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Credit: Robert Neubecker

The power of mentoring

I was born a scientist, but becoming one professionally required a little help. Stellar teachers nurtured my love for science and engineering in middle school. Later, after some missteps and struggles in high school, professors at Manchester Community College conspired to change my life course from high school dropout to Ph.D. holder. One of them was my first algebra teacher. On the first day of class, she wrote on the board, “You CAN do math.” “You may not believe that now,” she told us, “but you will by the end of this semester with me.” (Read more at Science.)