Anna Marie LaChance, Graduate Assistant
Graduate Assistant for the Vergnano Institute for Inclusion
Office: Engineering II, Room 320
In the Fall of 2013, I came to UConn for my Bachelor’s in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering. I fell in love with the field and, through tutoring friends and underclassmen, fell in love with teaching as well. I stayed at UConn for my PhD, working with Dr. Luyi Sun on thin-film polymer nanocomposites. In the Fall 2017 semester, my first semester of as a graduate student, I started my transition and became Anna Marie, wherein I fell in love with myself.
Having developed my identity as a STEM researcher and my identity as a queer person concurrently, I know what it means to have to leave one’s identity at the door and how liberating it can be to live one’s truth. This is why, in all aspects of my life (teaching classes, mentoring undergraduate students in my research lab, and my service work through numerous student orgs), I aim to empower diverse students to bring their “full selves” into their engineering work.
In my nine years at UConn, I have been a member of the Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Association (ChEGSA), oSTEM, Rainbow Grads & Young Professionals, and the John Lof Leadership Academy, as well as a co-facilitator of SoE Reads and VII’s Inclusive Excellence Program for Justice, Equity, & Transformation. My graduate research, teaching, and mentoring have been recognized widely, including with the 2021 Inspiring STEM Equitability Award by the CT Technology Council—I was the first openly transgender or non-binary person to win a Women of Innovation® Award any category in the award’s 17-year history. You can read more about my qualifications and honors on my personal website, ThatAnnaMarie.com.
I am now serving the Vergnano Institute for Inclusion as a program coordinator for Queer Science, the Inclusive Excellence Program for faculty/staff, and other initiatives to promote justice, equity, diversity, & inclusion (JEDI) in STEM. My specialties are in abolitionist engineering education, student-centered learning, and design justice. If you need help bridging the gap between STEM and social justice, feel free to reach out!
Words To Live By
"If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together." -Lilla Watson