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Faculty Story

Shawn Reese
Professor / Chemistry

"I am very proud of our FLC graduates as they are sought after by transfer schools, employers, and graduate programs."

What aspect of Chemistry are you most interested in?

I love separation science in Gas Chromatography (GC). GC separates complex mixtures into individual compounds. GC is used in crime labs, like you see on TV in CSI.

What advice would you give a beginning college student?

“Work wins when wishy-washy wishin’ won’t” and believe in yourself. This is a special time in your life; it is the time when you’ll prepare for your future career. After college, you will be the expert in your chosen field. Learn as much as you can so you will be the ‘go-to’ person in your future career.

What is your favorite part of the job?

Seeing my students surpass their own self-imposed limits and realizing their dreams. My favorite part of this job is seeing my students master Organic Chemistry through hard work and study. I love the look of pride that comes across their faces as they realize that if they can succeed in Organic Chemistry, they can surmount any future challenge. I am very proud of our FLC graduates as they are sought after by transfer schools, employers, and graduate programs.

What is your proudest moment working with students?

In Summer 2001, I was invited by the Pacific Northwest National Lab (PNNL) to travel to Richland, Washington with three of my organic chemistry students. We lived in a dorm together for several weeks and really came together as a scientific team of equals. Much of our success was due to the students’ initiative, resourcefulness, and hard work. Think of it: Community college students performing post-doctorate level research at one of the eight National Laboratories in the U.S. These students spent hours in the lab developing analytical methods, and synthesizing never-before-made compounds for PNNL’s use. All three of those students went on to graduate programs in Chemistry; one has a PhD now and works at MIT. I believe the PNNL experience we had working together made each of us better scientists; and we had a blast doing it. It confirmed in my mind that any student can be successful if they apply themselves and aren’t afraid to step out of their comfort zones.

Shawn Reese has his A.A. from Glendale Community College, Arizona and B.S. and Ph.D. from Brigham Young University.

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