Drs. Susannah and Todd Sandrin are a dual-career SBRP success story from The University of Arizona. Susie (working with Mark Brusseau) and Todd (working with Raina Maier) met, romanced, married, and earned their doctoral degrees during their stay at UA. Following graduation in 2001, Susie and Todd moved to The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh where their interest and success in environmental issues continues. Susie wears two hats at UW-Oshkosh: she is the Director of the University of Wisconsin System Program for Women/Minorities and Science and is also the UW-Oshkosh Coordinator of Science Outreach. In these positions, Susie has chosen to work from a platform that showcases environmental science and has successfully obtained grant monies to support this effort. Todd is an Assistant Professor in the Department Biology and Microbiology where his research and teaching emphasis involves the impact of toxic metals on microbial physiology and ecology. Todd (as PI) has received over $400,000 in funding from the NSF to establish research infrastructure for a Proteomics and Functional Genomics Core Facility that will serve UW-Oshkosh and four other local colleges and for an NSF REU (research experience for undergraduates).
In answering the question “how did the UA SBRP influence your careers?” Susie and Todd provide insight into the value of the SBRP program. While both Susie and Todd performed basic research at the University of Arizona, the SBRP program, with its emphasis on interdisciplinary training and technology transfer as well as the SBRP meetings that they attended, provided them with an interface to the application of their science to solving environmental problems. This interface has been critical in Todd’s teaching efforts in which he finds it easy to stimulate an appreciation for the science he communicates because he can connect it to real world issues. It has been critical in his research efforts because he can assemble and communicate with interdisciplinary teams for successful granting efforts. For Susie, this interface has been critical for helping her to develop a successful platform to use not only for recruitment of women and minorities to science but also for general science outreach to the public.