Salute to Spring 2022 Grads: Luke Hetzel and Abby Whaley

Luke Hetzel (left) and Abby Whaley (right)

Pictured: Luke Hetzel (left) and Abby Whaley (right)


Luke Hetzel finished up his Masters in Mathematics this past Spring 2022 semester, he also earned his undergraduate degree in Math at YSU in Spring 2021. Luke received a graduate assistantship that will provide full funding for him to pursue his PhD in pure mathematics at the University of Denver!

Luke plans to focus on Foundations but is excited for the opportunity to not only focus on subfields of his interest but to also see more mathematical areas that he hasn’t had as much experience with. Although Luke will miss all of the people at YSU that he has formed connections with, he loves Denver and city life and is excited to move there. 

When asked what advice he has for students who are interested in pursuing math, Luke’s primary advice is to get to know your faculty as early as possible. “Take multiple classes with the same professors. Go to office hours. Ask if you can help in any way with research, even if it is just helping with literature reviews. They are an invaluable resource in offering guidance, both in specific academic areas but also in practical questions and life advice.” Luke credits his faculty advisor with his acceptance to Denver, as he would not have even known about the program, which is a perfect fit for his interests, if his advisor had not recommended it to him. He also strongly encourages involvement in research and exposing yourself to as many different topics in math as you can so that you can see where your interests lie.
After completing his PhD, Luke plans to give back to future students in the way his faculty have impacted him, helping to mentor and play a role in the development of his students. He hopes to teach at a research university and contribute to interesting and novel research. 
Good luck, Luke!



Abby Whaley completed her Bachelor of Engineering in Chemical Engineering this past spring semester and will be moving on to the University of Cincinnati to pursue a Master of Science in Cosmetic Science. Abby is currently working full-time as a Quality Control Chemist at Kent Elastomer Products located in Kent, Ohio. Her masters program is fully on-line and can be completed in 2-3 years on a part-time basis, therefore Abby will continue to work at Kent Elastomer Products while working toward her next degree.

After finishing her masters,  Abby hopes to work for a cosmetic formulation company in their research and development department. She would like to work hands-on in a lab setting and be able to create cosmetic products from scratch. She's got her sights on future potential employers such as: Estee Lauder; Loreal; Unilever; Bath and Body Works; Voyant Beauty; Colourpop; and Glossier. If a student is planning to pursue a degree in Cosmetic Science, they should keep in mind that this industry is very specific to certain locations, such as New York, New Jersey and California. 

Abby is grateful for her time at YSU and the endless opportunities she received to expand her education. She particularly credits Dr. Pedro Cortes for the priceless experience he helped to provide that will assist on her career path. Although Abby will miss all of the friends that she has made at YSU, she is excited to begin the next step in her career.

For any students interested in a career in the cosmetic industry, Abby recommends getting to know your faculty and take science tracks that will support your future studies, such as Biology or Chemistry. Finally, be aware that certain industries are very location specific and, with an industry like cosmetics, you should expect to relocate to a place such as New York or California.

Best wishes, Abby!