Step inside the plant-filled home office/classroom of Megan S. Lazorski, Ph.D., assistant professor, Chemistry.
April 23, 2020
When Megan Lazorski, Ph.D., assistant professor, Chemistry, joined Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2017, she didn’t imagine teaching from her living room. Since the COVID-19 campus closure, Lazorski conducts classes virtually – and her dogs and cat make frequent appearances.
Since moving her workspace to her apartment, Lazorski has had to make some adjustments, such as covering windows to reduce the glare on her whiteboard and navigating FedEx deliveries in the middle of lectures. At first, she found the pivot to at-home teaching challenging, but then she began to rewatch recordings of her classes to help her evaluate and improve.
“I just love chemistry,” she said. “I love talking about it, thinking about it and doing research. It’s just a fascinating look into the mysteries of our existence.”
Lazorski attributes this professional passion to the inspiring professors she had in undergraduate and graduate school who drew her toward teaching – and to Robin Williams’ character in the film “Dead Poets Society.”
Step into her apartment to see how she continues to engage her students.
- The black-and-white painting of Marie Curie was gifted to me by my aunt when I earned my Ph.D. When I was younger, I revered Marie Curie and did a report on her because she was one of the only well-known women chemists at the time.
- My home virtual classroom is anchored by a pink wooden stand I found in the dumpster. I was going to turn it into a bookshelf, but desperate times called for making it into a computer stand, which is stabilized with zip ties. Two zip ties are affixed to the front of the stand as well to hold my phone as a secondary recording device. The whole contraption is stabilized with two hand weights and a large rock.
- I lived in a tent while working as a whitewater rafting guide in Maine for two summers during undergrad. I returned to Maine in my gap year before graduate school and taught high school science courses. These photos are of Maine’s iconic places.
- I am from a family of gardeners, and I don’t feel at home unless I have plants in my house. I especially love orchids. There are so many varieties, and they are all so unique and beautiful. Most of the plants on my plant stand are orchids. The one with inflorescence is a miltonia, and there are three phalaenopsis and a vanda. I also have a jade plant, air plants, a pothos and a Swedish ivy that was gifted to me.
- The ceramic sugar skull is from Baja California. I used to travel there often when I lived in California. There was an amazing wine region called the Ruta Del Vino that I enjoyed exploring. I loved learning about the history, artwork and culture of the region. I am drawn to the sugar skull because I love the bright colors, patterns and imagery representing Mexican art and culture.