Mike Boll traces his interest
in science back to high school, when his chemistry teacher introduced
him to a book of experiments by Dr. Bassam Z. Shakhashiri. Often
staying after school to try out experiments, and traveling from
his high school north of Milwaukee to see the annual Christmas
Lecture, Mike calls Dr. Shakhashiri his “chemistry hero.”
The interest sparked by these experiments led Mike to Madison,
where he first enrolled in the Chemical Engineering program
and then switched his major to Chemistry. His last year of undergrad
he enrolled in the Science is Fun class, working alongside Dr.
Shakhashiri to give presentations much like the ones that piqued
his interest years ago.
Mike’s chemistry education continued at UW through both a Master’s
Degree in Dr. Shakhashiri’s group and a teaching degree, and
he is currently teaching chemistry classes at Niles West High School in Skokie, Ill. Not
surprisingly, Mike integrates many experiments into his teaching,
and sponsors extracurricular activities including Science Olympiad
and Recycling Club.
In his spare time, Mike enjoys snowboarding, biking, ultimate
frisbee and growing herbs and vegetables in his garden. He returns
to Madison periodically to assist in a variety of WISL programs
including home experiments, workshops, and public
presentations. He lives in Evanston with his wife, two sons, and two dogs.