Our Lives, Our Laureates: Sallie Chisholm

“One day, my advisor said to me, ‘You could get a Ph.D., you know, if you wanted.'”

Photo of Our Lives, Our Laureates: Sallie Chisholm

“[My interest in science] goes back to my advisor in college, who was an influence in the sense that – I always knew that I loved going to school – [chuckles] – and when I started taking lab courses, I knew that I liked working in the lab and doing research, but I never thought about getting a Ph.D.

And one day, my advisor said to me, ‘You could get a Ph.D., you know, if you wanted.’ That was the sentence that made me think, ‘Oh! Okay. I hadn’t thought of that.’

“ONE DAY, MY ADVISOR SAID TO ME, ‘YOU COULD GET A PH.D., YOU KNOW, IF YOU WANTED.’ THAT WAS THE SENTENCE THAT MADE ME THINK, ‘OH! OKAY. I HADN’T THOUGHT OF THAT.'”

So then I went to graduate school. I could’ve been interested in many different things, but because I had done research on lakes as an undergraduate, and water was such a large part of my life, growing up on Lake Superior, plus I had been enchanted by seeing phytoplankton under a microscope, I ended up going in that direction.”

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