Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

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A Tribute to Jen Markiewicz

Garrett+Shields+is+a+student+of+Jen+Markiewicz.
Courtesy of Garrett Shields
Garrett Shields is a student of Jen Markiewicz.

Jen Markiewicz is one of the most beloved professors in the chemistry department, and, unfortunately, this is her last semester as a professor at Marshall University. Professor Markiewicz, or Jen (as everyone knows her), is moving on to bigger and better things. With a bittersweet goodbye, we felt it only fitting to celebrate her and all that she has done for the students here at Marshall.

First and foremost, she’s obviously cool because we call her Jen. To understand why she is so beloved by her students, just look at how she helps prepare her students for exams in organic chemistry.

On an evening during the week before the exam, she opens the classroom for her students to take a practice exam—created by her—after which she spends up to six hours going over each and every question. No question is too trivial for her to answer; for Jen, her stu- dents’ understanding comes first.

If creating two exams for her students wasn’t enough, she ensures that the exam given the day before the individual class withdrawal deadline is graded by the morning of the deadline—often staying up until two or three in the morning and coming into the building chipper as always anyway. She does this all to allow students to make the best decision they can about their education.

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She doesn’t take pride in the difficulty of her course, unlike the stereotypical organic professor, but, rather, she is proud of the success of her students. The lecture room is always full, even though attendance isn’t mandatory. There is no replacement for the dynamic, insightful, helpful and, honestly, fun lectures by Jen.

She provides all the tools necessary to succeed and recover from failure, providing lecture slides and guided notes before class and recorded lectures to review after class.

In addition to multiple fantastic lecture courses, she is a principal lab instructor for the department. In our humble opinion, she made the organic lab exactly what it should be. By providing experiments with techniques that mattered, it was a lab class where every lab you learned something new and important, from stretching nylon to synthesizing aspirin to extracting caffeine from tea leaves.

Sierra Lutz is a student of Jen Markiewicz.

During one memorable lab, where a mishap resulted in the complete loss of the product, Jen stayed late to begin the lab anew, so the team could complete the lab and receive full credit. She even let Sierra go early to make call time for her performance, something she certainly didn’t have to do.

Her office hours often extend beyond her given timeline, full of students asking questions about the course or simply seeking someone to talk to. Not only is Jen a fantastic professor, but she is also a fantastic person, giving career advice, life advice and an innumerable amount of letters of recommendation—all in the name of helping as many students succeed as possible.

She is also an active member of the professional chemistry fraternity, Alpha Chi Sigma, also known as AXE. Jen consistently shows up to fraternity events and engages with students as a peer—not a professor—often sharing gossip in the SWAMP, the fraternity’s room on the fourth floor of the Science Building, and outrageous laughter during pledge week’s Cards Against Humanity night.

This is all to say, while we are overjoyed that Jen is moving on to a career where she has a work-life balance, an actual sleep schedule (currently hers is definitely worse than any college student’s) and time to pursue her interests, we will miss her more than we can possibly say. So, Jen, if you’re reading this: thank you.

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