My UNH story

Katherine Metzger ’23

Sophomore shares her family’s Wildcat ties, and how donors are helping her achieve her goals

rowing up in Cumberland, Maine, I was surrounded by stories about UNH — the business school, the Outing Club, the alumni organization. My parents were both business majors here, and my aunt received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees here. I took the typical UNH campus tour during high school with my family. While I was trying to listen to the tour guide, my parents kept pointing out all their favorite places and talking about their college days. Even though I was probably annoyed with them in that moment, I remember feeling grateful to finally see the places that meant so much to them, and to connect what I was seeing with these stories I had heard.

I’m currently a sophomore honors chemical engineering major, and am interested in clean energy research. As a child I always wanted to be a writer, but during high school I realized I couldn’t give up my love and passion for science and math. In my first semester freshman year, I started working on research with Dr. Nan Yi from the department of chemical engineering. I’m focusing on hydrogen production through sustainable processes for hydrogen fuel cells, a cleaner energy source than gas.

This year, I am an intern coordinator with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). We’re working on building scientific content and software programs for Powerpedia, the DOE’s private database. This is used by government officials, researchers and contractors as an official government data source. I’ve enjoyed collaborating with different groups and meeting people from all over the country.

The gratitude comes from knowing that donors support students like me.”
— Katherine Metzger ’23
family courtesy photo of toddler Katie in UNH sweatshirt
Katherine comes from a long line of UNH Wildcats
COurtesy Photo
I just learned I’ll be heading to the National Renewable Energy Lab in Colorado this summer to work on photoelectrochemistry research as part of the DOE’s Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship program. I can’t wait!

Receiving scholarships at UNH has made me feel thrilled, grateful and proud. The pride comes from feeling that my hard work during high school and college have been recognized with these merit scholarships. The gratitude comes from knowing that donors support students like me. As is often said, “it takes a village,” and while college was always my plan, it takes a lot of financing to figure out. Without financial support, not everyone is able to take part in all the college opportunities they would like to, especially if they are unpaid. My scholarships allow me to actively pursue experiences that empower me to grow professionally, in the classroom, though research and via internships, for which I’m thankful. I would never have imagined being able to complete high-level research or have an internship with the Department of Energy.

When I look ahead to life after college, I hope to have a career in renewable energy or a related field in research and development. For now, I feel giddy every day to wake up and be able to do what I love. Looking back to when I first started at UNH, I am speechless (a rare occurrence for me!) at all the memories I’ve made, experiences I’ve had and lessons I’ve learned. I am so thankful for my friends, family, professors and especially donors for making this possible.

Katherine Metzger is a recipient of the Alumni Association Alumni Scholars award, as well as the Philip E. Anderson Scholarship for Chemical Engineering; both are scholarships created by generous donors, to help students like Katherine find success at UNH and beyond.