I came to a career in academia through a rather non-traditional path. After serving in the United States Army, I worked as a utility locator, a carpenter, and a forensic toxicology technician before realizing my true passion was in chemistry. I then obtained my bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Montana, Missoula, with a focus on biological chemistry. I received the Ph. D in Chemistry from the State University of New York at Buffalo with a focus on analytical chemistry.