Clarissa Schumacher Craft
Class of 2003
Assistant professor in the department of cell biology and physiology
Washington University in St. Louis
Clarissa was inspired by her Beloit professors. Today she is an assistant professor herself.
Clarissa Schumacher Craft credits her mentors at Beloit College for encouraging her to attend graduate school immediately following Beloit.
Clarissa is glad she listened to them. After receiving her Ph.D. at Northwestern University and completing post-doctoral research at Washington University in St. Louis, she is now an assistant professor in Washington University’s department of cell biology and physiology.
“They fostered confidence in myself and encouraged me to harness my potential,” Clarissa says of mentors.
Clarissa, a Porter Scholar at Beloit as a high school student, majored in biochemistry and economics, but credits her professors for encouraging her to study abroad and take classes outside her majors.
Years later as a graduate student at Northwestern, Clarissa returned to Beloit for half a semester as a visiting professor, and calls it one of the best experiences of her life.
“You’re always connected to Beloit,” Clarissa says. “It doesn’t matter where you are. (The faculty) are always there for you.”
Now an assistant professor on the research track at WUSM, Clarissa spends her days in the lab using genetically engineered mice to study the progression of diseases such as osteoporosis, diabetes, and obesity.
“Medical research is a roller coaster, but when it works it’s amazing,” she says. “I could do something that leads to a cure.”