2017-Barker Carlock

Barker Carlock

First Major: Chemical Engineering

Thesis: Effect of Microemulsion Composition and Structure on Organic Phase Fate and Transport in Marine Environments


300 Word Statement

Before attending Lafayette, I was inspired by our Marquis’ Cur Non disposition and dedication to fight for the liberty of all people. In part, it was his example that led me to move beyond the entitlement of my suburban bubble in Texas to complete a Global Citizen Year Fellowship in Senegal. Ultimately, this experience created my curiosity in studying Chemical Engineering at Lafayette. We all too often take for granted many of our privileges in the U.S. In particular, energy and clean water are hidden liberties constructed behind a black curtain of development. Having this realization and need to better understand my own hidden liberties, I chose to pursue a technical degree, even though—admittedly, at first—I retained an aversion to the Sciences and an affinity to the Humanities. Indeed, it appears that Justin Bieber’s sentiment of “never say never” can also hold true for garnering a respect and appreciation for the Sciences. Lafayette has afforded me the faculty, friends, resources, opportunities, and support through this challenging endeavor to better know myself and the world around me. In short, I found a home and community in Lafayette. It has allowed me to accrue a more astute quantitative mind coupled with a further mature, authentic heart. In the words of Martin Luther King, “[o]nly through the bringing together of head and heart—intelligence and goodness—shall [persons] rise to a fulfillment of [their] true nature.” Inspired from my time here, I hope to go forth and serve as a conduit for technical progress that is grounded by humble mission and purpose. Great thanks are deserved to all of the individuals that helped me through this process. I am eternally grateful—thank you.


Academic Activities/Awards – Total Years Involved

  • Thesis: Effect of Microemulsion Composition and Structure on Organic Phase Fate and Transport in Marine Environments (1)

Chemical signaling is an important component to aquatic life, however, little to no research has been conducted on the transport of organic semiochemicals within a marine environment. Thus, I have dared to challenge Thermodynamics with the charge of making oil and water mix!

  • University of St. Louis in Madrid, Engineering Study Abroad (1)

Under the faculty supervision of Dr. Joshua A. Smith, I attended the semester abroad program through St. Louis University in Madrid. Needless to say, I had an incredible experience. From playing a lead role in a play, Dead Man’s Cell Phone, to SCUBA diving for my oceanography class, those memories will last a lifetime.

  • Excel Scholar (1)

Under the direction of Dr. Lindsay Soh, I was able to understand the complexity behind what it means to be environmentally sustainable through applying Life Cycle Assessment studies to the production of biodiesel.

  • E. L. McMillen-K. K. Malhotra ’49 Prize (2015) (1)

This prize was presumably awarded to me for my work with a classmate Sean McSherry in constructing a functional jet engine model. It can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qay9wyNghX4

  • Honorable mention: MacKnight Black Poetry Competition (1)

I was awarded this mention for “Greeks with Lassos,” a piece that I wrote to express my frustration with the schismatic history especially with regard to Native Americans.

  • McKelvy House Scholar Resident (Fall, 2014) (1)

Living in the house, I lead a discussion on renewable energy as well as served as the LEAP, EcoRepresentative.

  • Robert Beane ’58 Intern Scholar (Summer 2016) (1)

After receiving an internship with Tesla Motors in their Re-manufacturing Department, I was awarded this scholarship to help fund housing and the cost of transportation to California.

  • Truman Scholar Nominee (2016) (1)

With a desire to work in public policy on energy and social justice issues, I was chosen to represent the College for the Truman Scholar program. (It is important to note that this was only a Lafayette ordained appointment and my nomination was not awarded by the Truman Foundation).

  • Metal ExOne Printer Laboratory, Printing Supervisor

Under the auspices of the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department, I oversaw the maintenance and usage of an ExOne metal 3-D printer.

  • American Institute of Chemists Award (2017) (1)

Awarded by the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.


Campus Service/Activities and Awards – Total Years Involved

  • IDEAL Center, Additive Manufacturing Institute, Strategist

Helped create initiatives in which to increase interdisciplinary collaboration. Most notably was the iPrize which awarded students for creating innovative ideas with commercial potential.

  • Search Committee for Director of Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Member (1)

With the need for a new director of the entrepreneurship center at Lafayette, I was able to participate in craft the mission with many faculty members as a student representative.

  • Greek Life Recognition Committee, 
2016 student representative (1)

With several fraternities looking to re-establish their chapters on campus, I sat as the only non-affiliated student representative and worked with many other faculty and affiliated students.

  • Student Government, Intercultural Affairs Chair (Fall 2016) (1)

As the Intercultural Affair Chair, I worked with our Student Government to understand where student organizations felt lack of support. Further, I worked with the Office of Intercultural Development to ensure cross organizational collaboration through the Lafayette Intercultural Networking Council. It was a true honor and privilege to work alongside my peers!

  • Admissions, Diversity Recruitment (3)

Working under the Office of Diversity Recruitment, I was able to work alongside other students to ensure programming and immersive experiences where possible for our prospective students attending Prologue and Our Beloved Community events.

  • UNITE Lafayette, co-creator (1)

With a concern for some comments that were made towards particular religious groups on social media, I worked with a fellow classmate Sara Mikovic to create an event called UNITE Lafayette. The programming gave certain religious groups on campus a day where they would have representatives in Lafayette’s student center available to have conversations and answer questions on their beliefs.

  • Lafayette College Aviation Club, Founder (1)

I founded this club on the belief that flight is a prized activity that should be shared with all people, regardless of their background. We built a flight simulator that is accessible to students who are interested in learning how to fly and understand what goes into the pilotage of an aircraft.

  • Lafayette Explorers Society, co-Founder (1)

Currently I am working with underclass(persons) to create a club that helps establish interdiscplinary projects and interactions through a shared interest in exploration. More to come!

  • TEDxLafayette (3)

I participated on the steering committee of the club my first year. I have also given three student TEDx speeched (Fall 2013, Fall 2015, Fall 2016)

  • Lafayette College Reunion Staff, 2014 (1)

Participated as a staff member for the Lafayette College Summer Reunion.


Community Service – Total Years Involved

  • Global Citizen Year (1)

After graduating high school, I participated in Global Citizen Year by living in Joal-Fadiouth, Senegal and working as a triage nurse in a pediatric medical center. Fortunately, through my studies of the local language, I was able to finish my last month in the program as a Wolof translator for Canadian doctors and nurses.

  • Center for Community Engagement, MOSAIC Staff (1)

Working under Bonnie Winfield, I was able to participate in the planning committees of Lafapalooza and Make a Difference Day as well as coordinate general educational programming for service opportunities.

  • Lafayette Initiative for Malagasy Education (2)

I was fortunate to be one of ten Lafayette students selected to participate in the program for a year and a half. Through this experience, I have gained Malagasy friends, gleaned further development understandings, and even was able to apply my passion for additive manufacturing by printing LIME graduation rings for our participants

  • Central Jersey Aviation Education Science Club, Mentor (4)

Since 2013, I have acted as a content expert and mentor to middle school and high school students that participate in a science based club at Alexandria Field in Pittstown, NJ.

  • Nurture Nature Center, Intern (1)

During my EXCEL scholarship, I was able to intern with the center and continue doing so into my semester (Fall 2014). Through this experience, I was able to create a science on a sphere show on fracking, create a junior internship, and help facilitate general activities.

  • PBS First Vote in a Polarized Age, co-Moderator (1)

I had the privilege of helping craft the discussions that went into our bull pen conversation on the election broadcast for PBS. I loved getting to work with this group!

  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Mentor 

Over the past two years, I have had the privilege to work with around 6 undergraduate students that I mentored through personal, academic, and career trajectories through their time at Lafayette.

  • From Me to We: A Social Justice Experience, Participant

Through the recommendation of Dr. John McKnight, I was able to participate in the social justice weekend after my freshman year and learn more about the personal biases that I hold.

  • Posse Plus Retreat 2016, Participant (1)

Through invitation from Junior Ventura, I was able to participate in conversations around why language is important with respect to conversations around social justice.

  • Campus Thanksgiving (2)

Recognizing the lack of institutional support during college breaks, I was able to coordinate Thanksgiving dinners over the past two years to ensure that students who didn’t have a home to go to at least had a full stomach. We were blessed to have around 40 students attend each, and I am grateful to Janine Block and many other international students for their help in coordinating these meals!


Athletics Activity/Award – Total Years Involved

  • Highland Park High School, All District Football (4)

2011 Second Team All-District Offensive Lineman. Further, I was given the Conscientious Scot Award which is an award voted by players on the team for the player that they hold as having the strongest all-around character. I only mention this achievement because my athleticism was stunted due to a career ending injury that resulted in two surgeries. The gap in athletics activity involvement after my first year of college was due to physical disability that has since been remedied (fingers crossed!).

  • Crew Club, Junior Varsity Member (1)

Although my prospects of playing football in college were marred by a career ending injury, my passion for athletics was
 appeased through learning how to row with a great group of my peers. I was unable to continued due to complications with my injuries.

  • Lafayette College Flyfishing Club

For anyone that has seen a River Runs Through It, they know that Flyfishing is both an art and a science. I helped a fellow Lafayette student, Jacob Strock, start this club to help share our passion of flyfishing with others.

  • Faculty Committee for Student Life and Athletics, Student Representative

Sitting on this committee as a student representative allowed me to learn about the nuances associated with athletic scholarship, recruitment, and operation.

  • Easton Firefighters 5k, 1st Place 2016 (1)

On May 8, 2016, I was awarded 1st place in my age group 20-29.

  • Chilly Cheeks Trail 12k 2017 (1)

Rated a difficulty of 9.7/10 through the running organization that hosted the event, I was able to place 135th overall (out of 414).

  • Half-Marathon Training (1)

Currently I am training for the  St. Luke’s Half Marathon that will take place on Sunday, April 23rd. I am shooting for 8:15 splits!

  • PADI Certified, Advanced SCUBA Diver (4)

Since 2007, I have been an avid diver. Come April, I will be back at Dutch Springs taking advantage of the Spring weather.

  • ASA Certified, Keelboat Sailing (1)

Certified since the Summer of 2016, I am training to circumnavigate the globe with classmate Jacob Strock before the age 50.

  • Cycling (4)

I am fortunate to have my Mercier Triathalon bike with me on campus that I ride when weather is warm. I intend on competing in my first triathalon by the age of 26.


Special Interest – Total Years Involved

  • Keynote Speaker, XLC 2016 (1)

I had the honor of addressing the incoming class of 2020 and stress the importance of combining the liberal arts and the sciences.

  • Guitar and Woodworking (1)

Through the luthier program at Northampton Community College, I was able to participate in the guitar making class and built my first guitar. It has since decidedly become a passion which I intend to continue into my life.

  • Knitting (4)

When winter comes around, it’s time to break out the knitting needles and break traditional gender roles. You might find quite a few students on campus with a scarf that I hand knitted!

  • Photography (3)

With a passion for ensuring that all persons’ narratives are told, photography is a medium in which I have been able to best engage subjects and tell their stories. I am currently working on a project called Characters Across the Country (https://www.facebook.com/charactersacrossthecountry/)

  • Music (4)

Since the age of 13, I have been teaching myself instruments and song-writing in order to express myself and convey my emotions. Some of my music is publicly available on SoundCloud (https://soundcloud.com/barker-carlock). I am currently working on my first EP.

  • Leather Carving (4)

If it is not apparent already, I love working with my hands. The beautiful thing about leather is that, once wet, its limits are only defined by the creativity of the carver (and chubby fingers like mine).

  • Cooking (4)
  • Reading (4)

Nothing that I have accomplished could have come about without the philosophies and renewal that I gained from many authors. I stand on the shoulders that came before us.

  • Socio-thermodynamics

I am currently fascinated with how sociological models have been adament. Currently, I am working on a white paper that argues for the inclusion of more math and scientific approaches to defining fundamental human laws. Unfortunately, my thesis uses phases diagrams which is essentially only understood by material scientics, chemists, and chemical engineers.

  • Water-based plastics (1)

After self-creating a project for my senior design project, I have been working with a few peers to create water-based polymers that have consumer applications. We will be representing Lafayette with our business plan for commercialization in the LV Collegiate Business Pitch Summit this year in late April.



2017 Winner

Finalists 2017

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