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Research, volunteer work occupy international student’s time

Cropped photo of Mingda Li.

Mingda Li works at the University of Missouri Research Reactor and has an interest in segregating nanoparticles.

Mingda Li decided to go all-in upon her arrival in Columbia, and so far, so good.

The chemical engineering major is a graduate research assistant at the University of Missouri Research Reactor (MURR), where she works with segregating nanoparticles and also as a group of 10 tasked with quality control. The work fits nicely with her interest in electrochemistry — particularly in nanoparticles.

“I am immensely grateful to Mizzou and happy about getting a chance to work on such interesting stuff with amazing people in an infrastructure as enchanting as MURR,” Li said.

When she’s not busy with chemical engineering work, Li volunteers at a local food bank and works at the Mizzou International Center, helping welcome students by leading tours and helping them get comfortable in a brand new situation — just as she once had to do.

“Once they have settled themselves well, we try and maintain constant contact with them, have parties and do fun stuff,” said Li, who came to MU from the East China University of Science and Technology.

Li said she’s become enamored with the architecture and research facilities at MU and enjoys how friendly and convenient the city of Columbia and its people are. And she credited the Peer Mentoring Office for helping ease her initial transition by assigning her a language partner and giving her a chance to immerse herself in the culture.

“This has given me a chance to interact with Americans, know them better and make more friends,” she said.