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Kip Daly ‘18
Chemistry major / Writing and Rhetoric minor

Kip Daly

When he began looking at potential colleges, John “Kip” Daly ‘18 was unimpressed with how few schools emphasized undergraduate research. He decided to come to the College of Arts and Sciences at Stony Brook when he saw the plethora of research opportunities that would be at his fingertips.

A chemistry major and writing and rhetoric minor, Kip says he always enjoyed writing -- in fact, he was a finalist in one of the Program in Writing and Rhetoric’s essay competitions. “In high school, my favorite classes were history and English and the like, so I wanted to keep up my skills in writing, especially because it’s also useful for chemistry," he says. 

“What stands out for me about Kip is that he's also an extraordinary humanist; he was a docent at the Museum of Natural History when he was in high school, and through several research writing classes and independent studies with me, has explored philosophical and rhetorical areas such as the geopolitical implications of the shale revolution, apocalyptic rhetoric, and now the rhetoric of nuclear weapons!” said Professor Robert Kaplan, undergraduate program director in the Program of Writing and Rhetoric. “To me, he represents the kind of intellectual marriage of arts and sciences that we want from our students but is far too rare.”

Kip particularly enjoys writing research papers as opposed to creative writing. “It offers you a lot of freedom to pick any topic and do an in-depth research study on it,” he says. “It helps you retain the information when you're doing all the research for a lengthy paper." 

Kip has been accepted into a doctoral program in chemistry at Washington State University; he applied there to take advantage of the connections to numerous national labs, in which he hopes to work someday as a research scientist. He has already landed a research position at Washington State’s Institute for Shock Physics. When he heads to the West coast, he plans to do a cross-country road trip.

When he is not immersed in his studies, Kip enjoys running and hiking. He also has a rock collection, and is excited to stop at Yellowstone National Park on his way to Washington.

Kip’s favorite aspect of the college experience is the freedom students have to explore. His advice for incoming students is to try new things and take classes that you’re not sure you’re actually interested in. “After all, that’s how I fell into the writing minor, which has helped me out in many ways,” Kip says.

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