Amanda Bryant-Friedrich has always been ready for the twists and turns of life, and the woman that she has developed into has prepared her on how to respond to those changes. Her quest for knowledge has been in the forefront of her journey and will eventually lead her to become the President of a University. This is a long term goal on her list, because she wants to be able to give back to the academic communities that produced her.
As a young child growing up in Endfield, NC, Amanda’s mother was gravely ill and bedridden, which led her to want to develop new medicines that would make her mother’s condition better, since the medicines she was taking were not making a difference. She later went on to receive an undergraduate degree in Chemistry from North Carolina Central University and a graduate degree in Organic Chemistry from Duke University. Much of the history of chemistry began in Germany, so Amanda continued her postgraduate studies overseas. Now Amanda is the Dean of the Arts and Sciences College at the University of Toledo and a professor of Pharmaceutical Science where she gets to lead young people passionate in the study of science and research. Just think, this journey began with a desire to develop something new and fix a problem.
Honesty is the Best Policy
The biggest issue the current generation faces that stifles their ability to succeed is not being given the freedom to figure out their own path. Amanda says, “There are too many helicopter parents. Kids need to know for themselves what they want and how to get it.” Most importantly, Amanda wants her two children and the students she works with to have a true sense of self and to be aware of opportunities to make good choices. She is a firm believer in being honest with yourself. “To be honest with yourself means that you have to be self-reflective and know who you are. When you genuinely live who you are, people see that and you can expect that same honesty in return.” At this point in her life, Amanda is most certainly living her authentic true self and fills her life with the things that she is most passionate about.
She serves on the Advisory Board for the Arts and Science College of her alma mater, she is a member of the Association for Women in Science, involved with the STEM initiatives of The Links Inc, and international initiatives in science at the University of Toledo. Add published author to a list of Amanda’s accomplishments. Aside from being published in many research journals, she also wrote an essay titled, Mom to Chemistry Professor, which was published in “From Oppression to Grace: Women of Color and Their Dilemmas Within the Academy”.