“Somebody I Wanted To Be”, Dr. Alma Novotny, Biochemistry & Cell Biology

The first person I ever ran into that was somebody I wanted to be was a woman named Sally Hughes Schrader. She was a professor emerita at Duke when I was there, and the thing that I liked about her was that she loved what she was doing and she had a wonderful time. At that point she would’ve been an emerita professor, so she would have been retired, and she was still observed to do things like run through the parking lot balancing an umbrella by its point, laughing at her own jokes, and being very involved with what she did. She was interested in cell division and she grew her own diffuse kinetochore chromosomes in mosses at her back door. To me, that was a model for how you went into science and had fun. My major professor was also always very supportive, and that was Michael Forman, who is a great guy. I also babysat for him. My experience in science hasn’t been nearly as fractured as most people’s have been, and it worked out well for me.