updated 7/24/2010


My life has been marked by the ebb and flow of three main pursuits: chemistry, music and writing. Below are a few links to help you learn more about me.

Read my blog, which includes my latest thoughts and my 2004 & 2006 newsletters.

Morehead alumni profiles

my biography (updated in May 2007)

The biographical information below is arranged in reverse chronology.


Current projects: Sheryl is awarded grants by Meet the Composer and the Puffin Foundation, writes music with Tangria Jazz Group and other groups, and is applying for additional grants for Tangria. Sheryl is scheduled to teach green chemistry again at UC Berkeley's Extension program and is looking for positions and grants through which she can continue her environmental science work and/or her environmental/green chemistry education work. Check Tangria's blog for the latest info on Sheryl's jazz performances.

2009: is a postdoctoral researcher at UC Davis working on a greenhouse gas emissions and energy use inventory and teaches the first green chemistry course at UC Berkeley's Extension program.

2008: Tangria's 3rd CD, Tangria Jazz Group, featuring uniquely arranged standards and Sheryl's compositions, is released and Tangria tours nationally.

2006: The Chemistry Literacy Project's network spreads at national conferences and through curriculum development. Tangria's 2nd CD, Mebane's Eleven: Tunes for Two, featuring Sheryl's compositions, is released along with CD's released by jazz and rock groups that feature Sheryl's drumming. Tangria plays CD release parties in North Carolina and California, enjoys festivals in the summer and fall and starts a weekly gig at Vignette Restaurant in San Francisco in October.

Sept-Dec 2005: starts her ideal environmental chemistry, education and action research project, the Chemistry Literacy Project, with the support of a Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellowship

Dec 2003-summer 2005: enjoys five different book and CD tours in North Carolina and California, performs at festivals and other venues, writes and records music with the Tangria Jazz Group and other bands, and has a column about one of her Black History Month tours published

Dec 2003: earns doctorate in chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley, where she also studied poetry in June Jordan's course

July 2003: as a composer and drummer in the trio the Tangria Jazz Group, helps release the trio's first CD, Songs from Lady Bird, comprised entirely of songs for Lady Bird

June 2003: debut novel, Lady Bird, published by Pearl Street Publishing

1998: graduates Phi Beta Kappa from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a BS in Chemistry and Highest Honors for a thesis in her Creative Writing minor

1994-1998: in the summers during her undergraduate career, teaches inner city Boston youth drumming and chemistry, interns in the Letters Department of Newsweek, and studies jembe drumming in West Africa, all funded by her Morehead Scholarship;
at UNC, premiers pieces with the UNC Percussion Ensemble, and serves as section leader for the marching band’s drumline

1992-1994: presents a chemistry research project that systematically tested materials for drumheads to the International Science and Engineering Fair;
for a high school project, composes and performs percussion music inspired by the works of James Baldwin

first published in a statewide collection of student writing at eight years old

was born and grew up in North Carolina with two older sisters, and parents who are now retired science teachers