Environmental Science & Toxicology, Baylor University
Christie M. Sayes moved around a lot as as a child, ultimately graduating from St. Michael’s Catholic High School in Baton Rouge, LA. She received an ACS Certified BS degree in Environmental Chemistry from Louisiana State University in 2001. Asked what she appreciated most about her time in LSU Chemistry, Christies says, “The professors. They were so impressive and friendly. I knew from the very beginning I wanted to do what they do. I thank [them] for providing the foundation I needed to succeed in science.” Looking back, the only thing she wishes she had done differently in her career-to-date is to have kept in touch with her classmates in the LSU Department of Chemistry. It’s not too late to fix that!
Christie then attended Rice University in Houston, TX, for graduate school. Like most graduate students, self-doubt was something that clouded her mind from time to time. “I constantly doubted myself when I was in graduate school … I wanted to be a wife, a mother, and a professor. I didn't think it was possible. My major professor at Rice (Vicki Colvin) demonstrated by example that it was possible.” Christie took advantage of the many opportunities that she earned and her confidence grew. She received her PhD in 2005.
Since that time, Christie has held several positions, in both the private sector and academia. She was a Visiting Scientist at E. I. Dupont Nemours & Co. and later served as Chief Technical Officer (CTO) at Nology LLC, a start-up company exploring opportunities in the nascent field of nanotechnology. She served as a faculty member at Texas A&M University and also in the University of North Carolina System.
Today, Christie is an Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Toxicology at Baylor University in Waco, TX. Her research focuses primarily on the health effects of nanotechnology-enabled products – from cradle to grave. She also teaches Environmental Health to the undergraduates and Fundamentals of Toxicology to the graduate students.
Finally, Christie offers advice to students currently matriculating at LSU: “LSU Chemistry can provide a strong foundation for a career in research. Consider participating in undergraduate research. It will help you succeed in your first steps immediately after graduating.”
Profile contributed by Ashley Taylor and Carol Taylor