Associate Professor and Assistant Chairperson Division of Natural Sciences 

Mercy College



When Sherry Downie showed up on campus as a prospective student, her potential was not readily apparent. A 30-year-old musician, she had no educational preparation, not even a high school diploma. “I was accepted into Mercy on interview and I often think how open-minded that person must have been to let me in — I was half crazy with determination and really banged up.” A car accident had left her severely disabled and temporarily disfigured. Despite the obstacles that seemed before her, Sherry started immediately as a part time student until she recovered from her injuries and related surgeries. She found in Mercy College a nurturing environment, where she began to heal on many levels.

Sherry went on to successfully earn her B.A. Magna Cum Laude with a major in Biology and a minor in English Literature. She still recalls her student days with gratitude and enthusiasm for the exceptional support and direction she received at Mercy. “I was encouraged (even nagged, by Roger Persell) to go beyond the ordinary.” It was that encouragement that con vinced her to pursue an M.A. and then a Ph.D. at New York Medical College in Valhalla in the field of Cell Biology and Anatomy. She has since served as an adjunct faculty member at Long Island University, Touro College, York College of CUNY, New York Medical College, and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where she also served as a Research Associate and Research Fellow in the Department of Pathology.

In 1996 Sherry returned to Mercy College to serve on the faculty in the Department of Natural Sciences. What brings this gifted scientist back to her alma mater as a faculty member and administrator? “'The nurturing resource that is there for those who want it," changed Sherry's life and she is back to be "part of that support system - to be part of the nurturing resource for today's students.”

Sherry has an impressive resume that includes technical publications in peer-reviewed jour nals, invited lectures, conference presentations, and consulting work in her field. Yet she cautions that this listing of her accomplishments does not even "begin to explain or express all that I feel. What I have accomplished is so much more than that listed in my CV and I don't think it would have happened this way without my experience as a student at Mercy."