UK professor died after falling at home


Dr. Susan Odom, an associate professor in UK’s chemistry department, shown in a staff photo. 

Kernel News Staff

University of Kentucky professor Dr. Susan Odom died unexpectedly over the weekend in a home accident. Her death was confirmed by the university on Monday, April 19.

According to the Fayette County coroner’s office, Odom died in an accidental fall on the stairs of her home and was found by a coworker. The official time of death was the afternoon of Sunday, April 18.

The colleague was “concerned about [Odom’s] welfare as she had become unresponsive to text and email messages,” according to a Facebook post from UKY Chemistry.

Odom, a professor of chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences, began working at UK in 2011 and also received her Bachelor’s from UK, graduating in 2003.

In a video recording, A&S dean Christian Brady shared the news of Odom’s death with her students.

“She was an outstanding scholar and as you know, a wonderful teacher and mentor. She was kind, gracious and a vital member of our community,” Brady said.

Odom’s friends and colleagues shared news of her death on social media, along with memories of Odom.

“Beyond tragic, truly gone too soon. She was such a wonderful person and excellent chemist,” wrote Lauren Marbella, a professor at Columbia University.

“I have fond memories of her calling me late at night to ask random questions. That’s how she was: when she was curious about something, she wanted to know about it immediately,” said Taylor Kessinger, a postdoctoral candidate at U Penn.

Odom specialized in organic materials and energy storage. She was recently featured in an episode of ‘Behind the Blue’ with colleague and UK professor Chad Risko, with whom Odom published several papers.

No obituary or funeral service arrangements have been shared by the family yet.

This is a developing story. The Kernel will update as more information becomes available.