Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT)
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Secondary science
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Master Teaching Fellow
Name of Noyce institution:
University of South Florida
Current academic or teaching status:
School and school district:
Hillsborough County School District
I am Vietnamese, and was born in Germantown, Maryland. My family moved to Florida when I was four, and we’ve been in St. Petersburg ever since. I received my Bachelor’s in Biology and Master’s in Medical Sciences at the University of South Florida. I was also a participant in the VSA (Vietnamese Student Association) and Co-SIGN (College Student Interest Group in Neurology) organizations. I enjoy singing, cooking and going to the movies. What I cherish the most in life are my friends and family. They are always there for me when the times get rough, and support me in every decision I make. It’s very easy to make friends, but filtering through the good ones is the hard part. I’m also a Buddhist, although I pay more respect to my ancestors and Quan Am by meditating and praying wherever I go because it comes from the heart; I don’t think that frequent trips to the temple is going to make me a strong believer. One can describe me as firm, responsible and honest. However, I was told that I’m also compassionate and fair.
Why do you want to teach:
My realization of wanting to become a teacher dates back to the elementary days. I was introduced to the Magic School Bus book series, and was hooked on life sciences for life! In high school, I was heavily involved in the sciences, and I especially loved biology. And now, coming into the MAT program, I know this decision is going to turn my childhood dream into a reality. To me, becoming a secondary science teacher means more than giving lectures and grading assignments. I want to make a difference in students’ life by helping them become more interested in the subject, and perhaps even gain new insights to learning about themselves. Nothing would give me more joy than to achieve this. High school was the happiest time of my life, and I want to be reminded of how my teachers motivated me to be all that I can be. Hopefully, I won’t disappoint them.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
As a graduate research assistant, I mentored new graduate research personnel involving instruction of laboratory safety and standard operating procedures as well as experimental design and analysis. Among the most satisfying experiences for me was tutoring high school and undergraduate students basic science concepts, mechanism of action, and therapeutic applications for human-related diseases. Aside from explaining the significance and innovation of the experimental design, I had the pleasure to be able to spark their interest in learning biological sciences. While I do not have significant teaching experience, I believe that this experience alone was more than enough to remind me of how passionate and devoted I am to follow the path of becoming a teacher.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
Being in the Noyce program allows me to pursue all the things I love, and things I never thought I would have the opportunity to try such as shadowing a student on her first day of classes. I never thought a program like this could ever exist. I’m being offered me a degree, financial support and valuable teaching experiences which is something I know I wouldn’t have been able to achieve on my own. So far, I am learning many fascinating concepts fundamental to science education, and I am also gaining a great deal of insight into how I may be able to create a better knowledge and curriculum for my future class.