Jennifer Kugel

Boulder, CO, US
Field of Work 
Biochemistry, Molecular Biology
University of Colorado, Boulder
Job Title or "Student" 
Associate Research Professor
St. Olaf College and University of Colorado, Boulder
Education Level 
Profile Biography 
When I entered college, I wasn't quite sure what my career path would be, other than knowing I was interested in science and research. I majored in chemistry because I felt it gave me several options (medical school, teaching, research, etc.). As I progressed through college I took more biology courses, and I became fascinated with understanding the molecular details behind why proteins, DNA, and biological pathways behave they way that they do. My desire to constantly understand "why" is what drove me to pursue my PhD in biochemistry. Graduate school was a wonderful experience and I learned an enormous amount about research, writing, speaking, and tenacity. I learned that research projects and experiments often fail, but persistence and an open mind for new directions keep things moving forward. After graduate school I pursued a position as a Research Professor at an academic institution (University of Colorado, Boulder). This means that I devote almost all my time to research related activities (mentoring graduate students, post-docs, and undergrads in the lab, writing grants, writing manuscripts, and performing experiments myself). I also do a small amount of formal classroom teaching. I chose this career path because of my inherent love of research, and mentoring others in how to do research. In addition, I felt this career path provided me a comfortable balance between enjoying a fulfilling career and raising two wonderful children. I would encourage any young woman interested in STEM fields to use resources, gather information, and think about all aspects of their career goals, ultimately making a choice that is consistent with who she is and who she wants to be.
Reading, Sports
Race & Ethnicity 
Level of Participation 
After-school visit, Online role model
My Experience 
I am a new Role Model.
No Preference
Program Affiliation 

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