Carolyn Landel

Austin, TX, US
Field of Work 
STEM Education
Job Title or "Student" 
Education consulting
Whitworth College
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Education Level 
Profile Biography 
At the age of 10 I received my first chemistry set and got designated "lab space" in the basement of our home. My quest to become a scientist was all but assured at that point. I was a fiercely independent child and was intent on bucking the trend of the small, rural, economically depressed logging town I grew up in where less than 10% of kids went on to college. Thanks to the support and encouragement of a few dedicated teachers, I went on to become the first in my family to go on to college and went further still to get my doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Chicago. I was able to go on to do research at the University of Massachusetts and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, living and experiencing different parts of the country by pursuing education and research. It was an eye-opening experience for a small town girl and truly life changing.

While maintaining an active research program, I became increasingly interested in helping other young girls find their way to the world of science and all the doors that world opens. I became an active volunteer for programs like Expanding Your Horizons that offered workshops for girls provided by professional women in science and math related fields. My passion for that work soon eclipsed my bench research interests. Eventually I packed up my beakers and Petri dishes to focus on science, technology, engineering and math education and policy - here I found my life's work and have never looked back.

I ascribe to a "work hard, play hard" lifestyle. I am deeply committed to my work, but equally committed to a full and adventurous life at home. I am the mother of a now teenage son and enjoy engaging with him as he develops his own passions in school and sport. Together with my husband, our family values travel and seeing the world through the eyes of the diverse cultures that occupy the planet. We've traveled to the Philippines, Vietnam, and Cambodia and are planning our next trip to Kenya. We also value our own national treasures here in the US and have hiked and camped in Mount Rainier, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, and Acadia among others. While we love all of those adventures, we also enjoy simple time together as a family and with friends gathered around the table sharing a home-cooked meal and lots of laughs.

My advice to anyone is simply to pursue life with passion - both at work and at home. Give everything your all, enjoy it, savor it and always be ready for the next adventure. Life will never be a straight and simple course so don't expect it to be and you'll thrive on the waves and bumps that come your way.
Writing/blogging, Working outdoors, Reading, Travel, Sports
Race & Ethnicity 
Level of Participation 
After-school visit, In-school visit, Online role model, Summer camp visit
My Experience 
I have been a Role Model many times.
No Preference
Program Affiliation 

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