Kerry Ann Pickin Paumi (PhD 2002) – Young Alumni Awardee

We recognize Dr. Kerry Ann Pickin Paumi (PhD 2002) as the 2016 Young Alumni Award recipient. Kerry has shown exceptional dedication and success in the areas of teaching and service while building her career at Centre College in Danville, KY, and we are proud to call her a WFU Chemistry alumna.

Kerry attended Wake Forest from 1998 until 2002 hen she graduated with a PhD in Organometallic Chemistry from Dr. Mark Welker’s lab. Following her PhD she took a post-doc in the Pharmacology department of the Johns Hopkins Medical School. There she she conducted groundbreaking research on the synthesis of peptide-based bi‐substrate kinase inhibitors. Then after 3 years there, she decided to pursue her true passion, teaching.

Kerry took a Visiting Professor position at Stevenson University in Baltimore teaching Gen Chem and Organic Labs while also learning to mother newborn twin daughters. She did so well, Stevenson made her position permanent, but Kerry had other plans.

Kerry and her husband (Christian Paumi, PhD 2003) moved to Kentucky in 2008. After a year of adjunct work at the University of Kentucky teaching Organic Chemistry at night, Kerry landed a 1-­year visiting professor contract at Centre College teaching General and Organic Chemistry (August 2009). It is at Centre College she quickly found a home, proving her worth and dedication. By December of 2009, she asked to stay on as a visiting professor for 2 more years. Hard work, an incredible passion for teaching, dedication, and an uncanny ability to establish outstanding rapport with her students became her hallmarks. In her third year as a visiting professor she obtained a full time tenure‐track position in the Chemistry Department at Centre College as an Organic Chemist.

Over her last 6 years at Centre College she has been recognized by both her students and her colleagues for her passion for teaching, dedication at both the teaching and college service level, and for her willingness to go above and beyond what is required.

– Each of her last 5 years, Kerry has been recognized by one or more students at the Centre College Honor Walk. This ceremony gives graduating seniors the opportunity to recognize any one person, in their lives, for the persons help and support during their collegiate career.
– In 2014, Kerry was one of three faculty presented with the Kirk Award. The Kirk Award is presented to faculty that are selected by their colleagues and the Dean of Faculty for showing excellence in teaching and outstanding dedication in the classroom.
– In May of this year (2015), Kerry was awarded with the highest honor for faculty at Centre College, the Centre Scholar Award. The Centre Scholar Award recognizes outstanding faculty that have achieved excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service. As part of this award she was also recognized for her outstanding work with the American Colleges of the South (ACS) Pedagogy workshop in which she quickly worked her way through the ranks and is now a head instructor for the annual workshop.
– She was also recognized for her work with the Centre Term trip to New Zealand, a trip that covers the chemistry of volcanology.

Congratulations to Kerry. You are well-deserving of our Young alumni Award.