Science professor defies anti-female convention

By Jenna Nash
November 13, 2003

Steph Mangold

There have been several new additions to Cabrini this year, not including the freshmen class of 2007. Dr. Lisa Chirlian is a new chemistry professor. She is a friendly person who clearly cares about her students and wants them to succeed.

Chirlian is from New Jersey and attended Stevens Tech College there. She originally started out as a pre-med student. However, she found that she liked her chemistry classes more than her biology classes. Ultimately, it came down to deciding if the medical field was right for her or whether she wanted to pursue chemistry as a career. Chirlian explains that it was not really a conscious decision to become a teacher, she sort of fell into it. Her parents were a major influence in her life. Both parents worked in science and encouraged Chirlian to take math and science courses in school. Describing her academic background, Chirlian said, “When I was in high school, girls were often discouraged from taking some of the more advanced math and science courses. My parents also supported my decision to go to college to study science as well as to continue my studies in graduate school.”

Chirlian taught at Bryn Mawr College for 11 years. She decided to explore other teaching options because she wanted to be a full-time faculty member instead of focusing mainly on research projects. Chirlian decided to come to Cabrini because of the emphasis on teaching. She likes the size of the school and the campus, as well as the small and intimate classes. As many students will agree, “the parking is hard,” Chirlian said. When asked if anything about Cabrini and its’ students surprised her, she had to think about it. The answer: “I’m surprised by their diversity,” Chirlian said.

It is obvious that Chirlian’s students are important to her. “The [students] keep me young and most of all I want them to do well,” Chirlian said.

Her accomplishments are her three daughters, whom she enjoys spending time with and the webpage that she designed for her classes. In her spare time, Chirlian likes to sew and cook and stay involved in her kids’ schools.

Overall, Chirlian is happy with her choice to join the Cabrini College faculty.

“I really like being here at Cabrini,” Chirlian said.

Posted to the web by Steph Mangold

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Jenna Nash

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