COSAM Staff Spotlight - Cheryl Colquhoun
Cheryl Colquhoun, Ph.D. is the coordinator, Analytical/Physical/Inorganic Teaching Labs for the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Find out more about Cheryl in this staff feature.
Q: What year did you start at COSAM?
A: I was a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry from 2009-2014. I became a laboratory coordinator in January of 2016.
Q: What is your favorite part of your job?
A: My favorite part of my job is mentoring students. Many of my students are chemistry or biochemistry majors, and I usually have them in one of my labs every semester during their junior and senior years. I even meet some as sophomores. This gives me the opportunity to build relationships with them, to write recommendations for professional school or jobs/internships, and to give them advice. I strive to incorporate experiments that will allow the students to utilize the latest techniques, so that they will be prepared for wherever the future takes them. Sometimes the labs have sparked an interest in a subject matter that a student didn’t know they had. Some may find, as was the case for me, that their original plans are no longer the best option for them. In my opinion, the goal of undergrad is to be exposed to as many things as possible, so that you can really decide what you want to do with the rest of your life.
Q: What is the best advice you have ever received at COSAM and from whom?
A: If you don’t understand something, don’t put it in your presentation. This was spoken by my former computational chemistry professor.
Q: Where are you originally from?
A: Montgomery, Alabama.
Q: What three words best describe you?
A: Organized, disciplined and caring.
Q: What are your hobbies?
A: I actually enjoy singing/songwriting.
Q: What is the one thing you do when no one is around?
A: Watch television.
Q: What is your favorite place on campus?
A: My office!
Q: What is your favorite food?
A: Ice cream, if you consider that a food.
Q: What is your dream travel destination?
Q: What is your most memorable experience at COSAM?
A: The day I graduated with my doctoral degree!
Q: If you could trade places with anyone at COSAM for just one day, who would it be and why?
A: I would trade places with one of our undergraduate students. To go back and really absorb and re-learn Chemistry a decade later with different textbooks, different professors, and through new eyes, would be exciting! I would also go to a football game and cheer in the student section!