You’re probably wondering why this science heroes post has a picture of a quilt, and more importantly, you’re curious who this Jodye Selco person is, she hasn’t been on the news, and there are no Nobel prizes in her living room, but she has been the most influential person in my science life. I first heard from Jodye when she sent me a letter about the freshman seminar class I was enrolled in (yes I went to college before everyone had e-mail). The first day I was on campus (University of Redlands) we shared a picnic dinner with the rest of the Science in Fiction class she taught and mentored. I immediately liked her but never imagined that we’d still be close friends well over a decade later. Looking back it’s almost amazing how much contact we had with each other, part of it can be explained by the fact that I attended a small liberal arts university (thank you financial aid and student loans!), but Jodye was an exceptional mentor even in that close knit environment.
Some of the ways Jodye and I interacted were:
- Freshman Seminar Teacher
- Chemistry Adviser (This was no easy task as every single semester I was there a new bug in the computer program controlling student schedules happened to one of my classes.)
- Instructor: General Chemistry (2nd Semester), Physical Chemistry (2 Semesters), Special Topics: Spectroscopy (Individual Study), Special Topics: Fortran Programing (Individual Study), Senior Research and Thesis Adviser
- Summer Research Adviser: Corona Excited Supersonic Expansion Jet-Cooled Spectroscopy – Two Years (After 2 years she recommended I try working in a different lab for my last summer as an undergraduate and wrote me a fantastic recommendation which enabled me to receive and ACS-REU position with Gerald VanHecke at Harvey Mudd.)
- Jodye was also the Primary Instructor for the Spring Freshman Chemistry Lab class when I made my first foray into teaching as a student instructor.
Jodye has always been thoughtfully supportive of me and when I decided that I’d had enough of environmental testing and started looking into different career paths she was the first person who said they thought I’d make a good science librarian. Jodye has always been active in educational and mentoring activities ranging from her self described dog and pony shows for local schools, to becoming a Science Educator at the Cal Poly Pomona Center for Education & Equity in Math, Science and Technology.
What’s with the quilt? Jodye made it as a wedding present.
Science Heroes can be famous or stealth, they can change lives and change the world. Have a Science Hero you’d like to talk about? Comment on this post if you’d like to guest blog your science hero!