Olivia Crandell

My hometown when I was a student was

Fremont, MI

I graduated in


I studied

Chemistry (major) and math (minor)

I currently live in

Schaumburg, MI

Since graduating from Alma

I graduate with my PhD in Chemistry Education from Michigan State University in Spring 2020. I defended via Zoom from my kitchen table - it was so crazy! In June, I started my post-doc at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. So far I have worked on a few projects: student use of language in their reasoning in organic chemistry, studying how students learn and integrate molecular orbital theory into their problem solving in inorganic chemistry, and have started investigating student understanding of symmetry at all levels of undergraduate chemistry.

My Alma education

My undergraduate research experience with Dr. Joel Dopke was key to my acceptance to graduate school. As an undergraduate researcher, I traveled to my first national meeting of the American Chemical Society and presented talks and posters at Honors day. I was also prepared to step into the classroom as a graduate TA because of my experience as a TA at Alma.

My most vivid/best memory of my time at Alma is

I don’t think I can pick just one memory! Homecoming my senior year was very special because my fiance and I were on Homecoming Court. We got to spend the day with our family and friends and I remember it was a perfect fall day on campus with the trees showing their beautiful fall colors up and down Superior Street. I loved Homecoming as a collegiate and I love returning as an alumna. 

My off-campus study experience(s) included

 In my junior year, I traveled to New Zealand for Spring Term. We were required to keep a journal of our daily adventures and I am so glad we were because I refer back to my journal, my pictures, and my souvenirs all the time. It was a whirlwind trip where we saw dolphins and sea lions, hiked a glacier, bungee jumped, stayed in a Maori village, spent the night in Doubtful Sound, toured The Lord of the Rings sets and locations, and so many more adventures.