Hattie Dambroski - Biology Instructor

"My mother always tells me the story of how she knew I would be a biologist," said Dr. Hattie Dambroski, a Biology instructor at Normandale and is a first-generation college graduate. When I was just 8 years old, I asked why my one brother had brown eyes and we all had blue, I always asked why." 

Hattie was always destined to become Dr. Dambroski. Her story is one of focus and determination, hard work, and a ton of dedication. Hattie grew up in rural Wisconsin on the very dairy farm and house her dad spent his whole life on and still lives today. 

She loved growing up on the farm with her three brothers and has many fond memories of discovering her love of animals, the outdoors, and trees. It was high school when she discovered her career path. She babysat for a Biology professor and remembers when he asked what she wanted to do. She thought I want to do what you do. 

"Mom always said that when we were 18, we had to leave the house for at least a year," said Dambroski. "We always knew we could come back after that, but for me there was no question I would be leaving."  

Hattie did leave and she didn't just stop after getting her bachelor's degree University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. She continued straight on to graduate with her Ph.D. from Notre Dame in 2004, and her parents were there to watch it. 

"I remember distinctly wondering "now what?" after getting my Ph.D. because I had just accomplished my dream and didn't plan for after that," said Dambroski. Hattie is a great example of how far a dream and determination can take you.