20 Questions: A sketch of Centre biology professor Stephanie Dew

RELEASED: May 4, 2006

   "Being squashed by my largest nephew, Jack" (left) and "me and my aunt freezing to death in front of the Louvre"

1. Position/title: Officially it's Associate Professor of Biology, though I primarily teach in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program.
2. Hometown: Owensboro, KY (graduate of Owensboro High School).
3. Career highlight: When one of my students won first place for his presentation at the Kentucky Academy of Sciences.
4. Signature class: BMB 320: Cellular Metabolism. All the students who've done the dreaded "chart" will know why. This is a class about all the chemical reactions in the cell/body that are involved in making the things that cells need or in breaking things down to get energy. It's extremely complex, but fascinating.
5. Recent publication/exhibition/performance: None. I've been teaching in the Governor's Scholars Program in the summer, which doesn't leave much time for research.
6. Family details: Not married, no kids, but I'm very close to my niece Claire (age 10) and nephews Jack (6), Carson and Conner (twins, age 2). I'm a sucker for babysitting.
7. Hobbies: Babysitting, (oddly enough), but also reading, gardening and needlework. I like both needlepoint and cross-stich.
8. Pets: None, but I keep planning to get a couple of cats. Unfortunately, I'm allergic to cats, a sad legacy of graduate school, where I developed an allergy to animal dander from working with rats.
9. Prized possession: It would either be my antique books or my squid collection. The squid collection started as a joke, when my aunt wanted to know what I collected. She thought that if I collected something, it would make gift-giving easier for her. I said "squid" as a joke. They're hard to find, but my aunt keeps finding them.
10. Last book read: This is tricky, since I read a lot and also listen to books on tape. Anyway, this week I've been on a fantasy kick, reading two different series by Patricia Briggs: Dragon's Blood and Dragon's Bone and Raven's Shadow and Raven's Strike. I also read One Good Knight by Mercedes Lackey. And I'm listening (again) to The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King.  The best non-fiction book I've read lately is The Subterranean Railway by Christian Wolmar, which is about the history of the London Underground. It was fascinating, especially since I'm currently in London.
11. Memorable trip/vacation: Coming up, I hope. I'm going to Scotland for two weeks.
12. Favorite movie:Singin' in the Rain.
13. Favorite album:Flyer, by Nanci Griffith.
14. Favorite food: Guacamole.
15. Favorite smell: Someone else's cooking.
16. Person you most admire: My grandmother, still going strong at 97.
17. Living figure you'd most like to meet: Elizabeth II (I'm on a British kick, since I'm in London).
18. Historical figure you'd most like to meet: Elizabeth I.
19. What would you be doing if you weren't teaching at Centre: Working in a library or bookstore.
20. Describe yourself in three words: Seriously nerdy introvert.


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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://archive.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/

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