Major at OHIO: Chemical Engineering
Year of Graduation: MS 2005, Ph.D. 2008
Job Role: Associate Professor at North Carolina State University
Hometown: Elkins, WV
Involvement on Campus: Writing Tutor at Alden Library Writing Center
How did you choose Ohio University?
The professors in OHIO’s College of Engineering do some of the most interesting research around! I was especially excited by the prospect of working with Dr. Gerardine Botte and Dr. David Bayless, and was fortunate to be able to have both of them as research advisers in my time at OHIO.
How did you choose your major? And, what excites you most about it?
If you’re wired like I am, chemical engineering is the coolest field of study ever. Everything I’ve ever wondered about the natural world around me (like why a glass of iced tea “sweats” in the summertime, why it feels colder when the wind blows, how does refrigeration work?) can be understood if you really understand chemical engineering.
Have you taken on any leadership roles or gone through leadership training at OHIO? If so, please describe.
This past year I was elected Chair by my peers in the Chemical Engineering Division of the American Society for Engineering Education. The experience I gained from the opportunities I had at OHIO to work with people of many varying backgrounds is surely a big part of my desire to work with everyone in the room toward a common goal.
Tell us about one of your most significant career development experiences at OHIO.
I was somehow able to convince folks in OHIO’s College of Engineering to give me a chance to teach an engineering elective class in my last year of graduate study, and this teaching experience was the key thing that led to my current career.
What advice would you give to your fellow Bobcats?
Don’t be afraid to take a risk in your career. I left my job in research after earning a Ph.D. to take a risky teaching opportunity at North Carolina State University and through hard work was able to earn a position that I love.
What is your favorite thing about being a Bobcat?
The city of Athens. I have so many wonderful memories there – the friends, the great bars and restaurants, that incredible bike path along the river – and I met my wife there! There’s nowhere else quite like it.
What do you love about your job post-grad, and how does your experiences at Ohio help you?
I enjoy helping people understand various topics and am proud to observe their learning. I get to play a role in training the next generation of engineers who will be responsible for solving our world’s many challenges. I also get to be humbled by the caliber of my students – they have more raw abilities than I could have ever dreamed of receiving, but at this point in time my experience allows me to be their teacher. Numerous studies have shown that supportive, effective faculty members can bring about real change in students’ lives, and it is a privilege to work in a field where this kind of impact is possible. I really do love my job, and hope that I never do anything else the rest of my life. None of this would have been possible for me without the education and opportunities I received at OHIO.
Interview conducted by Hannah Schuller, CLDC Content Marketing Intern