5 questions with…avid runner, award-winning faculty member LaShanda Korley

When LaShanda Korley was growing up, she knew she wanted to be a college professor. Now, as the Nord Distinguished Assistant Professor in the Department of Macromolecular Science and Engineering, she’s fulfilling her childhood goals—as well as many personal and professional ones along the way.

An avid runner—you might catch her running the streets of our fair city in the Cleveland Half Marathon just prior to donning her academic regalia at commencement—and a mother, Korley keeps a tight schedule outside of the collegiate world.

But on campus, she’s busy as a student mentor, for which she earned the 2011 John S. Diekhoff Award for Graduate Mentoring, and a prominent researcher, where she is a chemical engineer and polymer scientist who uses natural materials like spider webs as inspiration to develop new polymers and technology.

Read more about Korley in our weekly Q&A.

1. What superpower would you most like to have?
Definitely, I would most like to have the ability to be in more than one place at a time, which is often referred to as “mommy power.”

2. What’s your favorite place to dine in Cleveland?
L’Albatros in University Circle is my new favorite restaurant—they have wonderful gluten-free options.

3. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Honestly, I have always wanted to be a college professor. I quickly decided that engineering was my research passion as well as a vehicle to share knowledge and to innovate.

4. What accomplishments are you most proud of—personally and professionally?
Being blessed with a bright, engaging, dynamic and beautiful daughter is my greatest personal accomplishment. In addition, it’s very fulfilling for me to have maintained my running streak for 10 years, including three half marathons. I hope to complete my fourth in May.

Professionally, I am most proud of my young investigator achievements: National Science Foundation CAREER Award, DuPont Young Professor and 3M Nontenured Faculty. Plus, being awarded the John S. Diekhoff Graduate Mentoring award last year was an amazing accomplishment. It underscores the support that I have received throughout the years and the impact that faculty members have on the lives of their students.

5. What’s your favorite thing about Case Western Reserve University?
CWRU is a major research university with connected, engaged and collaborative faculty, staff and students. I love this dynamic web of interaction and the relationships I have forged over the last five years.