Graduate Spotlight
Cindy GorenRealize your scientific interests and professional goals through close interaction with your faculty advisors. Read how one student's connections have her returning to teaching after a 15-year break.

Learning to Lead

Cindy Goren

This summer, chemistry graduate student Cindy Goren led a group of undergraduate researchers who were working to perfect the process of turning waste vegetable oil into biodiesel fuel. And throughout the past two years at CMU, she has been a teaching assistant for a half-dozen chemistry courses.

It's all a great experience for Goren, who is returning to teaching after a 15-year break to raise her children. She previously taught high school math and now is earning her master's degree in chemistry with an emphasis on community college education.

As a teaching assistant, Goren oversees the labs, assists students with technique and proper procedure, grades papers, and serves as a mentor.

"You're the instructor, basically, for the lab," she says. "You're under the watch of the professor, but you have that freedom of having your own space."

The best leaders: "Have a level of confidence in themselves and their abilities and are not afraid to speak out and step up."