Dr. Katherine M. Paulsen is a 2007 Gannon University alumna with her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Biotechnology. She has many fond memories of her time at Gannon but what she most enjoyed was being able to have classes together with the same students in her major. Her class size was small giving her the opportunity to develop a close-knit community between fellow students and faculty. While a student she was actively involved in several clubs and organizations. She was a member of Gamma Sigma Epsilon, the secretary of Phi Eta Sigma and the Chemistry Club, as well as the Vice President of the Environmental Club.
Katie feels fortunate to have a strong undergraduate chemistry education, which she says was essential for surviving the coursework in the first two years of graduate school. She is forever indebted to the faculty for challenging her to excel, specifically Dr. Carl Hultman saying, “He encouraged me to apply to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and without his encouragement I never would have pursued a chemistry top 10 institution for graduate school.” She continued on to obtain her Ph.D. thanks to Dr. Francis Pelczar and Dr. Weslenese Tallmadge who instilled their love of chemistry in Katie and pushed her to succeed.
Katie received her Ph.D. in 2013 and immediately following became an applications scientist for Thermo Fisher Scientific providing support to customers for an array of scientific instrumentation. Katie received an "Outstanding Applications Scientist" award and recognition from the North American sales team for her work as a Senior Applications Scientist. She is also an American Chemical Society member and serves on the Madison Biotechnology Advisory Board. Katie enjoys her work and loves her company. She sees herself growing within her field and knows she can do this at Thermo Fisher Scientific.
Her best advice to others is “Work hard and surround yourself with people who are passionate and motivate you to push yourself harder. Never sell yourself short as determination and grit are formidable forces when working toward your goals” Katie resides in Madison, WI with her best friend and husband, Eirik. Their son, Elliot, was only in their life for a short time, but they cherish every moment they were given with him. They also have a rescued chocolate lab, Kona. Katie enjoys reading, attending sporting events, drinking coffee and working on personal development. Her passion these days are running, fitness and clean eating. She enjoys spending time in the kitchen testing new recipes.
Katie’s message to Gannon students is, “You are at a liberal arts institution. Take the opportunity to branch out and explore courses outside of the physical sciences. In doing so, you may stumble upon something great. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors!”
(published February 2017)