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Alaina Metzler '25

Chemistry major

The faculty members at Mount Union have had the biggest impact on my collegiate experience, helping me build my skillset.


B. S. Chemistry


Geneva, Ohio

Other Interest

Presidential Scholarship Recipient

Why Mount?

As a Student Ambassador, I get asked this question a lot. My go-to response: the people. I have met some of my closest friends during my time at Mount and have loved being surrounded by like-minded people every step of the way. Both professors and peers want to see one another succeed, continuously challenging and motivating each other, while offering unwavering support and encouragement. This is extremely important in a learning environment and has helped me find my niche academically. I can often be found in professor office hours where not only am I receiving academic support, but I am also getting to know my professors and developing the meaningful relationships that people look forward to building in college. Involvement opportunities and events also make Mount feel like my second home! I am one to take full advantage of every opportunity that is offered to me. In high school, I was heavily involved and knew that I wanted to continue this in college and Mount has let me do just that!

Advice to Prospective Students

The biggest piece of advice I would give to high school students is to tour the campuses they are interested in and ask lots of questions! Student Ambassadors are the best resource to answer the questions of prospective students because we have been in the exact position that high school students are in during the college search process. It is also extremely important for students to find the right fit for them by considering the size of a university, distance from home, academic programs, and student involvement opportunities. These can all help you determine the best choice! 

Real-World Experiences 

I have been fortunate to have been offered a multitude of opportunities during my time at Mount Union which are preparing me for success! I had the chance to begin biochemistry research with Dr. Boyd-Kimball my second semester, which has continued and expanded to organic chemistry research with Dr. Woodward. During the summer 2023, I was able to conduct computational and organic chemistry research on campus with Dr. Dwyer and Dr. Woodward as a part of a Data Science Research Grant! This project taught me a multitude of new techniques and methods that I had not been exposed to. Outside of class, my roles as a chemistry tutor, preview guide, and student ambassador have allowed me to strengthen my communication and leadership skills while building interpersonal relationships with incoming students needing guidance with the high school to college setting transition. My involvement on campus and that of other students demonstrates the versatility and flexibility of students at Mount Union!

Honors Research

Stayin' Alive, Stayin' Alive: A Study of Memory and Reaction Time in Diverse Populations

When flipping through playlists, how quickly do you recognize songs? Do you ever miss a line or sing too long? There may be a scientific explanation! This project focused on memory and reaction time of a diverse population, based on age, gender, and familiarity with songs, by having subjects complete lyrics to three musical prompts. Reaction times and durations of responses were measured and compared using WavePad software. Results found that the control group, men, country music fans, and those who identified as slightly musically inclined displayed better response length (duration) and promptness (reaction time). Subjects over 30 years old performed better in duration, while those 30 and under were more prompt.

This project could lead to further advancement in metacognition-understanding our thought process- and memory. Future work could include expanding the sample size, testing different genres and decades, including new identifying criteria, and analyzing the impact of volume.

The identified trends are important because research has found significant improvement in auditory and visual reaction time when background music plays. Additionally, studies concluded that increased volume slows reaction time. This is especially relevant when driving: background music may help reaction, but only at low volumes. Musical exposure also helps maintain slightly quicker reaction times for aging populations thus preserving abilities for longer. In a similar way, memory can be positively impacted by setting information to a song or listening to a certain genre when studying to elicit stronger response during exams if the music is present.