Assistant Professor, Hartwick College – Oneonta, NY
Title of Ph.D. Dissertation
The development and application of methods for the large-scale identification and quantification of proteins using mass spectrometry.
On my visit to UW, I felt a real sense of scientific community: the graduate students I met loved talking about each other’s research. People were happy and welcoming. All of that proved true, and now I still talk to the close friends I made while in graduate school and the important professional contacts I developed. For example, thanks to the Coon group’s connection with industry, Thermo Fisher Scientific is donating an instrument to Hartwick College.
I also fell in love with Madison. It’s easy and affordable, a wonderful city to do graduate work in. I signed up for the 2016 Ironman in Madison because I miss it so much!
“The people are motivated and smart. They drive each other to do well in a collaborative way.”
What drew you to the Coon group?
I loved the research. While I like chemistry, I love chemistry with a purpose. The biological and especially biomedical application side to the mass spectrometry done in the Coon lab gave me that. I was also drawn to the group dynamics. The people are motivated and smart. They drive each other to do well in a collaborative way.
I didn’t realize this right away, but I later learned to be grateful for learning how to be comfortable outside of my comfort zone. I learned to think creatively and critically far beyond my undergraduate mindset. I’m more comfortable now if I don’t know something, since I know that I can approach a problem from many angles in order to answer it.
You landed a tenure-track job at a small liberal arts college. How did UW and the Coon group prepare you for that?
Hartwick College only has 1400 undergraduates, so it’s much smaller than UW, but it has the same collaborative feel. I teach General Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, and Instrumental Analysis and I’m involved with undergraduate research. Teaching across the field and being able to generate research projects to help structure undergraduate research came directly out of the motivated and collaborative environment at the Coon group.
Along with collaboration experience, participating in the Computation in Biological Medicine program at UW helped me branch out to other departments as soon as I got to Hartwick. I was able to help geoscientists and biologists interpret massive data sets, for example, and I’ve worked with three other PIs in and outside of the Chemistry department since arriving in the fall of 2015.
Earn your Ph.D. with us
The Coon Group is always on the lookout for new members. Professor Coon accepts students from several UW-Madison doctoral programs including Chemistry, the Integrated Program in Biochemistry (IPiB), and Cellular & Molecular Pathology.