Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Geology with Teaching Certification
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Science, grades 6-12
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Name of Noyce institution:
University of Texas at Arlington
Current academic or teaching status:
School and school district:
Arlington/Fort Worth ISD
I am married with two children and am a veteran of the Army. Most of my professional work experience has been in the fields of customer service and quality control. I have been involved in the martial arts for over 30 years, and hold black belts in Judo and Okinawa Kenpo Karate. I will be the 3rd of 5 children in my family with a college degree. Neither of my parents attended college.
Why do you want to teach:
I have been an informal teacher for many years in my martial arts career. It has always brought me joy when the light bulb goes off in a child or adult’s head and they finally get/understand what they have been learning. I’ve always been a people person, and enjoy helping people. When my son’s teacher told me that my son could fail all his courses, but if he passed his state mandated assessment test, he would be promoted to the next grade, I knew I had to engage my passion and purpose and try to make a difference in the classroom.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
One time while in my karate class in Hawai’i, we were visited by the founder of our particular karate style from Okinawa. He was in his 60s, and had been practicing for most of his life. He was instructing us in one of the black belt level katas (fighting forms) that we know. During one of our breaks, I noticed him off to the side of the training hall, practicing one of the most basic katas that we teach to our beginning students. “Sensei (Teacher),” I asked, “Why are you practicing such an easy kata?” He finished the kata and turned to me and said, “Because I haven’t quite perfected it yet.” I realized in that moment that no matter how well I think I know something, I can always learn just a little bit more.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
It has been an honor to be called a Noyce Scholar. I know there were many deserving students who applied, and to be chosen gave me the confidence to press on in my studies. The scholarship is helping me avoid accumulating loan debt, which is becoming a real burden to college graduates. It allows me to be able to study and attend classes full time without working, so that I may graduate with my degree in four years.