For Emma Ste. Marie, the typical academic year doesn't last from September through May. Since her first year at Emmanuel, she has spent the majority of her summers on campus in the state-of-the-art Wilkens Science Center, conducting research with other chemistry majors in the lab of Professor Faina Ryvkin.

Emmanuel offers undergraduates a number of research positions in the summer months, providing housing in the residence halls, a stipend and the chance to work side-by-side with faculty members in their disciplines. While Emma acknowledges it is difficult to spend so much time away from her family, who are located in Troy, Vt., she knows taking opportunities to advance her studies will give her an additional edge after graduation.

"The benefits definitely outweigh the negatives," she said. "I love what I'm doing and there aren't a lot of options for summer work in my hometown. By staying at Emmanuel, I feel like I'm helping to advance my career first and foremost."

Along with her cohort in the lab, Emma's work is centered on purifying specific enzymes based on literature that dates back nearly 50 years. In April 2013, she, Professor Ryvkin and Conor Gomes '15 were given the opportunity to present some of their research during the American Chemical Society's national meeting in New Orleans, La.

"It's really exciting to have our work recognized," she said. "That's the goal--to keep publishing, presenting and building my résumé."