Graduate Committee Members
USC Department of Chemistry
July 2, 2004
First of all, I would like to say that it is an honor for me to be considered as an applicant to your fine academic institution. In the few lines below I would like to say a few things about myself, my educational background, and my aspirations for pursuing my PhD studies in chemistry at your department.
I have had a passion for chemistry since my freshman year in highschool and I pursued that passion in my alma mater in Lebanon, the American University of Beirut. I obtained my BS in chemistry there in 1995 with an undergraduate research area in organic chemistry and characterization, and came to the University of North Texas in 1996 to pursue my PhD in chemistry. Instead, I opted out for an MS in which I specialized in silicon surface science and semiconductor contamination control. My area of research was in the chemical processing of silicon chips and their characterization using potentiometry, FTIR-ATR and AFM. My plan was to get into the semiconductor industry as a process control engineer, but my plans did not pan out as the sector was struggling back then. To survive, I took computer classes and I got into the exploding IT sector. I should mention that while I was at UNT, I was a TA for 2 years and I received superb TA evations that I keep to this day as a souvenir because they contain statements like "Rami Rocks!", "Best TA I ever had" and among others "He looks great in blue jeans!". I have been in the IT sector for the past 5 years working as a freelance web designer and technical writer. My greatest accomplishment was landing a consulting position at the Fortune 500, Spherion, where I spent close to a year working as a training materials developer and technical writer for clients such as GMAC and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Unfortunately, economics was not my friend again, and I got laid off in 2001 as the Internet bubble burst.
Since then, I have held temp positions as a dishwasher, soul food cook (I once cooked Stevie Wonder's dinner), ditch digger, photographer, freelance web designer, chemistry tutor, sub teacher and office manager. I have given up on getting back into IT, so this is why I am seeking to get my PhD. My career aspirations would be to use this degree as a college professor or R&D scientist at a pharmaceutical or chemical company. To USC, I bring an excellent background in chemistry, 5 years of experience from the school of "Hard Knocks", and a multicultural background and education which helps me connect with multicultural student bodies. Through out the years, I have grown as a human being and this shows in my philosophy, technique and talent for teaching. The former two I summarize below:
"My motto in teaching chemistry is simple: Break down Chemistry into basic principles that make common sense and teach it in a fun and exciting way, encourage independent thinking and convey the depth and the practical applicability and every-day-life importance of the science of chemistry. My philosophy is to encourage the timid students, challenge the gifted ones and not just teach raw knowledge but at the same time be a mentor and friend to my students."
Finally, I would like to close by saying that I strongly believe that I can excel and achieve my true potential at your fine institution. I hope my qualifications are up to par with your fine standards.
I look forward to hearing back from you and please let me know if you have any questions.
Rami Elias Cremesti BS, MS