Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Biology
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Secondary Composite Science
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Name of Noyce institution:
University of Texas at Arlington
Current academic or teaching status:
School and school district:
uTeach Program Field Experiences
I grew up in Michigan, and moved to Texas in 2006, attending high schools in both states. School was one of my favorite places to be, because I thoroughly enjoyed learning and being in that environment. There were some amazing educators at Coopersville High School in Michigan (Thank you Mrs. St. John, Mr. VanKempen, and Mr. Nicholas!) and I feel so lucky that I had such a strong, dedicated group of science (and art!) educators to look up to. After moving to Texas, I attended community college off and on while working in retail and then in EMS as an emergency medical technician. I attended Texas Christian University for one year, and then transferred into the University of Texas at Arlington for their uTeach program for secondary STEM educators.
Why do you want to teach:
After being exposed to a variety of academic settings, I’ve gotten to see good, ineffective, and great teaching at different levels, and consider myself lucky to have had some of the great experiences that I did. I want to share that experience with students, and get them passionate about science and using their minds and thinking for themselves.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
In the uTeach program, we initially go out to local elementary schools and teach there. Both semesters, in nearly every class period, I would overhear a child say that they just weren’t good at science. One boy in particular stood out to me – he was very tentative to try to work out problems, because he had decided already that he couldn’t do it.
For a child to decide this so early on was upsetting to me, but I know it isn’t uncommon. It has really motivated me to change the perception of science in the minds of students, to make it something tangible and accessible to them so that they can develop the skills and confidence to be successful.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
The Noyce program has been a huge help monetarily. Being able to focus on my goals and coursework instead of rising student loans is a relief. It also instills in me a sense of purpose – people have set up this wonderful network of mentors and teachers to advance this cause, and find me worthy to be part of it. Being able to go to the seminars and be immersed in a culture that places the same importance on science education as I do is so motivating, and keeps me focused on my goal. I know that I’m part of a much bigger network of educators that will change the way science education is approached, and will reach so many kids.