Stephanie Ceman 2017Nominated 2017. Stephanie Ceman graduated from Berlin High School in 1983. At that time she headed for UW-Madison, planning to go to medical school. While there she majored in bacteriology and graduated with distinction in 1987. Part of her preparation for medical school included research in a genetics lab. This became her focus and in 1994 earned her PhD in Genetics. Because she was working on the genetics of the immune system Stephanie’s next course was to pursue the cell biology of the immune system and from that obtained a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Chicago in Immunology.

Continuing her journey she went to Emory University in Atlanta as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute research associate. In time she was promoted to research assistant professor at Emory.

In 2003, Stephanie became affiliated with the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, where she does research and publishes in peer-reviewed journals and books, in addition to teaching medical genetics to first year medical students. Over the years she has attended numerous conferences, given invited talks in the U.S. and abroad, and co-holds a patent for work done at Emory University.

Outside of her teaching and research assignments, Stephanie joined Kiwanis International in her area in 2012 and has been involved in several of their projects including the Challenger League which is a baseball league for any child who cannot play in Little League – due to limited mobility or cognitive impairment. She became Game Manager in 2014. Since 2004 she has participated in the EPC program…Education to Careers and Profession Program, mentoring high school students and run by the local school district.

Dr. Ceman is currently Associate Professor, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign. She is an affiliate faculty member of Beckman Institute; an affiliate member of the Institute Genomic Biology at University of Illinois Urbana Champaign; and Associate Professor at Carle Illinois College of Medicine. Her emphasis in research is the role of genes in cognition and research on Fragile X Syndrome.

Dr. Ceman stated that the best advice she can give a graduate is to identify how to get paid for doing something you love. As someone once told her: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

A quote by Robert H. Schuller found on one of her paperweights has inspired her: “What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?