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A real-life 'superhero' inspiring students at UNCG

Dr. Kimberly Petersen is a mother of three and an associate Chemistry professor at UNCG.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Work-life balance is something everyone is trying to find.

When you have three preschoolers and a taxing job, some may call you a 'Superhero.' Dr. Kimberly Petersen, is a female scientist, and certainly falls into this category.

"When I'm at work, I'm trying to be the best teacher and researcher I can be," Petersen said. "When I'm at home, I'm trying to be the best mom I can be. But, it certainly is a lot." 

Petersen is a mother of three and an associate chemistry professor at UNC-Greensboro.

"When I was interviewing here at UNCG, I met Dr. Nadja Chech and she is a fellow colleague here in the chemistry department and she was such an inspiration to me," Petersen said. "She had young kids and she was so successful."

Petersen said seeing how UNCG embraced female scientists made her choose this university 10 years ago.

"Each semester, I'm teaching 100 students. So, that's a lot of students that you can sort of influence and train," Petersen said. "I mean, I'm training people who want to be doctors and pharmacists and veterinarians." 

Outside the classroom, Petersen works on groundbreaking research.

"We are sort of laying some of the foundational groundwork that could potentially be used someday that could make a molecule that could treat cancer," Petersen said.

Petersen said she always wanted to be a scientist working in a lab. It's in her DNA.

"My dad was my high school science and math teacher and my chemistry teacher," Petersen said. 

She found her purpose in mentoring students in a school setting. Her advice for students is simple.

"Go for it and if you don't get that scholarship or you don't get that award, it's not a big deal. But sometimes you're going to get it and so just try for it," Petersen said. 


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