Degree(s) earned and from where: B.S. Physics, Georgia Institute of Technology

Previous career: Research Assistant

Concentration/Subject: Physics

What made you decide to change to a career in K-12 teaching?
I’ve considered becoming a teacher off-and-on for most of my life. I had originally planned on doint just that after graduating from Tech, but I was offered an internship opportunity at the Holifield Radioactive Ion Beam Facility at Oak Ridge National Lab. I eventually become a full research assistant and started a Ph. D. program in Nuclear Engineering. Teaching was always in the back of my mind and, at some point, I realized that research wasn’t what I wanted to dedicate my life to. I thought back to my days as a teaching assistant at Tech and remembered how much joy it brought me. I then realized that becoming a high school physics teacher was exactly what I wanted to do.

What attracted you to Kennesaw State University’s MAT program?
One of my initial attractions to KSU, frankly, was affordability. After researching KSU’s program, I began to see the prestige that came with having an MAT degree from KSU. After applying and being informed about the NOYCE scholarship, that solidified my decision to attend KSU were I accepted.

What do you hope to learn by being a Noyce Teaching Fellow?
I hope to, well, become the best teacher I can be! Specifically, I want to learn how to translate and transfer my passion and knowledge for physics to my students. I know that I have the right ‘stuff’, but that I also need to refine whatever that ‘stuff’ is. I’ve been attending classes for just over four weeks now, and I’m blown away at how much I’ve learned. I can only imagine how much I’ll learn over the next year!

What challenges do you think exist in high needs schools that differ from non-high needs schools?
To be completely honest, I’m not sure. I come from a fairly privileged background, and I never attended a high needs school nor do I have any experience with one. I’m beginning to learn, though, and I hope to be ready to face those challenges come graduation next year.

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