Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: M.A.T. - Biology
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Middle school science or high school biology
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Fifth year or post-baccalaureate Noyce scholar
Name of Noyce institution:
SUNY Cortland Noyce Project
Current academic or teaching status:
Graduate 2nd Year
School and school district:
Field Experience: Cortland High School; Grant Middle School; Manlius Pebble Hill; Fayetteville-Manlius High School
I graduated from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) in New York State with a B.S. degree in Environmental and Forest Biology. At SUNY ESF I did field work in South Africa and Dominica, West Indies. After graduating I worked for five years with the Wildlife Conservation Society at the Bronx and Brooklyn zoos. I was a wild animal keeper and trained both sea lions and monkeys. I am currently enrolled at SUNY Cortland pursuing my Master’s in Teaching degree in Biology.
Why do you want to teach:
I have always loved school and firmly believe that those who dare to teach must never cease to learn (John Cotton Dana). If we are lucky, we never stop learning. I hope to pass this passion for learning and my passion for biology onto others. When I was in Africa I began to realize what an amazing gift education can be. This is a gift that you can never grow out of, never break, and never lose. It doesn’t fade over time. It is powerful and it changes lives. Teachers have the privilege of being able to treat people as if they were what they ought to be and help them become what they are capable of being (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe).
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
My greatest teaching experience was actually my first. It was in a small village in South Africa. I can remember every detail of the school I walked into. No chairs, cement walls, no posters, no microscopes, no TVs– all the typical things many schools take for granted. The teacher-to-student ratio was 1:150. Yet the only thing I remember when I walked in was 150 smiles. They were so welcoming (once they got past the red hair!), so warm, and so happy to be there. They had very few belongings but the thing they craved the most was knowledge. It was then that I realized being a teacher can change lives.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
The Noyce scholarship is giving me a means to do what I love. It is allowing me to focus on my education and work with high-need schools. I am incredibly grateful to receive this scholarship and look forward to teaching future generations.