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Forester News

Professor Cody interviewed in Chicago Tribune

Professor Jason Cody was profiled by the Chicago Tribune in this recent article:

Shout Out: Jason Cody, chemistry professor

Glencoe resident and Lake Forest College Professor Jason Cody was recently awarded a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship in chemistry. With the scholarship, he will research and teach at Université Hasan II, Faculté de Science et Technologie, in Mohammedia, Morocco, in an endeavor to explore usages of chemistry to renewable energy. He is married to Rev. Daphne Cody, the pastor at Glencoe’s St. Elisabeth’s Church.

Q: How did you get interested in chemistry in the first place?

Somewhat by accident. I enjoyed science and math and I would take things apart like my transistor radio to see what was inside and put it back together. Then I went off to college thinking I would go to medical school, but when I was taking my chemistry classes I was helping all of my friends how to pass them so I realized I enjoyed teaching people. Chemistry has labs, cool models and numerical problems and ideas and concepts you can read about. I realized I was never going to be bored.

Q: What does the Fulbright Scholarship mean to you?

A: It is a chance for me to learn and it is a chance for me to reach beyond my experience. I’ve had three stints in France teaching at the Institute of Materials there so I know that culture quite well and I know American culture but I don’t know much beyond that. This is a chance for me to dive in and get to know a predominantly Muslim culture and I am really excited to learn about their renewable energy implementation because they have decided to go big scale on their renewable energy infrastructure. So that is what I want to learn about. How do they do that and why did they decide to do that? These are questions I am going to be able to explore by being there and not just being online.

Q: When you get back next year to Lake Forest College what do you hope you have learned at that point?

A: I hope to come back with more knowledge and stories that I can use in my courses. I want to be able to use the photos I have taken at the installations and interviews I had with the various people there. But also to have the understanding what it is like to live the Muslim cycle of holidays, fasting for Ramadan and the different pieces because the rhythms are very different than our predominantly Judeo-Christian structure that we have in the U.S.

Q: Are you nervous about this at all?

A: A little bit, sure. I’m sure there are things that we have no idea are coming and we will just roll with and try to figure out. But all of the Moroccan people I have interacted with, even some of the parents of students at the college who are from Morocco, have been so warm and welcoming and so excited that I am coming to spend time in Morocco. The generosity and the welcoming has been overwhelming.

Q: Do you have a feel a sense of validation for all the years of work you put in to win such a prestigious scholarship?

A: I’m more humbled that I am now given this opportunity. The idea of being able to expand from my past experiences and then have this next opportunity that is on a bigger scale and has an international relations piece to it. That will open more doors and more opportunities and has more responsibility.