Sherrisse Bryant

Dr. Sherrisse K. Bryant

Visiting Instructor at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida

Dr. Sherrisse K. Bryant was born and raised in Tallahassee, Florida and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee, FL in 2007. She relocated to Baton Rouge, LA, to become a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry at Louisiana State University. She identified as an analytical chemist and decided to join Professor Doug Gilman’s research group. Her project involved developing and applying new methods for studying enzymes and enzyme inhibition.  She used capillary electrophoresis (CE) and optically gated vacancy CE on commercial and home-built systems.  Sherrisse defended her dissertation titled, “The Development of Capillary Electrophoresis Assays to Study Enzyme Inhibition,” and graduated in Summer 2013.

When asked about what Sherrisse valued most about her time at LSU as a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry, she answered, “ I appreciated the mentorship and guidance provided by my research advisor, as well as, the collaborative environment. I was encouraged to collaborate with researchers in the Department of Chemistry and outside of the department, including Dr. Grover Waldrop’s research group and the Pennington Biomedical Research Center. I was also supported in my pursuit of conducting research at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, as a summer intern. Additionally, working collaboratively with other graduate students led to long lasting friendships and opportunities to work together on community service endeavors.”

Sherrisse is currently a Visiting Instructor at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida. She teaches General Chemistry lecture courses. “On a daily basis, I get excited about guiding the learning process for a diverse group of students. Outside of lecture hall, I work one-on-one with students and coordinate General Chemistry Courses with a small team of instructors.”

Graduate students can often identify pivotal events during the years of trying to understand their research. When asked about hers, Sherrisse answered, “Yes. I reached a turning point when I had a research question that was very difficult to solve during my final year of graduate school. Despite my efforts, I was at a standstill, but I knew I had to keep pushing through in order to find the solution. At that point, I decided stop focusing so much on graduating by a certain date. It was a great idea to have a timeline in mind, because having set goals kept me on track. However, in that moment, I needed to relax and focus primarily on the problem I wanted to solve, even if it took more time than expected.”

When asked if there was anything she would do differently, she answered, “Yes. I would relax a little more and not be as hard on myself. Graduate school is a journey and it is okay if there are some bumps along the way. The bumps along the way are opportunities to learn and improve.”

Sherrisse leaves a mental note for prospective and current graduate students to keep in mind, “Keep working hard to achieve your goals. You might not achieve them in the time frame you expected, but do not give up. If your goals are realistic, you will accomplish them.”

Profile contributed by Ashley Taylor and Carol Taylor