Dr. Samantha L. Bidwell

Class of 2011
Career Pathway:

Samantha L. Bidwell was nominated by Dr. Jacob Helsel, a GHS classmate.

After graduating from Grayling High School in 2011, Samantha attended Grand Valley State University (GVSU), where she earned a bachelor of science degree in 2015. She then earned a Ph.D. in theoretical chemistry at the University of California Merced (UCM) in May 2020.

Samantha was a math and chemistry tutor and a student researcher at GVSU from 2012 to 2015, a teaching assistant from 2015 to 2017 and researcher from 2015 to 2020 at UCM, a chemistry instructor at UCM in 2019 and learning director for the UCM Chemistry Center in 2018-2019.

In 2020 Dr. Bidwell accepted a position as assistant professor of chemistry at Elmira College in Elmira, New York.

She was the president of the GVSU Chemistry Club and is a member of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Dr. Bidwell has done extensive undergraduate and dissertation research. She has been awarded several scholarships and fellowships throughout her educational career, has had multiple publications in well-known scientific journals and, as a book chapter author, she has focused on the higher education of minority students.

Her research at Elmira continues, with additional work in theoretical chemistry investigating the replacement of expensive and dangerous reactions with cheap and readily-available transition metals, done with undergraduate students in her laboratory.

Mr. Helsel wrote, "Samantha has spent her entire academic career focusing on improving the learning process and experience for STEM students. By participating in science outreach, research, workshops and publications, she has and will continue to make a difference for every student who enters her classroom. She was and still is a phenomenal person."