Recommendation Letters

Who do you write letters for?

I am happy to write letters for students I have taught in at least one class (more than one class is always preferable) or for students who I’ve advised, mentored, served on thesis committees, had in my lab, or worked with via Women in ChemE or other outreach activities.

When should I email you to ask about writing a letter?

Please make your request four weeks prior to the deadline. Anything closer to the deadline is not likely to be met. All recommendation letter requests should be directed to

Do you say no to some letter requests?

Yes, I do. I put significant time into my letters to write individualized, high quality, specific, and detailed letters. Additionally, these letters carry my name and ability to evaluate applicants, therefore the integrity of these letters is important to me. If I do not feel as though I know you well enough, or if I feel as though I cannot write you a strong letter, I will tell you so and suggest you find an alternative letter writer. 

Once you've confirmed you'll write a letter, what should I provide to you?


You will need to provide the following information:

  1. An updated resume or CV

  2. A cover letter, essay, or brief statement of interest for the position you are applying

  3. Any specifications required for the rec letter

  4. A bullet point list of things you would like me to mention in the letter.


I require this information regardless of the format of the recommendation request. This information helps me align my letter with your application, which better allows you to present a consistent and well-rounded message.

If I graduated many years ago, can I still request a letter from you?

Yes, if you have stayed in contact with me to keep me up to date on what has taken place in your professional life since graduating. I will ask for some updated information (e.g. CV or resume), but I'm always happy to write a letter for a former student, trainee, or mentee. I will still be able to speak to characteristics relevant to the recommendation letter for the time period I directly interacted with you, and to the extent I am able, how you have developed professionally after graduating.