If you had to use one word to describe Sandra Biedron- you couldn’t. You’d need at least a dozen. She’s an inventor, mentor, administrator, fund raiser, researcher, world traveler, organizer, discoverer, author, and lecturer. Add to that home restorer, gardener, airplane aficionado, and a dog lover, and you’ve got the precise personification of a doer who does it all with an energy level that could rival most toddlers in the midst of a toy store.

When she’s not in the office, the Palos Park native serves on numerous committees and boards, including a NATO panel, and volunteers untallied hours. She’s a member of at least 10 professional organizations, has made more than 60 presentations across the globe, and has authored nearly 75 articles for professional publications and journals. She also holds a patent and has another pending. In her spare time, she entertains colleagues from around the world and is working on obtaining a pilot’s license. Through it all, she and her husband of 10 years, who also is a physicist, have been undertaking the rehabbing of an historic, century-old home in Chicago’s Beverly area to the National Registry’s historic standards. “I am often seen swinging a sledge hammer. Using what has good bones and just making it nice is fun and takes my mind off pure techie stuff,” she said.

Her interest in science began as a child. “I liked science, technology and medicine as far back as I can think. My parents and family members also had an impact on me as many of them are techies,” Sandra said. “I was lucky enough to grow up on seven acres-a pretty big chunk of land, especially when you are three feet tall. My father taught me to use walkie-talkies and then plotted the land and markers, like trees and buildings, on a map. It was like the ham radio way of playing hide and seek. I think this is how I first learned about graphs and the Cartesian coordinate system.”

That interest received more cultivation while she was a student at Moraine Valley, thanks to former professors like Dr. Anne Lesak Scott, John Popp and Fenwick Taylor. “I still stay close with several of my former teachers from Moraine Valley. They motivated you in the classroom and you wanted to be friends with them,” she said. “I highly recommend a community college. I think it’s a great start. I have never been into the big classes. It was too hard for me to be with 200 people or more in a classroom. I needed to connect,” said Sandra, who went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Trinity Christian College and her doctorate degree at Lund University, the oldest university in Sweden.

And just how does this woman continue to keep up this pace and accomplish all she has in her short 35 years? “I don’t sleep,” she said. “And I have some pretty amazing colleagues. You can’t do it alone.”