As a first-year student at the University of Richmond in 1984, Colleen Kelley loved her chemistry course. But she got a C on her first exam. She walked back to her dorm in Lora Robins Court feeling crushed.
“But to this day, I tell all my students, that C was the greatest gift I could have had,” Kelley said. “Because I buckled down, learned how to study, and ended up becoming a professional chemist.”
At UR, she aced two semesters of chemistry and conducted research with professors on campus. She graduated, earned her doctorate, completed a postdoctoral fellowship in France with a Nobel Prize winner, and served at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research researching malaria and tropical diseases.