Marguerite White-Jeanneau looks at an ice cube and sees a chemical curiosity.
It is this excitement and wonder for the chemical world that Professor White-Jeanneau brings to her Northern Essex Community College classroom. Chemistry, she says, is always current.
“It plays a fundamental role in every aspect of our lives,” says the coordinator for the NECC laboratory science program.
She credits her own college chemistry professor with igniting the spark that led her to a career in chemistry.
“He always had a great example to show why each of the topics we covered was important. It opened my eyes to the fundamental role chemistry plays in every aspect of our lives,” she says.
She tries to model her teaching style after him with examples and applications to see how chemistry relates to the world around them.
“I love it,” she says, “When a student starts to see the world in terms of chemistry and starts to connect what’s happening at the atomic and molecular level to the world around them.”
Teaching chemistry was a career choice that found her. After graduating from Connecticut College with a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry she worked for Americorps providing environmental education workshops to elementary school children.
“I loved the education part of it and ended up returning to school to get certified to teach,” she says.
She earned a Master of Secondary Education from Indiana University and taught high school chemistry for three years before returning to graduate school. She earned a master of Geochemical Systems from the University of New Hampshire (UNH).
“I just felt the more I taught the more I had to learn,” she says.
She holds a Ph.D. in Earth Systems Science from UNH.