Garcia: "Randolph-Macon opens up a world of opportunities."
Stephany Garcia ’10 spent the summer of 2009 conducting research
in conjunction with R-MC’s Schapiro Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)
program. This program was established to provide students with a chance to do 10
weeks of full-time, original research during the summer months. With the guidance
of their professors, SURF students conduct research in across-the-board subjects,
from mathematics to chemistry to film studies.
Garcia, who hails from Cali, Colombia, is an economics/business and chemistry major
who worked closely with R-MC Professor Serge Schreiner (chemistry).
Garcia began working on her project in February of 2009; it focused on the development
of iridium and rhodium catalysts. In particular, she was interested in how these
compounds can bind small molecules such as hydrogen, carbon monoxide and carbon
dioxide. The ultimate goal of her project was to find a catalyst that is capable
of converting carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide in the presence of hydrogen to synthetic
fuels such as methanol or methane. The project can be looked at as a way to find
alternate energy sources.
“I love numbers and have a scientific mind,” she explains, “but I also need business
skills for when I graduate and get a job.”
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Working with Schreiner has been an integral part of Garcia’s academic experience.
“Dr. Schreiner has been my academic advisor for two years and he is my research
advisor as well,” she says. “He has been of great importance to me in my college
career because he has not only guided me but he has believed in me and supported
me. This confidence has led me to reach for the sky when it comes to pursuing my
Schreiner and R-MC Professor Kelly Lambert, Ph.D., serve as chairs of the SURF program,
which is supported through the generosity of Ben ’64 and Peggy Schapiro.
Garcia is also very involved in the R-MC community. She played for the women’s soccer
team for two years and currently works as a tutor in the Higgins Academic Center
(HAC). “I had the opportunity to share great moments with my soccer teammates,”
says Garcia. “I feel soccer created a strong bond between us and created life-long
friendships.” She is also a member of the Women Athletes Outreach program and a
member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA).
The energetic Garcia has worked in the admissions office for three years under the
guidance of Administrative Assistant Donna Flournoy. “Donna is responsible, hard-working
and organized—but she is also very sympathetic to student workers’ feelings,” says
Garcia. “She is kind and I admire the way she is strict when it comes to business,
while being very understanding and personable.”
Asked why she chose Randolph-Macon College, Garcia laughs. “My brother graduated
from R-MC…I initially thought the campus was huge, but what can you expect from
a woman who came straight from Colombia to a U.S. college!” For Garcia, her home-away-from-home
bodes well for a promising future. “Randolph-Macon opens up a world of opportunities,
and my major in chemistry in particular is a field that will always be innovative,”
For information on R-MC’s Department of Chemistry, visit
For information on R-MC’s SURF program, visit http://www.rmc.edu/why-rmc/surf.aspx
For information on R-MC’s women’s soccer team, visit
For information on the Higgins Academic Center (HAC), visit
For more information about the breadth of programs and opportunities available at
Randolph-Macon, contact our Admissions Office at (800) 888-1762 or at