Winter 2017: Allison Sherrill
Updated: Apr 14, 2019
Allison Sherrill is the graduate student advisor for the Chemical Engineering department. In 2014, Allison transitioned from being a lawyer to working as an advisor at UW. Prior to going to law school, she pursued graduate studies in archaeology and did two summers of research in Peru, so she understands the life and struggles of the graduate students she advises. As many graduate students can relate, she enjoyed being a teaching fellow during graduate school, but decided she was not interested in a career in academia, and was frustrated by competitive grant applications necessary to fund her research. Allison ended up quitting her Ph.D. program due to burnout, then moved to Seattle in 2009 to attend the UW Law School. Her law background helps her advise students about academic policies, understand and navigate the requirements of UW’s contract with the UAW student union, and assure compliance with the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act. Allison is also keenly aware of the issues facing women in the department, and draws on her experiences being a mother of two young children and balancing work with her personal life. Her goals for the department are to improve diversity in graduate admissions, to make the path to a degree more transparent and understandable for students, and to serve as a liaison between students and the UW Graduate School. Allison knows from experience that young girls are actively discouraged from pursuing careers in STEM, and hopes to make the Chemical Engineering department a better, more inclusive place for women.