Matthew Mio, Ph.D.
University of Detroit Mercy
B.S., Chemistry, University of Detroit Mercy, MI
Ph.D., Organic Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Matthew Mio earned a Ph.D. in physical organic chemistry in 2001, and is now an associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Detroit Mercy. “I’ve done a pretty good job of learning in my lifetime,” Mio says to prospective students on the UD Mercy website, “and I want to pass those skills on to you so that you can continue to learn.”
Mio got his first job thanks to dedicated networking with researchers in his area of interest and it’s still a habit he finds crucial to his career success. “You have to put yourself in a position to be challenged by individuals who force you to expand your knowledge at regular intervals,” Mio says. “ACS meetings and governance help me do this twice (or more) a year.”
You have to put yourself in a position to be challenged by individuals who force you to expand your knowledge at regular intervals.
Typical day on the job:
Academics do teaching, research and service on a daily basis. I work at a primarily undergraduate institution (PUI), so our main aim is teaching and teaching students through research.
I have an office, multiple labs, and I teach in a lecture hall.
A typical week is 50-70 hours, and I travel 1-5 days a month. Overtime is required from the point of view of whatever problems still need to be solved at the end of the day must be solved. I still have "homework" in the way of grading, and this can be 1-5 hours a night during the academic year. During off-term, things are pretty relaxed. In the academic year, the pace is far quicker.
Tools you can’t live without:
Chemdraw, Microsoft Office
Best productivity trick:
No email, no phone, no person-to-person interactions allowed for some part of the day.
Best career advice you’ve received:
The journey of finding something is often much better than the thing itself.
Skills or talents that make you a good fit for your job:
I like to write, perform and do science. This is a PUI prof's job, in short.
Essential habit you wish you’d started earlier:
Keeping physically fit! I don't have the best habits in this area, so I wish I would have started earlier.
Favorite ACS resource:
The entire publications online are very nice, but my favorite is the ACS Journal of Chemical Education, so many good ideas in every issue. It keeps the mind sharp for pedagogy.