Rachel Mochon

Hometown: Houston, Texas

What was your College Scholar project?
My College Scholar project was centered on art conservation. I combined studies in chemistry, art history, French, and visual arts to learn about the fields of art conservation and conservation science. I also completed a major in chemistry, which has provided an excellent background for my understanding of technical analysis of artworks. One of the most interesting classes I took was Art/Science Intersections in the Department of Art History. In the course, we studied 17th century Dutch paintings from the Leiden Collection both as art historical objects and as three-dimensional objects with lives of their own. The course included dendrochronological analysis and even x-ray imaging at the CHESS facility.   
During my senior year, I explored the conservation of artworks containing Prussian blue pigment, specifically cyanotypes, under the guidance of Professor Annetta Alexandridis and Professor Roald Hoffmann.

What were your most important extra-curricular activities?
I was a member Alpha Chi Sigma, a professional chemistry fraternity, where I have become friends with students interested in a variety of sciences, not just chemistry. In addition to seeing many of the members in my chemistry courses, we also organized professional, outreach and social events.

Talk about any summer internships or programs you’ve attended?
In the summer after my junior year, I worked in the conservation lab at the National Museum of the American Indian, part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. I had the opportunity to prepare a variety of ethnographic objects for exhibition and to learn about Native cultures through the study of the cultural objects and through consultations with Native American community members.

What are you doing now, and what are your long-term plans? 
I am starting a graduate program at NYU to pursue a career in art conservation.