Featured Alum: Claudia Wade, chemistry 1996

Claudia Wade with her family

Hola my fellow Buccaneers! I am honored to be the featured ALUM this month. I graduated from CBU in 1996 where I received a B.S. in Chemistry. My time at CBU was always very busy because along with my studies, I was a member of the Lady Buccaneers Volleyball Team!! Go Bucs!! My experience at CBU, both in the chemistry department and the on the court have played a big role in my life today. I attribute a lot of my career success to Dr. Mike Condren, the CBU faculty, my coach, Irene Collins and my family. When I first arrived at CBU, I was enrolled as a Chemical Engineer. My freshman year, I took Dr. Condren’s General Chemistry class and I was convinced science was in my blood. Dr. Condren has such a passion for chemistry that when he taught it came out in every lecture. I would get just as excited as he would as the years went by. Of course, it was a challenge for me because along with my studies there was hard work in the gym. Though my coach had us very disciplined and really pushed success in the classroom first, the fact that our classes were small and the having the opportunity of one-on-one attention from the teachers, made my experience at CBU go by smoothly. As I reflect today, that one-on-one attention is one of the many characteristics that makes CBU a WINNER. Each one of the CBU teachers really enjoys their work and wants to see you succeed and they are always willing to help. Dr. Condren is the best mentor/teacher anyone could have. He taught me not only chemistry but how to think outside the box, how to discipline myself in the lab, and he truly cares for each one of his students.

I currently work at Buckeye Technologies in Product and Market Development and was promoted in January 2006 to a Research Specialist. I have been employed with Buckeye 9 ½ years. Buckeye is a leader in producing-cellulose-based specialty products for high-end niche markets worldwide. We are the only manufacturer in the world offering cellulose-based specialty products made from one of the most abundant materials on earth, cellulose fiber drawn from wood and cotton, both naturally renewable resources. I work in the New Products Department and my goals are to develop novel cellulose fibers for upstream product lines. So a lot of thinking “outside the box” and my job requires a lot of discipline in note taking on experiments for legal patent purposes. I have received recognition for my work in a patent for “Delivery of Fibers Into Concrete”. Volleyball has also continued to be a part of my life after CBU. I have coached middle school volleyball @ St. Agnes Academy for the past 11 years and have also coached Junior Olympic Volleyball for various clubs around the city, including one for inner city girls.

Along with working full-time, I am a mother of two beautiful children, Isabella Concepcion (4 yrs.) and Jacob William (2 yrs.). My husband, Kelly, and I have been married for 11 years and are enjoying life each day. My husband is a CRNA and is enlisted in the Army Reserves. He just returned from his first tour of duty in Tikrit, Iraq. I am so proud of him for supporting and aiding our soldiers in the fight for freedom and the continuation of the American way.