Susan Shih

    June, 2004:

    Susan ShihSchool: College of DuPage
    Title: Professor of Chemistry
    Education: Rosemont College – AB
    Ohio State University – MS

    I chose chemistry for a number of reasons, the primary one being that I enjoyed it. I had a female chemistry teacher in high school, my mother had a degree in chemistry, her sister was an MD and my father’s brother was a chemist so I had a lot of exposure to it.

    In graduate school, I discovered that I really enjoyed teaching and working with students. I also discovered that I did not have a knack for laboratory research work, so education seemed to be the way to go. With the exception of an 8 year hiatus as a stay at home mom, I have taught at the college level since 1968.

    I especially like working with the students, trying to get them to look at things on a different level. I also like trying new things in the classroom. The occasions when former students return to tell me how they are doing is always gratifying.

    I primarily teach science majors and work especially at developing their critical thinking skills. Even if they do not remember specifics about chemistry after a few years, as long as they can logically analyze a problem, then I consider them a success.

    We are involved in an NSF grant proposal with UIC and Purdue, among others, for setting up an undergraduate research center. If this is funded, we have some exciting times ahead.

    I think it’s important to be open to new ideas in pedagogy and to stay current in curriculum developments. As a woman in what is still generally considered a “man’s field”, it is important to serve as a role model and mentor to young women interest in science.


    “Outstanding Faculty for 2002-2003” in my Division at COD, recognition by my peers. I also served an 18 month term as Chair of the Chicago Section ACS, a position that certainly broadened my view point on what our students need to know. I would encourage anyone interested in chemical education to become a member of the Division of Chemical Education of the ACS. It is a wonderful resource.

    — Written by Marilyn Kouba