Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Environmental Studies/Secondary Science Education
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Earth Science/8-9
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Fifth year or post-baccalaureate Noyce scholar
Name of Noyce institution:
Virginia Commonwealth University
Current academic or teaching status:
Fifth year student
School and school district:
Varina High School Henrico County Public Schools/Fairfield Middle School Henrico County Public Schools
After high school I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps where I served five honorable years as a helicopter mechanic/crew chief. Not long after fulfilling my service obligation I married my wife of over seven years. During most of that time I worked as a heavy equipment technician; returning to school in 2005 where I worked full time and went to school on a full time basis most semesters. In March, 2009 my wife and I had our first child. The following March my shift was terminated at my job and I continued with my education fulfilling the credit requirements for my undergraduate degree that May and was accepted into graduate school and received the Noyce Scholarship.
Why do you want to teach:
I am pursuing a career as an educator as a result of my experiences in high school, which showed me how teachers can lose a student and never look back. All too often teachers would like to teach to certain students leaving other students unmotivated and disengaged; I am dedicated to educating all students. All students want to learn; as a teacher you have to intrinsically motivate students and engage them to learn content.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
My eighth grade physical science teacher, Dr. Avent, inspired me as a student to actually study for his tests. His role in the classroom was more than just a teacher; he actually would approach EVERY student and get to know them. His interest in me encouraged me to do well in his class. He was one of the few teachers in my secondary education that genuinely cared about me.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
The Noyce Scholarship could not have come at a better time after losing my job in these tough economic times. The financial burden of my last year of graduate education has been almost completely eliminated thanks to the program. The scholarship has given me more time to concentrate on my studies and be involved with our NSTA@VCU Student Chapter.