A young woman smiles in a laboratory.

Abigail Scott wins 2022 Association of MIT Alumnae Senior Academic Award

Categories: Awards, Students

This prestigious prize is given annually to an outstanding senior woman who has demonstrated the highest level of academic excellence.

Chemistry Senior Abigail Scott has been named the recipient of this year’s prestigious Association of MIT Alumnae (AMITA) Senior Academic Award. This prestigious award is presented annually to an outstanding senior woman who has demonstrated the highest level of academic excellence through her coursework and related professional activities at MIT.

Scott, a member of the Class of 2022, is from the Caribbean island of Arnos Vale, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, where one of her teachers, Juanita Hunte-King, first introduced her to, and made her fall in love with, chemistry.

“[Hunte-King] encouraged critical thinking instead of rote learning and made learning chemistry quite fun,” said Scott. “I distinctly remember her turning our lab session on qualitative analysis into a detective game, making the content more engaging. I think her energy for chemistry sparked my interest, and my fascination with understanding how things work on a molecular level has sustained my interest. Coming to MIT, I decided that I would consider bioengineering since I was coming to the best engineering school in the world. Then, I took the Concourse version of Organic Chemistry I (CC.512), taught by Dr. Elizabeth Taylor, and that cemented my decision to major in chemistry. I enjoyed figuring out reaction mechanisms and possible synthetic routes, even though I was pretty terrible at doing so at first. They felt like puzzles, and I love solving puzzles.”

During her time at MIT, Scott worked in Professor Catherine Drennan‘s laboratory, an experience for which she feels “tremendously grateful.”

“I am grateful for the opportunity I had to meet and befriend so many brilliant persons who are passionate about various areas in STEM,” she says. “I also really enjoyed being able to conduct research in a laboratory focused on structural elucidation.”

This fall, Scott will begin her graduate studies at Harvard University, where she will pursue her PhD in Chemistry and Chemical Biology.