Ray Czerwinski has always fully believed that science is fun! Growing up in Burlington, Massachusetts, she credits much of this enthusiasm to her parents, teachers, and other mentors who encouraged her to explore and experiment to understand the world around her, allowing the practices of science and play to meet. She first learned of Professor Shakhashiri in middle school when her mother, a high school chemistry teacher, took her to one of his shows at the Boston Museum of Science. Ray spent high school doing public engagement through STEM and the arts, particularly through the Destination Imagination program, and continued during her undergraduate degree at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. When she joined UW-Madison’s PhD program, she knew she wanted to get involved with Science Is Fun to continue to grow as a scientist and a communicator while sharing the excitement of science with others.
Ray works in the Goldsmith group, where she uses single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy to study catalysis reactions. Looking at molecules one at a time can give important information about how a reaction works that can be hidden on a bulk scale, such as heterogeneity between individual molecules. After her PhD, she’d like to work in a national laboratory.
In her free time, Ray enjoys hiking, singing, playing tabletop games, and climbing.