Forensic Chemistry Student Ambassador

Mirielle Clayton

Photo of Mirielle ClaytonMirielle is majoring in Forensic Chemistry and double minoring in Intelligence & Security Studies, and Biological Science. She is the Student Outreach Co-Chair of the Student Members of the American Chemical Society. She is also a member of the Philanthropy Committee for UM College Panhellenic.

Why did you choose to attend UM?
I chose The University of Mississippi because it had a forensic science program that greatly interested me. The school’s professors were also engaging and readily available to answer any questions I had. When I first toured and felt at home surrounded by peers eager to learn like me, I knew UM was where I was supposed to be. The undergraduate research opportunities were just the cherries on top.

When and how did you choose your major(s)/minor(s)?
My major, Forensic Chemistry, drew me to UM in the first place, so I knew it was what I wanted to do. I decided to minor in Biology after enjoying the anatomy portions of my general biology classes. My Intelligence & Security Studies minor, though, was unexpected. I decided to apply for it because of how interesting my ISS 125 class was, which I took for fun. The teacher, Dr. Morris, and the topics made Intelligence a potential career I may want.

What would you tell a high school student about your major? What is most important for them to know if they’re interested in pursuing that field of study?
I would tell a high school student to not listen to everyone who tries to scare them away from STEM. Forensic Chemistry is hard, but the resources at the University of Mississippi are unmatched! The teachers truly care about your success, there are tutoring opportunities, and students support students. If you love chemistry and/or forensics don’t let the difficulty stop you from pursuing it!

Is there a professor who has been  particularly helpful to you?
My Honors ISS 125 class with Dr. Morris was a breath of fresh air in the midst of more difficult Organic and Calculus classes. He made going to an early morning class more bearable because of his passion for the Intelligence & Security Studies minor. It made me apply and get this minor, opening more career doorways for me in the future.

What has been one of your most memorable or enjoyable moments at UM?
To me, the most enjoyable moments have been the small ones. Whether it is getting together with friends on Monday nights to watch the Bachelor or having picnics in Lamar Park, I have many top memories from my first year at UM.

What do you hope to do after you graduate? What are your career goals/ plans for post graduation?
I hope to either attend Graduate School to focus on forensic research or potentially go straight into the work force at a crime lab or as part of the Intelligence Community.

Apart from school, how do you spend your time in Oxford? What are your hobbies, favorite places to go, etc.?
I am involved in my sorority, Alpha Omicron Pi, and the SMACS club outside of school work. Additionally, I love trying new food spots all over town or going for walks in Lamar Park. I also enjoy going to coffee shops to study or finding new places to do homework to get out of a confining dorm room. Lastly, I take a break from studies and distractions by going to Pine Lake College on Wednesdays and Pine Lake Church on Sundays.

What is one thing you wish you knew as an incoming freshman that you’d tell your past self (about the general college experience)?
If you have any questions, use your resources! Finding things online can be difficult, so if you still have unanswered questions, don’t be afraid to email a teacher or reach out to a student ambassador. That’s what we are here for!