Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Chance Encounters

At a meeting I attended last week, I had the good fortune to meet Dr. Joseph Francisco, William E. Moore Distinguished Professor—Physical Chemistry, at Purdue University. I thought that I would take a quick moment to introduce him to you!

From his website you can see that he is very good at what he does (in addition to his academic accomplishments, he has held many honors including President of the National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers, an Alexandar von Humboldt Research Award for Senior U.S. Scientists, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and President of the American Chemical Society). But as he shared his story, I was more struck by how his journey through life and as a scientist was catalyzed.

It was through a chance encounter outside of his house. He is fully aware that had he waited a few more minutes to walk out the door, he may have missed the stranger standing on the sidewalk. We all know that achievement doesn't come without a lot of hard work, but he readily admits that luck and the ability to build and maintain mentoring relationships helped him realize his potential. I feel lucky to have met him and plan not to forget the lesson that his life has taught me!

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