Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: B.S., Adolescence Education: Biology
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Living Environment, grade 10, AP Biology, grade 12, Chemistry, grade 11
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Fifth year or post-baccalaureate Noyce scholar
Name of Noyce institution:
SUNY Cortland Noyce Project
Current academic or teaching status:
School and school district:
Field Experience at Ithaca HS and Cincinnatus Jr./Sr. HS; Student Teaching at Homer Jr. HS and Cincinnatus Jr./Sr. HS
I decided to become a teacher during my third year of college after I had switched my major three times, transferred schools, and basically exhausted every other feasible option in the field of biology. Ultimately, this was the best decision that I ever made. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Adolescence Education: Biology 7-12 from SUNY Cortland in May 2008, and I am now pursuing a Master’s degree in the same concentration. I am taking classes to get my 5-6 extension and I have almost completed the coursework to be certified in Chemistry 7-12. One summer I interned at the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research at Cornell University as part of the Plant Genome Research Project. Last year I worked as a graduate professional tutor for the Academic Support and Achievement Program at SUNY Cortland. Because of my background in science and tutoring, I am currently at a local high school where I teach Chemistry, Physics, Science AIS, and Math 7 AIS.
Why do you want to teach:
Teaching is a great avenue to directly influence the lives of others. I am a very personable person, and I have a great passion for science. Teaching allows me to share this love and knowledge of science. Teaching gives me the chance to make my students think about what’s going on in the world around them and how their actions do make a difference. Teaching also allows me to build relationships, to foster character development, and act as a mentor to a cohort of individuals who truly need all of these things.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
I once agreed to be in a school-wide boat race in which the students built boats out of cardboard and two-by-fours. The race was held in the murkiest pond that was allegedly home to at least two snapping turtles. I was not excited to do this at all, but the students were adamant about my participation, and sometimes as a teacher, you have to do things solely for the good of the students. The boat race is a prime example of this. Sadly, the student’s boat that I was to race on didn’t make it past the first leg of the race. I didn’t get stranded in the middle of the pond, but I did participate in something that was important to my students, and they really enjoyed seeing the panic on my face as a I stood at the start line.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
The Noyce program is so important because it helps to get qualified, passionate science teachers into the classroom, where they are badly needed. The Noyce program brings a great deal of attention to science education and truly encourages and grants opportunities for excellence in the field. I am very honored to be a part of this group.