By: Nawal Samdani
Merilee Britt has taught chemistry at IU South Bend for over 22 years. She earned Merit Status, a promotional category that recognizes outstanding contributions of Associate Faculty, in 2019. This status is awarded to those who have made a professional commitment to IU South Bend.
Professor Britt said she enjoys teaching the students who attend IU South Bend and helping them achieve their goals; she expressed that they are some of the “hardest-working students [she] has ever encountered” with many other responsibilities, such as full-time employment and family.
Professor Britt’s passion for teaching shines through her excellent instruction in chemistry lectures and labs, where she creates an effective learning environment, engages students and is readily available for questions and concerns.
The chemical world continues to be refined and is constantly expanding, which leaves room for so much yet to be discovered in the subatomic, atomic and microscopic levels.
“The possibilities for exploration and discovery are endless,” Professor Britt said.
The periodic table, which is essential to life on earth, consists of 118 elements.
“Each element is like a person living in a small town of 118 people,” Professor Britt said when asked about her favorite part of chemistry. “Each has its own unique characteristics…like people, the elements can work together to achieve great things, such as cure diseases and create living organisms, or they can create destructive, harmful substances.”
Professor Britt faced many challenges in her academic career, as female students were discouraged from STEM fields.
“Pursue your dreams, and do not let anyone tell you that you cannot achieve your goals,” she said.
In her free time, Britt enjoys camping, hiking and kayaking!