Q U AL
Y AS SU
While Pollard still enjoys chemistry, he finds a more satisfying challenge in integrating the bench chemistry that he
had been doing with ever-evolving state and federal regulations. Indeed, Pollard is adding international regulatory compliance to his skill set and enjoying the expanded responsibilities that come with it.
My degree means I’ll have
this career … but …
Typically, to get a tenure-track position at a university, you
need a doctoral degree. However, when Janet Gray Coonce
graduated from her combined bachelor’s/master’s degree
program at Oxford College of Emory University (GA), she was
promptly invited to become a full instructor at the college.
What started as a one-year temporary position turned into a
seven-year career, based on the strength of her teaching.
In fact, Coonce’s teaching skills were so strong that Tennessee Technological University (Cookeville) created a teaching position for her. Coonce still needed to compete for the
job, but she was selected over other candidates with doctoral
degrees. Now, she is one of the few tenure-track faculty
members at a four-year institution with a master’s degree.
Amanda Stewart also works in academia, even though she
graduated from a chemistry-based technology program
that prepared her for a career in industry. As a student,
Stewart enjoyed her on-campus lab assistant job
so much that upon graduation she took a chemical technician job at the University of Dayton
Research Institute (OH). When the organization’s safety coordinator left, those duties
became 50% of her position.
Later, Stewart learned that Miami
University–Middletown (OH) was
hiring a laboratory coordinator.
Having worked there as a
student, she knew she liked
the environment, and
applied for the position.
She has been working
there ever since.
Career changes hap-
pen for a number of reasons,
some of which are not under your
control. Jack Lee Hayes’s interest in
science took him from high school to the
U.S. Navy’s nuclear power program. After
the Navy, he worked in industrial waste remediation for nine
years, until corporate restructuring resulted in layoffs.
Customer interactions at his remediation job had convinced Hayes of the need for better science education in the
general public. Intending to become a high school teacher,
Hayes decided to earn a chemistry degree. In college and
graduate school, he took a number of part-time jobs. One of
these was an adjunct position at a local community college,
where he discovered that he really enjoyed teaching non-traditional students. Upon completing his master’s degree, he
landed his current teaching position at State Fair Community
College (Sedalia, MO).
Well, at least my personal
life is sorted out … uh …
Sometimes it’s your personal life that disrupts your career
path. When a planned break between high school and col-
lege turned into marriage and a family, Angela French’s
forensics aspirations were temporarily put on hold. French
enrolled in a chemical technology program, which enabled
her to complete the first two years of a baccalaureate pro-
gram quickly, get a good-paying job, and acquire the neces-
sary background for a forensics career.
Through her former classmates, French
learned of an opportunity at Pilot Chemi-
cal. Over time, French grew her skills
in quality assurance and
tage of new
ties as they
applied for and
was hired for a job
at Pilot. Her respon-
sibilities now include
new business opportuni-
ties, product line extensions,
implementation of statistical
process control, management of
specifications, internal auditing, and
serving as corporate quality represen-
tative to support Pilot’s manufacturing