Catching up with...Quynh Chu-LaGraff

Publication Date

Quynh Chu-LaGraff is a professor of biology and co-director of the neuroscience program. Her area of expertise is developmental neurobiology. She joined Union in 1999-2000 and lives in Niskayuna with her husband, John, and two cats. The couple has three grown children, Luc, Giac and Thai.

FIRST APP YOU LOOK AT IN THE MORNING: Weather and the New York Times. For a long time, I cringed at what I’m going to find in terms of headlines. But you know, it’s like a train wreck, you can’t help looking!

Chu Quynh and family

ONE BOOK YOU HAVE READ MULTIPLE TIMES: I’ve read loads of books multiple times, in both English and Vietnamese. But I highly recommend the Foundation series by Asimov, and "Holidays on Ice" by David Sedaris (actually, anything by Sedaris).

BEST ADVICE YOU EVER RECEIVED: From my graduate school days: Success is great for the ego but it’s the failures that you will learn the most from. From my mother: Don’t wait until the water meets your toes to jump out of the way! (This is a rough translation of a Vietnamese saying). I think the meaning is obvious – don’t procrastinate.

FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS: Jackson’s Garden

GO-TO BREAKFAST: Cup of coffee with sugar (lots!) and cream

NETFLIX OR AMAZON: No preference; both have great stuff!

FAVORITE PODCAST: “S-Town.” I’m always in search of new gems so send me an email if you have recommendations.

ONE SKILL YOU WISH YOU HAD: Computer programming!

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR PANDEMIC DIVERSION/ACCOMPLISHMENT: Our house was re-built just in time. It was great fun gathering with our adult kids for a few months. I built a trellis for a pandemic wedding of our son, Thai (Class of 2020), in our backyard.

ANOTHER SUBJECT YOU WISH YOU COULD TEACH: The Everett Interpretation of quantum mechanics

MOST CREATIVE EXCUSE YOU HEARD FOR A LATE ASSIGNMENT: “The cat barfed on my homework.”