SciSoc Spotlight Issue 17 – Dr Stephanie Smith

1 February 2021. Dr Stephanie Smith is a Teaching Fellow with the Department of Chemistry. A PDF version of this Issue is available here.

Research focus: Molecular modelling of organic molecules, teaching

As a departmental teaching fellow, my efforts are devoted to undergraduate teaching. I lecture on Aromatic and Enolate Chemistry (part IB chemistry B) and Aromatic Heterocycles and Medicinal Chemistry (part III chemistry), and am a senior demonstrator in the part II organic, part IB organic and part IB physical labs. I am a bye-fellow of Pembroke College where I am Director of Studies (DoS) for Chemistry and am also Chemistry DoS at Newnham. I supervise IA chemistry, IB chemistry A and B, and selected part II and part III chemistry courses.

What made you decide to pursue research/teaching?

I love teaching and helping students to understand and enjoy their studies and to reach their full academic potential. This is especially rewarding at Cambridge where everyone is so friendly, enthusiastic, keen to learn and a delight to teach. I also really enjoy learning and am always excited to learn about new areas of chemistry or to see areas that I thought I knew well from new perspectives.

What would be your advice to aspiring researchers?

As the saying goes, “Follow your dreams, they know the way”. Don’t be put off by apparently insurmountable challenges (it may be easier than you think), by setbacks, or if you can’t see how to get there or can’t imagine yourself in a particular role. Take one step at a time, seek advice and support from others, play to your own strengths, and you may end up surprising yourself.

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