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Armstrong Campus undergraduate research student, recruited by pharmaceutical giant, graduates

On Saturday, Armstrong Campus student Ariana Vargas earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Georgia Southern University and will begin her career as a scientist for pharmaceutical giant Pfizer in January.

“I have never seen an undergraduate student do this before,” said biochemistry professor Brent Feske, Ph.D. “They created a position for her at their Global Research and Development Campus in Groton, Connecticut. I think this is notable because it was her work conducting faculty-mentored undergraduate research that had this company heavily recruit her.”  

For three years, Vargas, who moved from Mexico to the U.S. in 2009, conducted research on pharmaceutical synthesis with Feske.

“The research I did with Dr. Feske helped me get this position,” said Vargas. “The fact that I had to research on my own and collaborate with him and the Georgia Institute of Technology was important. The team at Pfizer that interviewed me said not many people in undergraduate programs understand how to do this research.”

Feske’s educational and professional guidance has also been vital to her success.

“It’s meant a lot,” she said. “Dr. Feske had a lot to say about my work and my future. It really meant a lot to get that support from him. He was a really good mentor and set the bar high for me.”

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/Research institution founded in 1906, offers 141 degree programs serving nearly 26,500 students through nine colleges on three campuses in Statesboro, Savannah, Hinesville and online instruction. A leader in higher education in southeast Georgia, the University provides a diverse student population with expert faculty, world-class scholarship and hands-on learning opportunities. Georgia Southern creates lifelong learners who serve as responsible scholars, leaders and stewards in their communities. Visit



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