Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Mathematics B.S.
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Math Level 4 Endorsement
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Noyce Teaching Fellow
Name of Noyce institution:
Current academic or teaching status:
School and school district:
Salt Lake Center For Science Education / Salt Lake City School District
I was born and raised in Medellín, Colombia. I came to the United States to pursue my first college degree at Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania. There I obtained a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Religion. I returned to Colombia unsure of my future, but I knew that I wanted to study Math more in depth. I audited two Calculus courses at a local university in the Fall of 2003, which eventually led to a teaching position there. I realized later that I wanted to teach secondary school where I could spend more quality time with my students. I decided to return to the USA to study Math. I obtained my second bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah. Now I teach an Algebra I group at the Salt Lake Center for Science Education (a charter school in the Salt Lake City School District).
Why do you want to teach:
I believe I can be a positive influence in the lives of my students. I know there is a great need out there in the world of today’s students; a need for acceptance, a need for having someone believe in them. I know I won’t reach every student, but it will all be worthwhile for the one student I do reach. This is why I want to teach.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
I remember sitting down next to a student this past Spring and helping him out with a Geometry problem. When I finished working with him I got up and moved to another student. It was my mentor teacher who pointed out to me that a soon as I moved away, the first boy said to his neighbor, “He explained the problem to me!”, with a mixture of joy and pride. It seems like a silly thing to remember as something memorable, but I felt appreciated and respected, as well as honored that the student felt that he had learned after hearing my explanation.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
It has been a blessing to have the support that the Noyce program provides. I deeply respect my mentor teacher, and have found her advice invaluable as I learn to become a better teacher. The monetary stipend and tuition benefits that comes with the program has also been a source of relief. I know that many other students wishing to enter the teaching profession are not as privileged to have this combination of mentorship and financial backing.