Photo by Daniel Bonneau
Ashley Bonneau, a senior at CI and president of the Free Radicals Chemistry Club, awaited my interrogation as she sipped her coffee outside the raucous student union last Wednesday. Little would you know that the mind of a science rockstar resided in the body of this humble soft-spoken girl.

Bonneau just had her final graduate school interview at Princeton University last weekend. She described the interview process as nothing short of nerve-racking. “I wasn’t sure what to expect,” Bonneau admitted, “whether or not I needed to break out my biochemistry textbook and brush up on the basics.” In the end it must have gone well since she has already been accepted into 3 programs she applied for including Molecular and Cell Biology, and Genetic and Developmental programs at Yale University. “Going into the application process, Yale was my number one choice,” Bonneau beamed, “so it was very gratifying to be accepted.”

Even though Bonneau and research seem like a perfect fit, the young scientist confessed that she “came into research trying to fulfill checkmarks for a medical school application.” Bonneau says she fell in love with the “excitement of the discovery.” Now a veteran researcher, Bonneau has two years of research experience working with Dr. Nitika Parmar utilizing RNA interference and a paper in review.

Always a scientist even while cooking, a scale takes the place of measuring cups and a good cooks common sense in her kitchen. “I can’t cook,” she disclosed, “I need exact measurements to the tenth preferably.” I suppose even science superheros have their kryptonite. Ashley Bonneau is a jack-of-all-trades and soon to be master of many; just don't ask her to bake you a casserole unless there is an analytical balance handy.