Casey Durandet, PhD, uses her experiences to inspire and mentor young women interested in pursuing STEM careers. In her position as a Professor of Physics at Paradise Valley Community College (PVCC) since 1998, she helps students develop critical thinking skills, conduct hands-on research, solve real world problems, and produce publishable research.
Every summer, she continues her research in particle physics at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) just outside of Chicago, IL, where PVCC students have the opportunity to participate in summer research internships. Three of her honors students were chosen to participate in internships during the summers of 2020 and 2021. On PVCC’s campus, she established a cosmic rays lab, with equipment donated by Fermilab, for students to engage in basic particle physics research.
Professor Durandet recently established an endowed scholarship, “Excellence in STEM Scholarship,” that is designed to help PVCC students, especially women, pursuing STEM majors. She shares, “There is so much untapped potential in these women. A scholarship is a way to help ease the financial burden and help students realize their potential and goals. It is also my way of giving back. These students are our future, tomorrow's leaders!”
2017 Insight Into Diversity, Inspiring Leaders in STEM Award
2021 American Association of Community Colleges Dale P. Parnell Faculty Distinction Award
Photo Caption: Dr. Durandet with PVCC’s 2020 Outstanding Alumni honorees, brothers Afam Nwambuonwo (left) and Uche Nwambuonwo (right).