Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Chemistry
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Chemistry, grades 9-12
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Name of Noyce institution:
Texas Tech University
Current academic or teaching status:
School and school district:
I am a senior chemistry major at Texas Tech University. I have always had a deep enjoyment for and good performance in science, but it was not until I had a chemistry class that I found my passion. Going through the undergraduate curriculum, interacting with and tutoring students in non-chemistry fields, showed me that I had the qualities that would make a good educator. After my undergraduate education, I switched my path towards graduate school to becoming a high school teacher. This change happened about two years ago, and I have not looked back since! I do plan to attend graduate school for chemistry at some point, but it will be after I complete my obligation to teach for the Noyce Scholars Program.
Why do you want to teach:
As I began working with students who enrolled in first-year chemistry classes in college, I noticed a pattern in their backgrounds. All of the students had poor experiences in their high school chemistry classes. I got in the mindset that I can and should do something about this. After gaining field experiences as part of my education program, I realized that more students would benefit from a positive male role model. Thus, my focus of “teaching chemistry” has been realigned to “educating students.” The fine difference is that I want to teach students how to think and succeed in the world, and if they pick up chemistry content along the way, then I consider my efforts fruitful.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
The following event occurred before I made the decision to become an educator, while I was tutoring a friend. She was on track to attend pharmacy school and was in a first-year chemistry class. It became apparent that her science experience was limited to memorize and parrot the content covered, rather than achieving a deep understanding of what was occurring. Although it took numerous hours and a lot of patience, I believe I helped change her patterns in a science class. This event served as the beginning of the path that is leading me to becoming an educator at the high school level.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
As a first generation college student who relies heavily on financial aid to attend college, the scholarship funds helped significantly. I did not have to take out loans that accumulate interest while in school. This made thinking of my future far less stressful. Aside from the money associated with the program, becoming part of a professional learning community consisting of fellow pre-service teachers, master teachers with years of experience, and college mentors has been wonderful. Being able to draw from the wisdom of others has enriched my undergraduate experience. I have made friends and met colleagues who will be a part of my professional career and life.