In this episode, Fred Lawrence welcomes professor Amy Cheng Vollmer from Swarthmore College. A microbiologist whose research centers on how bacteria react to different types of stresses, discusses her ongoing fascination with bacteria, why failure is important in her field, the need for STEAM, not just STEM, and what it means to her to be a Chinese-American woman in the sciences.

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Past Episodes

Key Conversations with Phi Beta Kappa is a new podcast featuring in-depth conversations between Fred Lawrence, Secretary/CEO of Phi Beta Kappa, and Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholars. With a new episode released every six weeks, each podcast invites listeners to take a seat at the table to learn more about the featured Scholar's background, research, and how they have taken their respective paths to where they are now, and where they are headed. 

Since 1956, the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program has been offering undergraduates the opportunity to spend time with some of America's most distinguished scholars. The purpose of the program is to contribute to the intellectual life of the campus by making possible an exchange of ideas between the Visiting Scholars and the resident faculty and students.​


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Amy Cheng Vollmer

 

Amy Cheng Vollmer is Isaac H. Clothier, Jr. Professor of Biology at Swarthmore, where she has helped to create initiatives to promote adult science literacy as well as to increase access to and success in STEM fields for a diverse student population. Her teaching, which incorporates active learning in large and small classes, includes microbiology, biotechnology, metabolism, and introductory biology; her research focuses on the regulation of the response of bacteria to environmental stress. She has authored works on basic bacterial genetics and physiology and on applied and environmental microbiology. Serving in numerous leadership capacities as a member of the American Society for Microbiology, she was the 2006 recipient of the ASM’s Carski Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award. She is past president of the Waksman Foundation for Microbiology.

Our Host

Our Host

Frederick M. Lawrence is the 10th Secretary and CEO of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. An accomplished scholar, teacher and attorney, he is one of the nation’s leading experts on civil rights, free expression, and bias crimes. Learn More.

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