Karis Barnett is a senior chemistry major and creative writing minor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). She is a member of the Meyerhoff Scholars Program, the U-RISE UMBC Program, and the UMBC Honors College. Currently, she plans to pursue a PhD in analytical chemistry with focuses in forensic and nuclear chemistry. Her research and career interests include enhancing drug trace analysis for forensic applications and improving national security through nuclear forensics. Karis was starstruck with analytical chemistry when she joined the LaCourse at UMBC. She thought it was amazing how instruments revealing molecular details could craft stories for a wide range of applications, from environmental sustainability to food quality. She is currently working on an independent project for preventing pharmaceutical pollution in water. Karis is also passionate about empowering women of color in science fields to be proud of their STEM identities.