Dr. Mary Perrot
Dept. Head & Professor, Chemistry
B.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison
Gillette Co. (patents in silicone polymers & consumer products)
Avery Inc. (patents in acrylic polymers and repulpable adhesives)
Settling in Detroit in the 1910’s, my grandparents all were immigrants from Hungary and Poland; none of them had more than an 8th grade education and none of them ever learned to speak English. They labored as laundresses, garbage collectors and factory workers. Their children (my parents) went quite a bit further. My mother graduated from high school and worked in banking and my father became a doctor, eventually the coroner of Detroit. They were excellent role models, as my mother displayed excellent talent in math and my father always had something interesting laying about in the lab. My brother and I both graduated from MIT and we both have Ph.D.’s in chemistry. Looking at my family, I am thoroughly convinced of the power of education to transform lives.
Escaping Detroit, I earned a B.S. in Chemistry from M.I.T. (yes, it was extremely challenging). To avoid physical atrophy during this period of intense mental challenge, I joined the women’s crew team and became the women’s team captain and MVP. Moving to the frozen north to attend graduate school at the University of Wisconsin, I received a Ph.D. in chemistry for research in inorganic and surface photochemistry. Later employment at Gillette and Avery-Dennison afforded an opportunity to make practical use of chemistry. I received a half dozen patents during this time – some of the products from these you see every day!
Joining the LBCC faculty in 1994, I am still thrilled every semester to work with students who want to improve their lives.