CHEM 311 with Dr. Deon Miles. He told the class if they dressed up, he would bring a surprise. After recalling how each of them were rewarded with candy, Holley thought, “it was a good way to start my day and 9 a.m. class.”

Aside from filling her schedule with her major and minor classes, Holley involves herself with many programs and clubs on campus; for example, she is a shift manager at Stirling’s. Additionally, she is heavily involved in her sorority, Alpha Delta Pi, where she serves as the Membership Education Vice President and Director of Social Enrichment.Holley is also involved with the Arcadian Program, where she worked as an Arcadian leader last year and is a student panelist.

Holley performed in two of the dance performances this year, DanceWise and Perpetual Motion. When asked if her major and minors have helped her be more successful in her extracurriculars, she said, “I think aspects of both my major and minors have been super applicable to other aspects of my life outside of the classroom.”

After graduation, Holley will be moving to Boston to work for Dell Technologies at their storage headquarters. She will be doing data analysis work for them. When it comes to her career goals, Holley says she hopes to work her way up at Dell Technologies.

It is quite evident Holley is a successful Sewanee student. She took hold of her Sewanee experience and made the most of it. When asked what advice she would give younger students when it comes to picking their majors, Holley encouraged underclassmen to “pick something you enjoy. It will feel less like work if you actually enjoy the material you’re learning.”