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Meeting Olympians in Kenya

Paul Davis graduated from UT Knoxville in 1995 with a bachelor's degree in chemistry. He now lives in Meridian, Idaho.

"The past four years I've been an assistant professor of chemistry at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash., but I just started a new job last week as a senior scientist at a scientific research company, Boise Technology in Nampa, Idaho. We've gotten a grant to study how to catalyze the breakdown of organophosphate pesticides -- they're model compounds for nerve agents, so the government is interested in how to protect people and decontaminate an area should there ever be a chemical weapons attack. I'll be using an ultrafast laser system to study how fast the pesticides break down and by what means the decomposition reaction occurs.

"Since I was in between jobs this summer and still collecting a paycheck from PLU, I took full advantage to have some fun and went to Kenya with Athletes in Action's Track and Field program.

"This photo was taken in the baggage claim area of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya, just after I arrived for a three-week stint. Although I spent time at the Kenyan National Championships and Olympic Track & Field Trials in Nairobi, on safari in Masai Mara National Park, and at Kip Keino's Olympic Training Center up in Eldoret, getting to meet numerous Olympic medalists (and soon-to-be medalists), World Cross Country champions and former world record-holders along the way."

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