Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Math Education
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Single Subject / High School
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Name of Noyce institution:
Cal State Long Beach / Robert Noyce Scholarship
Current academic or teaching status:
School and school district:
Cal State Long Beach / Polytechnic High School, Long Beach
I was born and raised in Germany. After graduating from high school in 1979, I enrolled in the Technical University in Munich with physics as my major and a minor in mathematics. Two elongated stays in a hospital due to complications after a sports accident, in combination with a very lucrative job offer in the electronic media, led me to abandon my academic career altogether at the age of twenty-two.
For the next twenty-plus years, I worked as a sports journalist mainly for German TV and radio stations, first out of Germany and, starting in late 1997, with a base in New York City.
I have two children from my first marriage, Luka Korbinian (age 11) and Lilith Paulina (9). They both stay with their mother in Germany.
In 2004, I relocated to Los Angeles after I had met my future wife Nancy there. We got married in 2007. Nancy is a high school teacher. It did not take long for her to convince me to change my profession.
In the Fall of 2008, I commenced my academic career with the goal of becoming a high school teacher in mathematics. I am looking forward to starting my teaching career after graduation in the Winter of 2011.
Why do you want to teach:
The German school system I encountered was conceptually completely different from what we experience here in the United States. Additionally, my job as a sports reporter allowed me to travel the world and gain valuable insights into many cultures and peoples.
On the other hand, the news frequently elaborate on the shortcomings of our school system. The more I learn about it, the more I am convinced that I will be able to make some positive impact.
My enthusiasm for learning and teaching new skills in combination with my life experience will allow me to become the best math teacher possible.
I am convinced that I am on the right path: preparing high school students for the mounting challenges of an increasingly complicated life in the 21st century.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
Not too long ago, a professor at CSULB asked me to fill in for one lecture he had to miss. Oddly enough, my first solo teaching experience was in front of a college Calc II class. In addition to having an interesting experience and a great deal of fun, I also received positive feedback from the students.
I know that I am on the right path, and that makes me a happy person.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
The obvious answer would be that is has eased the financial pressure of returning to school full-time; however, after having entered the program just two months ago, I now understand that there is much more behind it.
Being able to sit regularly in high school classrooms, observing and becoming more and more involved, is a huge advantage. Also, the seminars, in combination with a regular exchange with fellow scholars, help a great deal.
Because of the NOYCE program, I am absolutely convinced that upon entering the teaching profession, I will be much more prepared and enlightened than most of my fellow students.