Meet Clare Matusevich

I am a biomedical science teacher at Chapel Hill High School. I absolutely love teaching and plan to pursue National Board Certification. I enjoy reading and spending time with my husband, two-year-old daughter, and three beagles. 

How did you benefit from the RET Program and what have you learned about your experience?

I had an amazing experience in the RET program. I got a glimpse into the world of academic research, learned about the many applications of nanotechnology in biomedical sciences, and got experience using some of the many tools and instruments I teach my students about. I do my best to provide my students with relevant, hands-on learning opportunities, and the RET program showed me just how important those opportunities are. 

What instrument was used for your research and why did you like it?

We mainly used the VPSEM for our research. Being able to see things, real-time, in such incredible detail is fascinating and beautiful. I often find myself teaching my students about things they have never seen – the VPSEM helps open up a hidden world and connect students to what they are learning.

Calcium carbonate crystals deposited on hemp fibers, 10,000x magnification

What were you researching and how can it impact the community?

Our research involved the mineralization of hemp fibers with calcium carbonate. The VPSEM was used to help our mentor characterize the calcium carbonate crystals that deposited on the fibers. Ultimately, the modification of the fibers may lead to changes that may improve their performance in various industrial applications. 

What have you learned from your experience at AIF?

I learned of the knowledge, expertise, and generosity of those that work at AIF. The employees love what they do and love helping others complete their research. The AIF is an asset to NC State University and our community, and I am looking forward to connecting my students to the opportunities there.

Best thing about AIF in 5 words or less?

The people and the potential! 

Is there a staff member at AIF that has helped you? 

Toby Tung, Phillip Strader, and Leah Bellcase were extremely helpful and patient. 

If you or someone you know would like to learn more and apply for the RTNN RET Program, visit The deadline to apply is March 17.