The assistant professor of chemistry joins Lafayette after completing postdoc work at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington
Area of study: Mensch studies the environmental impacts of nanomaterials and microplastics, focusing on understanding how the chemistry of these materials may interact with or impact different biological systems. She also studies how their may change in the environment and how those changes may alter their interactions with cells.
Fall courses: General Chemistry lecture and Analytical Chemistry lab
On the impact of COVID: “The pandemic caused a pretty abrupt ending to my postdoctoral work. I spent the last couple of months of my postdoc working from home rather than collecting data in the lab that I desperately wanted to collect. On a positive note, it’s also given me the opportunity to spend this summer focusing on developing strategies to teach remotely. I’ve been investigating the best way to engage and connect with students and designing lessons and laboratory activities with this in mind.”
On fostering racial inclusivity: “The voices of and opportunities for BIPOC have been suppressed for too long in STEM, academia, and the country as a whole. I intend to be available for my students and do everything in my power to help students traditionally underrepresented in science succeed at Lafayette in the classroom, lab, and beyond. I also intend to continually learn and educate myself on the ways in which I can better support students from culturally diverse backgrounds in the classroom and lab.”
My moment of zen: “Moving to Easton from the state of Washington during a pandemic definitely presented quite a few challenges. However, the opportunity to drive across the country and see some of the national parks (Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, and the Badlands) was awesome. The sights and wildlife I got to see were truly breathtaking. Taking a socially distanced selfie with a moose was definitely a silver lining!“
What I like about Easton so far: “I really like the Karl Stirner Arts Trail along Bushkill Creek! Being able to be outside and enjoy a nice walk along the creek has been great!”