Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: B.S., Biology
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Biology, grades 6-8
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Fifth year or post-baccalaureate Noyce scholar
Name of Noyce institution:
Current academic or teaching status:
First-year graduate student: Master of Arts in Teaching (Biology)
School and school district:
Intern at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA
My name is Tiffany Hunter. I was born in Fort Hood, Texas on February 10, 1988. Soon after my birth, my family moved to Germany and then to Columbus, Georgia, where I lived for all of my adolescent years. My parents instilled in me the importance of education. I earned a 3.9 GPA while in high school, and I was ranked as one of the top 10 students in my class for four years. I was a member of Future Business Leaders of America, Distributive Education Clubs of America, and the captain of my dance team. My honors include being named to the “Who’s Who Among American High School Students,” as well as a certificate of merit from the University of Georgia for my outstanding academic achievements. Currently I am a graduate student at Hampton University pursuing my Master of Arts in Teaching in Biology. On May 9, 2010, I graduated from Hampton with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. I am a member of the Hampton Roads Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. My community involvement includes membership in SEEDS, a nonprofit organization established to foster local solutions to global issues as well as participation in the local going green projects. I volunteered for the 2008 Presidential Campaign. I am currently a volunteer for the Summer of Innovation Initiative at the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. This program is designed to provide activities and learning experiences for the underserved middle school student population and to foster an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). In my spare time, I enjoy going to the movies, trying new restaurants, and going to the beach. I am an outgoing person who loves to meet new people and go to social events. I especially enjoy spending time with my family.
Why do you want to teach:
Teaching has always been my passion. I want to make a difference in the lives of others. Teachers are not only educators; they are mentors. I am aware that there is a shortage of teachers. Education is important, and the students need to understand that someone cares about their future. I am extremely enthusiastic about teaching. Whenever I get the opportunity to step in front of the class room, I receive a warm, tingling feeling.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
My most memorable teaching experience took place in the summer of 2010 when I traveled to different after school programs, camps, and churches. My first teaching assignment was at the Merrimac Detention Center in Williamsburg, VA. Many of my students had been convicted of armed robbery, rape, and various other crimes. I knew that it would be a challenging group, and I worked diligently to be certain that my STEM lesson plans served their needs. It was memorable because I gave many of them hope. Not only was I teaching them, but I was also mentoring them. Many of those students left with smiles on their faces. I was able to motivate them and to help them see that there are opportunities for them, even though they had been convicted of crimes. I sparked the interest of some students who never cared about school. I almost left the center in tears knowing that many of the students were interested in pursuing a career in the STEM field after serving their time. I may have been able to change their path to a more positive direction.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
The Noyce Scholarship has been a life changing experience for me. This scholarship allowed me to matriculate to graduate school as well as pursue my dream of becoming a biology teacher. This scholarship has provided me an opportunity to better myself. I am elated that the scholarship serves a high-need school district. I have always wanted to make a difference in an underrepresented school district, and I feel that the Noyce Scholarship is giving me the opportunity to pursue my dream. I am more than thankful for this scholarship. It has truly changed my life.