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What's in the Office of a Quantum Chemist?

Dr. Trilisa Perrine at her desk (Northern Review photo/Holly Dyer)

Rubber ducks, TARDIS’, and Wonder Woman themed objects decorate the office space of Dr. Trilisa Perrine, Computational Physical Quantum Chemist.  Dr. Perrine, Associate Professor of Chemistry, teaches a variety of general chemistry and physical chemistry courses.

She sits at her desk and tells the stories behind a few of her remembrances.  Her name plate has what appears to be a typical accent mark beneath her name and title but is actually a complex molecule she studied in graduate school. 


Beside it sits a few of her Wonder Woman keepsakes.  Dr. Perrine watched the original show growing up.  She still has a small scar from playing “Wonder Woman”, a game she and her friend made up when she was three years old.  The two would spin around like Diana Prince when she transforms into Wonder Woman in the show.  Her friend was holding a Lego and accidentally lacerated her forehead with it.   She admires Wonder Woman because she is “strong, powerful, and feminine".

She is also a long-time fan of Dr. Who, a television show where the Doctor travels through time and space through a time machine disguised as a phone booth to fight injustice around the world.  The phone booth is called a TARDIS, time and relative dimension in space.   TARDIS’ also occupy various spaces within the office.

Groot action figures sit on her desk and shelves.  She first became a fan of the Guardians of the Galaxy character when she watched the movie with her husband.  They kept leaning over to say that he was just like their younger son- he likes to push buttons and dives headfirst into everything.

Her office and lab also house over 100 rubber ducks. 

The collection began as a Christmas gift from her husband.  It was their first Christmas as a married couple.  Dr. Perrine’s affinity for ducks began when she watched Sesame Street and she remembers listening to the “Ernie and the Rubber Duck” song when she was little.  Knowing that Dr. Perrine had long planned on having a duck-themed bathroom in her first house, he placed dozens under the tree and gave even more to another chemistry professor to sneak into her office.  Noting the amount of rubber ducks in her office, students and friends have also gifted Dr. Perrine with rubber ducks.  Many of the ducks were gifts and have a name and date written on the bottom. 

Her bulletin board is home to thank you cards from students and drawings from her children.  Her walls are covered with books, her desk and window covered with sketches of molecules, the room a reflection of her awe-inspiring character.

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