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Nick Viriyasiri attended SCC back in 2013 with a budding interest in Chemistry. As Nick continued his education in the classroom, he quickly realized that the professors and community around him at SCC were going to make a difference. Ten years later, he is bringing together his passion for food, his interest in chemistry, and his desire to teach by working as a Flavor Chemist for a local company and teaching Chemistry at SCC.
Once he transferred to UMSL he could really see the effect of the standards he was used to at SCC. “The labs here (at SCC) had excellent equipment and thoughtful lessons being taught in each.” This kind of hands-on experience prepared him well for transferring but knew his home was back at SCC.
His time at SCC helped to show him another passion, teaching. The ACE Tutoring Center was a resource that Nick grew fond of and even became a place where he could help his peers. “I knew I wanted to teach and to teach here at SCC.” One memorable professor for him, Beth Michael-Smith, Program Chair for Chemistry, kept in touch and helped point him toward what he would need to reach his goal of teaching.
Nick graduated with his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from UMSL and went on to a local company, Beck Flavors, where he currently serves as a Flavor Chemist. A network connection he had when he was still an SCC student trying to decide on his personal direction. Career Services at SCC were able to take not only Nick’s educational interest in chemistry but also his personal love for cooking and food to help build a career path and opportunity for him to pursue. He continued from there with night classes to achieve his master’s so that he could begin his journey back to SCC.
Last year, Nick taught his first chemistry class. He loves that he can explore the industry during the day at Beck Flavors while also being able to help students just like his past self here at SCC at night.
His advice for anyone unsure but interested in learning, “pursue what you like”. You may find just what you’re looking for with the help of the caring community to be found here at SCC.