As a high school senior in Portland, Mich., Patricia Fedewa Kreke ’88 was set to study engineering at Michigan Technological University. Then, a visit to Transy’s campus and the offer of a full scholarship altered her college plans and ultimately the course of her entire life.
“Receiving that scholarship really changed the direction I was moving,” said Kreke, who’s now an associate professor of chemistry and health professions advisor at Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland. “The environment at Transy was wonderful. I fell in love with it. It’s what inspired me to want to teach at a small liberal arts college.”
After graduating from Transylvania, Kreke earned her Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and she completed post-doctoral research at UT, working at the Oak Ridge National Labs. She then came to Mount St. Mary’s, where she’s taught for the last 10 years.
Kreke has made strides to attract more women to science, obtaining a grant to provide scholarships for women interested in the subject at Mount St. Mary’s. She received a faculty award for working with the college’s Women in Science Organization, which she created. With her students, Kreke draws on what she learned at Transylvania.
“What I brought here from Transy is a real love of faculty-student interaction, the idea that the faculty member is there to mentor the student and work with the student,” she said. “I also gained a love of learning, of teaching yourself as well as interacting with other people as you learn.”
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