“The story of my life is ‘If you tell me I can’t do it, I do it.’”

After being told she wasn’t particularly smart, Mary Shultz, a professor of chemistry at Tufts University, set out to prove otherwise. She talks about the importance of doing what excites you and encourages women to never take “impossible” for an answer.

Shultz received her Ph.D. in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was a postdoctoral associate with Nobel laureate Nicolaas Bloembergen. She developed theoretical models for energy transfer in molecules and solids, with particular attention to vibrational energy. Shultz’s current work is experimental and focuses on interactions at aqueous surfaces in environmental, geological, and biological systems. One of the surface interactions involves using photocatalysts to clean water. As a member of the American Chemical Society, she is a councilor and serves on a number of committees, including the Women Chemists Committee, that aims to improve the atmosphere for women chemists. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Posted In: Overcoming the Odds

Catalyst Series: Women in Chemistry

Women in Chemistry

Follow the adventures of eight leading women in chemistry and celebrate their life-changing, chance-taking, thrill-seeking love of science.