College of Science; Research

Meet a Tiger: Julia Brumaghim


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With her service on the President’s Commission on Women and Faculty Senate, this chemistry professor is proud to be part of the collaboration that resulted in the long-awaited child development center, which recently broke ground on the main campus.

Meet Julia Brumaghim.

Title: Professor of chemistry

Years at Clemson: 15

What I do at Clemson: Research and teaching in chemistry, with a focus on inorganic and biological chemistry. My research examines metal binding and radical scavenging mechanisms for antioxidant prevention of DNA damage as well as the development of antioxidant drugs. I am also active in leadership and service to the university. Last year I was a member of the President’s Leadership Institute and this year I am a member of the Trailblazers: Provost’s Mentoring Initiative for Faculty. Additionally, as a member of the President’s Commission on Women, I chair the committee that, for the past seven years, has spearheaded the effort to open an on-campus child development center.

What I love about Clemson: The diversity of students, faculty and staff that are working hard to do amazing things in all different areas and disciplines. I love being on the cutting edge of new research and communicating my excitement to students, who are just starting on their journeys.

What was a defining moment for you at Clemson: I don’t think there has been a single defining moment for me in my career at Clemson. Seeing research and student successes, meeting new people and establishing new research projects and collaborations keep me motivated and excited. I often tell people that this was the only job I wanted – one that combines teaching and research – and it’s true.

Accomplishment I’m most proud of: There are very many accomplishments I am proud of: Graduating each of my Ph.D. students, pushing the boundaries of knowledge in my field  and even winning a national award in chemistry. The one that I am most proud of at the moment is also the one that I am most surprised to have accomplished: Establishing an on-campus child development center for Clemson. This has been a need at Clemson for more than 40 years. It is amazing to see the project move forward into the implementation phase. Recently, I was in a meeting with the design/build team to help finalize site and building plans for construction. I never thought that I would play a vital role in getting a building built on campus and I have to give a shout-out to everyone on the committee who believed in this project from the beginning, as well as the administrative effort it took to get it approved.

Where I see myself in five years: I am not sure what path I want to pursue in the future. This is one reason I am participating in leadership programs. As much as I can plan, I find it is best to keep an open mind and to be receptive to (perhaps unusual) opportunities as they present themselves.

Last thing I watched on TV: With a three-year-old and a six-year-old, I don’t really watch TV. I am a big fan of science fiction, though!

Guilty pleasure: I enjoy watching superhero movies, especially when they have female scientist characters (Like Shuri from Black Panther).

One thing most people don’t know about me: I was a member of 4-H for 10 years. While I was in high school, I was the New York state rabbit knowledge champion at the state fair. I am also a card-carrying member of the Boy Scouts (it’s a long story…).


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