Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Biology/Entomology
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Biology, AP Biology, Earth Science, Physical Science, grades 9-12
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Noyce Teaching Fellow
Name of Noyce institution:
Current academic or teaching status:
4th year teacher
School and school district:
Durham Public Schools
I completed my BS in Biology and Entomology at the University of Maryland (UMD) in College Park in 2003. After graduation, I worked in the Entomology Department performing research on different economically important agricultural pests. After my time at UMD, I worked in DC for three years at the US EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs, mostly focusing on environmental risk assessments for GMO (genetically modified organisms) crops. Teaching had always been an interest of mine, but I wanted to work as a scientist for a few years before I went back to school or moved into the classroom.
Why do you want to teach:
I love sharing my enthusiasm for science with others! I also like connecting the concepts that a part of the curriculum with the real world.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
Some of my favorite memories come from comments I receive after my students complete surveys about my teaching. The students can tell I put forth a lot of effort each and every day, and they routinely thank me for trying new things and working so hard. I often work with 12th graders in my AP Biology class, and the feedback I get from them once they return from their first or second year in college is motivating and heart warming. This past summer, a student contacted me to set up a meeting to talk about a paper he is writing about evolution and the plasma membrane. When he showed up at the coffee shop, he was toting books and papers with him to show me everything he had learned. He thanked me for giving him the foundations he needed to understand his college courses.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
It has meant being part of a bigger “whole” that is working to improve science education. It has allowed me to meet with my peers and discuss everyday issues and best practices. Overall, to me it was the best way to get into science education!