Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: BS/BA, Biology, Education
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Biology, grades 9-12
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Name of Noyce institution:
Arizona State University
Current academic or teaching status:
School and school district:
Tempe High School, Tempe Union High School District, Tempe, AZ
My southern heritage emphasized the importance of education and diversity which has became critical components of a profession that required me to live and work abroad. Thirty-plus years of travel have made me very aware that we are a global community and education is an international handshake regardless of economic or social status.
Why do you want to teach:
I believe it is my responsibility to give something back to society. This world’s survival depends on the genius of our future generations. Teaching is an honorable profession–excellent teaching will spawn genius. I will strive for that excellence. I consider it a great honor to be at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College here at Arizona State University.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
I was in a small African village years ago. It consisted of several dozen white adobe structures contrasted against a rich red-clay landscape. The school consisted of one room with an over-sized chalk board propped up by wood branches. Like a conductor, the teacher, an overly thin man wearing a tired white shirt waved a pointer in the air. His audience was twenty or thirty bare-foot children of various ages sitting on a dirt floor with pieces of slate propped between their legs. With over-sized pieces of chalk these children feverishly mimicked their teacher’s actions. These children had walked kilometers a day to get to this school, yet they were filled with excitement and joy. Most of the resources being used came from a local quarry or from the very ground these children sat on. I believe that these children knew that their family’s future depended on what they were doing in that room; as young as they were, they accepted this–such emotional maturity that was imprinted in this remote landscape. There was so much going on at so many different levels–the experience humbled me and embarrassed me at the same time. I felt being from a country that had so much, we could do better…be better.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
The immediate benefits are very much appreciated. Until this semester, I was allocating twenty hours a week as a tutor within Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, and Computer Science. Since receiving the scholarship, I have given up this position and am able to invest this additional time into my studies. The Noyce scholarship will create a future benefit as well. I believe it presents a better opportunity for me to be a great teacher, and I will carry that forward into the classroom.