Taylor Named a “Top 35 Woman in Higher Education” by Diverse

Olivia DrakeApril 5, 20203min
Erika Taylor
Erika Taylor

Erika Taylor, associate professor of chemistry, is honored for being among the “Top 35 Women in Higher Education” in the March 20 issue of Diverse.

Taylor joined the Wesleyan faculty in 2007 and teaches courses in the areas of organic chemistry, biochemistry, environmental chemistry, and bio-medicinal chemistry, among others.

She’s also associate professor, environmental studies, and associate professor, integrative sciences, and takes a multidisciplinary approach to investigating problems at the biological chemistry interface.

Diverse acknowledged Taylor for “striv(ing) to find ways to exploit enzymes found in nature to perform reactions that can help advance the fields of chemistry and medicine.” Her research group has included over 75 students to date, spanning high schoolers to PhD students, with women and other underrepresented students comprising more than three-quarters of her lab members.

Taylor also serves as the faculty director of Wesleyan’s Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Program, which assists students from underrepresented groups in preparing for, entering, and progressing successfully through post-graduate education.

Diverse cited her for being “a passionate advocate for diversity” and “lending time and energy to provide opportunities in science for female, minority, and low-income students.”

In 2018, Taylor received Wesleyan’s prestigious Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching for her dedication to supporting the academic and personal development of all of her students.

Beyond Wesleyan, she founded and continues to run a Girls in Science camp for elementary- through middle school-aged girls, which highlights the diversity of women in science.

Taylor holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry with honors from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, a PhD in chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, and was a postdoctoral research associate at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.