Centre News

20 Questions with Assistant Professor of Chemistry Kerry Paumi

July 25, 2013        
Kerry Paumi

Kerry Paumi Paumi with her twin daughters, Kylie and Jade.
1. Position at Centre?
Assistant Professor of Chemistry

2. Where did you grow up (and describe the place in one phrase or sentence)?
I grew up in a both Macungie and Emmaus, Pa. These are beautiful little adjacent towns in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country near Allentown (yes, the Billy Joel song). They are also about two hours from either New York City or Philadelphia.

3. What are your hobbies?
Baking, gardening, photography, hiking and really anything that lets me get outside and spend time with my family.

4. What is your dream vacation?
My dream vacation would be to visit a quiet place far away with only my family and no other people—perhaps it includes a beach and the ocean (but that can really be any ocean front area, warm or cold). I just love the water. I find it calming and peaceful.

5. Favorite artist and/or work of art?
Miro (I especially enjoy his mobiles) and Dali (I love the melting clocks in "The Persistence of Memory").

6. Favorite novel or poem?

7. Favorite sport (to watch or play)?
My favorite sports to watch are the Olympics; it doesn't matter if it's the summer or winter Olympics, I am an addict. My favorite sport to do is skiing.

8. Favorite TV show?
Currently, I think it would be a tie between The Killing and Falling Skies, but of all time I would have to say Stargate SG-1. What can I say: I am a Sci-Fi geek.

9. Favorite album?
Easy. Depeche Mode—Violator.

10. Favorite holiday?
Definitely Christmas—I love the wonder it inspires.

11. Favorite food?

12. Most prized possession?
The things I value the most are my wedding ring, a few pieces of jewelry that are family heirlooms and my photo albums of my family.

13. Three people, living or deceased, whom you'd invite to the same dinner party?
I would invite my two grandmothers who have both passed and my twin daughters so that they could all meet (I know that is four total but I am counting the twins as one, sorry!).

14. Favorite aspect of your job?
The people—both the students and my colleagues.

15. Most memorable experience of your youth?
The summers I spent traveling with my mom, who was a high school German teacher and had the summers off to travel. We would often go to Germany to visit friends and family. Of these, the most memorable came from going to Berlin, both before and after the Wall fell.

16. What would you be doing if you weren't working at Centre?
Hopefully be teaching someplace else.

17. Educational experience that's been most helpful to you?
Pop organic chemistry exams at Gettysburg College—these unannounced exams taught me to constantly study and to balance my time.

18. Fictional character in whose shoes you'd love to spend a day?
I would enjoy spending a day as the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland. It would be marvelous to spend time lounging around appearing and disappearing in the mad world of Wonderland.

19. Favorite place on campus (and why)?
The classroom—whatever one I am teaching in. There is no place I would rather be on campus than working with my students. I learn from them as they learn from me.

20. Advice you'd give to a first-year college student to make success more likely?
Enjoy every moment of life, the good ones and even the failures. Life is short and all of the moments put together will make you a stronger, better person.

Centre College, founded in 1819, is a nationally ranked liberal arts college in Danville, Ky. Centre hosted its second Vice Presidential Debate on 10.11.12, and remains the smallest college in the smallest town ever to host a general election debate. For more, click here.

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