Tell Us about Yourself
I am an associate professor in chemistry.
What AEOP program(s) did you participate in?
Research and Engineering Apprenticeship Program (REAP) mentor
How Does Your Journey Help or Inspire Others?
So much can change over time. I am originally from Germany and in 10th grade I decided to stop studying English because I hated it. Now I teach in English every day, and actually live in an English-speaking country. I’ve had a similar experience in the sciences. I started out as a synthetic chemist, switched to natural products chemistry and now I work more and more in biochemistry and analytical chemistry.
What is the Most Important Part of the Mentor Relationship that You Find Most Beneficial, Inspiring or Motivating?
It is so important to build a strong relationship with a student and demonstrate that nobody is perfect. My mentees leave understanding that many experiments have to be repeated or “re-searched,” that we should not give up immediately, that everybody brings something to the table and that we always do our best work as a team.
What Would be Your Most Sage Advice to a Student Beginning to Consider a Career in Science?
Do not settle on a specific field too early. Things are always changing rapidly. Building general skills is most important. A broad education is necessary, so focus broadly on math, physics, chemistry and biology for as long as you can.
What Are Your Hopes for Your Industry?
To create new visions, be a productive scientist, and inspire the next generation of science and scientists, how vital is a deep and thorough understanding of mathematics, statistics, etc.? Could I be a scientist even if I have some fear of mathematics? Math is getting more and more important. There might be a few fields where you can get by without but having a working understanding of mathematics will never hurt you.
Why Does the World Need Scientists?
We need scientists so we have access to biased information. We have way too much of that in everyday life, particularly in politics.