Desiré Whitmore, a chemical and material physics graduate student at UC Irvine, was profiled in the Minorities and Women in Optical Society of America’s newsletter as one of four up-and-coming women in optics. In the profile, Whitmore shares how she became interested in her field, the importance of being a role model, how her mentors influenced her view of science, and her desire to become a professor. Whitmore researches the dynamics of chemical bonds under Eric Potma, assistant professor of chemistry at UCI.