Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: BA Physics/Ph.D. Materials Science and Engineering
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Physical Sciences, grades 6-12
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Noyce Teaching Fellow
Name of Noyce institution:
Kennesaw State University
Current academic or teaching status:
1st year Noyce Teacher Fellow
School and school district:
Kennesaw Mountain HS, Cobb County, Georgia
A science enthusiast from a young age, I majored in Physics at Mount Holyoke College. I discovered the fascinating world of microscopy during an undergraduate research opportunity through the US DOE Science and Engineering Research Semester program (SERS) at Oak Ridge National Lab. I spent my post graduate years at The Georgia Institute of Technology and earned an MS in Ceramic Engineering and a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering. My first industry position was as a Senior Physicist at Columbian Chemicals Company doing characterization and classification of and research with carbon black. I then spent some time working with a bio-mimetic materials research group at Georgia Tech before deciding to spend all my time raising the two, eventually three, new young scientists I had at home.
Why do you want to teach:
I discovered through my children and my involvement with them and their classes at school that I have a tremendous enthusiasm for teaching young minds about the amazing world we live in and how it can be better understood through science. I hope to be able to transfer some of that enthusiasm to new generations of students and serve as a strong female role model in a largely male influenced subject area.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
My favorite teaching moment is when a student gets ‘the look’ in their eyes (usually accompanied by a grin or a look of surprise) that tells me that they have just made that critical step in understanding which allows them to make connections between the specific concept we are learning about and other, related concepts and phenomenon. It is nearly as much fun to see students experience it as it is to experience it myself. Whereas it no longer makes me giddy as it once did, it can still feel like a window is opened affording new vistas and plenty of fresh air.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
The Noyce program has made it possible to go back and learn critical new skills in the field of education that will make me better able to teach the subjects about which I am already enthusiastic. The structure of the program has encouraged networking with others who share these goals for mutual inspiration and support.