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The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

Beaulieu enjoys sharing research experience with her chemistry classes

New Chemistry Instructor Ellen Beaulieu, posing for portrait outside at Physical Science building on Monday, Sept. 23. (Gustavo Vasquez/The Inquirer)

Brand-new instructor Ellen Beaulieu didn’t originally plan on working in chemistry. She was poised to follow a medical career path.

“When I started my undergraduate degree as a premed, I wanted to be a medical doctor, but then I joined a research lab when I was an undergrad,” Beaelieu explained. “I had a really good experience and I decided to switch to research instead of medicine.”

Beaulieu teaches Chemistry 226, which is organic chemistry.

“The staff is really welcoming, all my colleagues are wonderful and all
the students have really good questions. It’s been a really good experience for

She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to DVC. After finishing her undergraduate degree, Beaulieu went on to receive her Ph.D in organic chemistry.

She continues, “Organic
has a
lot of overlap
. Many drugs are small organic molecules, so that
drew me to organic chemistry.”

Before teaching at DVC, Beaulieu served the industry as a research scientist at SRI International, a nonprofit research institute that conducts research and development for government, industry and other organizations.

Beaulieu hopes to share some of what she learned as a research scientist with her students.

“I’m trying to give my students perspective of what is like to be a research scientist as a profession, and I am trying to use some of the things I learned as a chemist in industry in my class,” she said.

Beaulieu brought her own policy to her classes at DVC. That makes her special among other chemistry teachers, and also makes students interested in chemistry.

“I guess my teaching philosophy is that we are all collaborators in this experiment of learning organic chemistry. I may be a teacher and you may be a student, but we are all in this together, right?”

Her lab class very lively and her students seemed really enjoying her class.

This class is really interactive, and she is really interested in our safety. She is very strict, but she makes it fun,” 20 year-old Karen Masarweh said.

McQueen, 22, said “
I like it a lot actually. Its easier than a
regular chemistry. The teacher is really nice and relaxing, relatable.”

McQueen said she recommends students take the class, but only if they are serious. “For chemistry, it’s a really hard class. Make sure you are really dedicated to it. “

Beaulieu also encourages students to consider a career in research.

“Since I worked in
the industry
I want people to learn how to be a professional as well,” she said.

She also mentioned about the importance of being a part of the DVC community.

“I would say
I felt the
most important thing when I was a student was to not be a stranger. That means
to meet
my classmates and to meet
This builds a community. I think community is a really important part of learning. I’m excited to be a part of the DVC community.’’

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About the Contributor
Akihisa Kishigami
Akihisa Kishigami, Staff member
Staff member, fall 2014.

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Beaulieu enjoys sharing research experience with her chemistry classes