Staff Spotlight: Clarissa Wisner

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On May 7, 2020

Dr. Clarissa Wisner literally sees research on campus unfolding before her eyes. As a senior research specialist at S&T, she operates, maintains and teaches scanning electron microscopy in McNutt Hall.

“This position has given me the opportunity to work with just about every department on campus from civil engineering to physics and those in between,” she says. “Some of my students have gone on to careers in electron microscopy and others have flourished as engineers, CEOs or teachers – just to name a few of their positions.”

Clarissa Wisner is hooded in 2014 during a commencement ceremony at Missouri S&T. She earned a Ph.D. in chemistry.

At S&T, Clarissa has been a student, the parent of a student, an alumna and has been an employee since joining the university’s staff in 1998. She earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1981, a master’s degree in geology and geophysics in 1994, a master’s degree in materials science and engineering in 2007, and her Ph.D. in chemistry in 2014, all from S&T.

“In my 22 years on campus I have had the pleasure of working with some of the smartest students and professors,” Clarissa says. “This has enriched my life immensely.”

Clarissa at a Glance

Hometown: Rolla, Missouri

Clarissa and her husband, Don, pose with their ribbon-winning alpaca in 2016.

Favorite S&T memory: “Walking across the stage in 2014 to obtain my Ph.D. after working on it for seven years and still maintaining my full-time position is one of my favorite memories. The fact my boss and other staff supported me during this time was amazing.”

Advice to other employees: “Find your passion, do your passion, and your passion will reward you.”

Accomplishments of which she is most proud: “First I would say that all my children have college educations, two with degrees from S&T. One actually graduated with his bachelor’s degree the same night I received my Ph.D. I also have had several of my images on the covers of two trade journals. And seeing the look on a student’s face when they are able to focus the microscope for the first time.”

Hobbies: Sewing, raising alpacas, reading and community involvement

Clarissa teaches her granddaughter about raising alpacas.

Favorite type of food: Italian

Family: Husband, Don Sutton; daughters Kandi Whitten Woessner, Kassi Whitten Anderson, and Oliva Vierrether; sons Caleb Sutton and Samuel Sutton

Pets: Family dog named Sarge (a.k.a. Trailer Park Sarge); three barn dogs, named Sophie, Pixie and Cosmo; 20 alpaca and one llama

About the Staff Spotlight

Missouri S&T’s Staff Council launched the staff spotlight feature in February 2019 as a way to highlight staff members throughout the university. Legends Bank, Au Bon Pain and the S&T Store are sponsors. The articles are published in eConnection and shared on Staff Council’s Facebook page.

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Would you like to recommend a staff member for eConnection’s staff spotlight feature? Would you like to be in the spotlight? Let us know! Email with your name and the name of the person you would like to see featured (it can be yourself). If you’d like to tell us about yourself, fill out a staff spotlight questionnaire.

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On May 7, 2020. Posted in Announcements, Staff Spotlight