Flash Friday: Sally Maltempi

From beakers to ballads, Sally Maltempi balances passions for arts and sciences at Kent State

Welcome to Flash Friday! In this series, we introduce you to fascinating student Flashes from all walks of life.

Meet Sally Maltempi, a senior chemistry major with a focus in biochemistry and a music minor at Kent State University from Rootstown, Ohio. Maltempi currently tests foodborne diseases at the Crystal Diagnostics microbiology lab by day and sings opera at night.  

Maltempi works for the Kent State Gospel Choir, performs in the Kent State Opera Theatre and serves as the vice president of Student Advocates Supporting Singing

Sally Maltempi sings in a stage production

Maltempi’s interests led her to science. But since anyone can try out for the opera, she used it as a way to stay connected.

“I was originally a music major before I switched to chemistry and most of my friends were in the music department. I originally looked at opera as a fun way to hang out with my friends, but after the first rehearsal, I realized it means much more to me than that,” Maltempi recalled.  

“As a kid, I never was involved in theater, so it was all very new to me. Being able to step on stage and act like a character – oftentimes very different from myself – is an experience that I had never felt before.”

Maltempi brings individuals from the arts and the sciences together, serving as a guide to the beauty of both worlds. Her co-workers from the lab often attend her shows and are endlessly supportive of both her passions.  

“I love being able to bridge the gap between biochemistry and music,” Maltempi said. “I have always thought that science is art, and art is a science and that couldn’t be more true in my case.”

Maltempi poses with her family after a show

Looking back on her time at Kent State, Maltempi is grateful for the support system she has had.  

“I must thank my voice teacher, Lara Troyer, for shaping me into the musician and person I am today. Without her, I never would have joined opera at all. Also, opera professors Dr. Jay White and Professor Timothy Culver. I could not ask for better directors,” Maltempi said. “A frequent collaborator and a best friend, Tessa Jensen-Hedgecock, also must be mentioned. She shows me support in everything I do, both in music and science! I’m so lucky to perform alongside such a talented musician, and even luckier to have her as a friend.”

Maltempi performs at the Kent State Spring Opera on March 8-10 in Ludwig Recital Hall. Tickets are available online now

Are you a student interested in being featured in Flash Friday, or know a student who would make a great candidate? Send suggestions with name and contact information to kentstatetoday@kent.edu.

POSTED: Thursday, February 29, 2024 10:47 AM
Updated: Monday, March 4, 2024 11:39 AM
Maddie Goerl, Flash Communications
Courtesy of Sally Maltempi