Passion for Science Guides Dr. Elizabeth Sterner

For Dr. Elizabeth Sterner, science has been a passion since her youth. But, LVC’s newest assistant professor of chemistry’s interest wasn’t always academic. 

“I've always been interested in science, but I didn’t truly get bitten by the academic bug until I took college chemistry and started doing research as an undergraduate,” said Dr. Sterner.

That passion has continued at The Valley. 

Dr. Sterner loves being part of a community that values excellent teaching and mentoring as much as it values academic research achievement. Her current areas of research include synthesizing new polymers and figuring out how a particular molecular structure gives rise to properties on the macroscale, such as impact-resistance or response to stimuli. 

While she enjoys teaching and collaborating with students on research, she reminds students a chemistry degree can open a variety of doors beyond academics.

“This degree can set you up for careers as diverse as industry, government lab work, working with intellectual property or venture capital, education, or even journalism,” she said.

Dr. Sterner’s hobbies are a perfect example of the diverse options available for chemistry undergrads. 

“I cook and homebrew, two excellent hobbies for a chemist,” she stated. “Understanding the chemical and materials science principles behind cooking helps me make perfect crème brŭlée and excellent beer and cider.”