Each year March is dedicated to Women’s History Month and LMU Seaver College is celebrating this month by featuring some of the amazing women in our college, who are extremely successful in their fields. Cheers to celebrating Seaver’s own wonder women! Here we feature a Q and A with Nicole Bouvier Brown, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry.
Q: Please share with us why you wanted to pursue your Ph.D. and work in higher education?
A: I had a wonderful experience as an undergraduate at a primarily-undergraduate institution; I felt connected to my professors. Then, I found myself more excited about the prospect of teaching than doing research as a graduate student. Thus, when I graduated, I wanted to “give back” and work with undergraduate students. I think the bonds that are formed between faculty and students at a place like LMU are transformative, and I wanted to be a part of that.
Q: When you advise students, what words of wisdom do you find yourself sharing consistently with different students over the years?
A: Take advantage of the Liberal Arts education and take classes outside of your major requirements for fun. Explore things that you like. You can even take courses credit/no credit just for the experience of trying new things. It’s amazing the things that you will learn this way.
Q: As a woman in STEM, is there a woman that you’ve looked up to or who has influenced the work you do? Who is that person? And how did they influence you?
A: There was one woman – Michelle Shulman, a professor at my undergraduate institution – that I relied on during my transition to graduate school and to academia. I never had her as an instructor, but I TAed for her and we had a wonderful working relationship. She gave me advice on graduate school interviews, she offered to share course materials when I started teaching, and she even wrote a letter of recommendation for me for this job at LMU. Generally, she was always there for support in my professional life. I also had a wonderful group of women – made up of graduate students and postdocs from multiple groups – who got me through my qualifying exam as a graduate student. My advisor was on sabbatical in Australia, and these women were so supportive and encouraging throughout the process.
Screenwriting major Abigail Braccia and entrepreneurship major Sara Appelqvist contributed to the Women’s History Month series. This article was written by communications major Jordan Lindsey.