Susan (Vander Werff)
A Love For Nature and
The endless wonder of nature
enthralled Dr. Susan (Vander Werff) Lamont '75 when she was a young girl
growing up in Lansing, Illinois, and it continues to hold her heart captive
"I've had an affinity for
nature for as long as I can remember," said the distinguished professor
of animal science at Iowa State University. "The creativity and discovery
of science appeal strongly to me because there is always so much for us
to learn. We will never reach the point where we can't learn anymore."
Lamont has taught at Iowa
State since 1983. After completing her doctorate in human anatomy at the
University of Illinois at Chicago in 1980, she attended the University
of Massachusetts for postdoctoral studies. She found that a college teaching
career suited her professional ambitions best.
"I wanted to stay in academics
because I enjoyed doing research and teaching, and this position is the
ideal combination. I love training students in science and watching them
succeed on their own. I work primarily with graduate students, and their
energy and enthusiasm make our research more rewarding for me."
When Lamont, a former student
association president, recalls her days at the College, she dips into a
well of fond memories about a community that inspired students to learn
and encouraged them to grow together.
"Trinity was a fantastic
fit for me. Specifically, the faculty made the campus a very special place,
and their influence remains evident in my work today. The biology and chemistry
professors - Harry Cook, Arie Leegwater, Gerrit Van Dyke - they pushed
us to get involved. (English professors) Gerda Bos and Dan Diephouse showed
us the value of knowing how to communicate our thoughts and ideas, and
that is a critically important component of what I do when I have to present
my research findings. Lastly, (philosophy professor) Calvin Seerveld reminded
us that Christian ethics extend into everything we do, no matter if it
is science, teaching, business, or anything else.
"Being a small college, Trinity
offered plenty of opportunities for students to play major roles in its
operations. I think we took ownership of what happened on campus, and that
built the atmosphere of family in the classroom and the residence halls.
The intimate, personal nature led to some excellent friendships that really
defined the student body during those years."
Lamont spends her spare time
participating in outdoors activities, such as walking and hiking, and she
also likes reading. She and her husband, Greg, have one son. They attend
United Church of Christ - Congregational in Ames, Iowa, their hometown.
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