Transfer Student Thomas Dannenhoffer

Hometowns: Roseburg and Eugene, Oregon
Majors: Chemistry and physics
Minor: Mathematics
Transferred from: Umpqua Community College, Oregon

Why the UO? Ever since I was little, I’ve wanted to come to the University of Oregon because of its athletics program and school spirit. I was also excited about living in Eugene, which has a lot of culture and its own identity.

Making the Transition: It made more sense for me to take a year at UCC and work on general education courses before applying to the UO. After taking a few classes, I applied and was accepted without any problems.

Diving In: I got involved in research my first year here, which gave me the opportunity to have one-on-one relationships with professors. All I had to do to join a group was to find one that suited my interests and had an open space. Prior experience wasn’t required. The first group I joined focused on building a device that uses sunlight to turn water into hydrogen to be used as fuel. After a while, I got interested in physics and theoretical work in chemistry. I started writing computer programs for Professor Guenza’s research group, which focused on the dynamics of polymer chains and developing theories for creating materials that are sustainable, recyclable, and efficient.

Part of the Flock: I love being part of the UO’s marching band! I have met so many great people from diverse backgrounds, including people from ESPN, and have had an absolute blast playing music on game days.

From Duck to Doctorate: Graduating with honors from two majors has been incredibly exciting and being involved with so many things has helped me figure out what I want to do with my career. I was recently accepted into a doctoral program at the University of Chicago, where I hope to create theories that engineers can use to make the next best technologies.

Take It from a Duck: Don’t be afraid to try something new because you might end up really liking it. Take advantage of the UO’s great resources and nontraditional programs for transfer students.