Noyce Scholars: Class of 2010-2011
Kimberley Barnes, Seattle Pacific University
I have wanted to be a math teacher since I first starting thinking about my future. At that point I hadn't considered teaching any subject besides math. It was during the first few weeks of my physics course in high school that I realized I not only wanted to teach math but physics as well. My passion for physics has increased and flourished as I continue to study physics at Seattle Pacific University where I am earning a minor in physics and a major in mathematics. I love to learn and to help others to learn as well. It gives me an immense amount of joy to see others succeed, and I want to help students along in this process of learning. The encouragement and help of my professors has greatly influenced me in pursuing a career in teaching. I want to have this same supportive influence on future generations.
Zach Brenneman, Seattle Pacific University
I am a Math major with a minor in physics and I'm looking to teach in both subjects. I will be attending Seattle Pacific University's Alternative Route to Certification program working towards earning my Master's of arts in Teaching. I really enjoy being a part of teenagers' lives and helping them grow and learn. Physics is a very important part of a high school education and I really want to be a part of that. I have many other interests such as skiing, soccer, anything else that involves me being outside, and I help lead Young Life.
Andrew Defever, Western Michigan University
I am a Math Ed major and Physics minor. I have always been fascinated by the use of Mathematics in Physics and the way Physics can be used to describe the world around us. I have always enjoyed working with children so it was not a hard choice for me to decide to become a teacher. I want to teach Physics because I have had a very good experience in physics classes and want to bring this to my students, especially when I hear how bad or boring other people's experiences in physics classes. I also enjoy golfing and playing baseball/softball, and hope to coach along with teaching.
Josh Elrod, Ball State University
Hello, I am Josh Elrod. I attend Ball State University in Muncie Indiana. You know that I am a Physics Education major already, but I also enjoy riding bikes (road or track), playing bass, and drinking coffee with friends or having coffee over a book. Physics is a vein of science that intrigues me and I like learning more about. Passing on what I learn makes it that much more real to me, and I like finding new ways to explain what I know. This is why I want to be a physics teacher.
Lorie Hess, University of Arkansas
I am a senior Physics major at the University of Arkansas. Helping my teachers in high school teach my fellow classmates first fueled my desire for teaching. A decade later, a dusty physics text book and an inspiring adviser fueled that desire to a newfound passion. Raising two young sons has opened my eyes to the impact one person can have on another. Having the opportunity to educate students would be gratifying on many levels and a tremendous privilege.
Brittany Johnson, University of Arkansas
I am a Physics and English major at the University of Arkansas. I have always enjoyed school, especially science, and I am looking forward to teaching and to sharing what I have learned as a student. I have found science to be an intriguing field to study because of its ability to explain our physical world, and as a teacher I hope to convey the many exciting possibilities science has to offer. Besides physics I enjoy reading, particularly modern literature, and I like learning about different cultures and traveling when I can. Running, practicing yoga, and spending time outside are also some of my favorite things to do.
Jordan Lance, Seattle Pacific University
Given my educational experience thus far, most people who know me would be very surprised to hear that I am pursuing a career in physics. Due to a sub-par high school experience in this discipline, I actually entered college with a chip on my shoulder towards the subject, and began pursuing a degree in medicine. Sophomore year I begrudgingly took introductory physics as part of the pre-med curriculum, and my whole perspective of the subject changed. I changed my major and have never looked back. Although I now love physics, I really can fully understand why I was so disinterested in it in high school. The curriculum was weak, the funding was minimal, and the teacher was disorganized and apathetic. I believe that teachers should be passionate about their jobs, and have an innate desire to go the extra mile for their students. I want to one day give high school students the physics experience that I missed out on, and begin to show them how interesting the world that we live in really is.
Cassandra Little, Western Michigan University
I am currently a post-baccalaureate student studying to obtain my teacher certification in secondary mathematics. In 2005, I completed my bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering. While obtaining my engineering degree, I worked at Stryker Medical as an engineering intern for two summers and experienced the professional workforce environment. I learned what being an engineer was all about and realized it was not the career for me. After college, I worked for three years as a manager at Union Pacific Railroad. While working for the railroad in Texas, I managed approximately 100 employees at a Freight Car Repair Facility. Since my first time in college, when I obtained my engineering degree until I finally returned to school to get my teaching certificate, the idea of teaching rarely left my mind. Eventually, my desire to teach was overpowering and I finally decided to quit my railroad job and move back to Michigan to become a teacher. Now, I am thrilled to be pursuing my passion for teaching. I believe that recognizing the benefits of understanding physics concepts is extremely important for students. Beyond just understanding the subject, learning physics concepts helps students understand many everyday phenomena, reason logically and think critically. Also, the need for people in science and technology related fields will continue to increase in the future. Often, I think students give up on learning sciences without ever giving it a shot because they believe science is not for them. By teaching physics, I want to help ignite students' interest in sciences.
Tiffany Redding, University of Arkansas
I love to teach, and since my first exposure to an introductory university physics class, I have loved physics. As far back in school as I can remember, I did not like science; I did not understand it and I was afraid of almost any kind of science. With my first college degree, I avoided all science classes to the best of my ability - but now, after returning to school to earn another bachelor's degree, I realized how much I really enjoyed my physics classes. I have learned so much that I never thought I would ever want to know, and it's been really fun to learn about the world around me. To be able to combine physics with my love for teaching is a true blessing. I want to pass on to all those who also do not understand science, who are afraid of science - particularly physics - this revolutionary idea that physics is fun! I want to teach students that it doesn't have to be rocket science - that physics explains the things we see and use every day. I want to help take the fear out of science, to promote understanding of concepts, and hopefully to contribute, even in this small way, to the advancement of physics. Other interests I have: most things outdoors, walking my dog, playing tennis and basketball, and reading.
Heidi Rowles, Seattle Pacific University
I am currently attending Seattle Pacific University, majoring in Chemistry and minoring in Physics. I have been fascinated by the way the world works for as long as I can remember. My intrigue has increased over the past few years to the point that I just don't want to quit learning.I am convinced that every person is capable of understanding our universe, whether or not they think they are. Because of this, I want to teach physics and chemistry, helping high school students break down the stigma that there are "science people" and "non-science people", showing them that all it takes is a little curiosity. When I'm not discussing the gravitational pull of the earth's core, I love to run, ski and go for midnight hikes.
Jonathan Smythe, Cornell University
I am a senior Electrical and Computer Engineering major at Cornell University. I want to teach physics because I feel most students aren't given an adequate opportunity to explore the applications of physics in their everyday lives. Because of this, students tend to brush it off as an unimportant or irrelevant subject. I have always felt that physics is the most fun and interesting subject in high school. My goal is to provide students with the opportunity to experience this, and open their eyes to the possibility of a physics-based college major and/or minor. My interests include both watching and playing baseball, basketball, and football. I also like to travel and find driving to be relaxing.
John Weisenfeld, Seattle Pacific University
I am coming to teaching by a fairly non-traditional route, having already worked at Microsoft as a Software Test Engineer for the past 12 years. However, my first loves were calculus, physics and tutoring. I believe that most if not all of us who have had any measure of success in our lives owe a large debt to the teachers who have inspired us. For me, I am indebted to my parents, to my teachers at Olympia High School, to professors at the University of Puget Sound, Washington University in St. Louis, Cornell University, University of Bremen, and to a whole host of others in between. The time has come for me to pay back in small part what I have received. I am grateful to PhysTEC/Noyce for their commitment to equipping and enabling those who are eager to teach. I myself am looking forward not only to inspiring those who are skeptical of the subject, but also to bringing dry equations to life, and to lifting up the eyes of my students to see the beauty and design that is all around them.
Beth Williams, Seattle Pacific University
I am currently earning a Masters in Teaching through SPU's Alternative Route to Certification program. I attended Western Washington University where I received a Bachelors of Science in Physics with a minor in Math. I've had the opportunity to work at a private learning center, taught math at an alternative high school, and developed curriculum and taught science classes at the American Museum of Radio and Electricity. I've also had the opportunity to work as a cost analyst for CH2M Hill, and at Hanford on the Soil and Groundwater Remediation Project. Physics is my primary passion. I find physics to be fun, exciting, and challenging. I believe in drastically improving our science education programs, and have a vision to open up my own school eventually. Physics can be an intimidating and difficult subject, which is why I want to bring my passion for science, and love for working with young people together to facilitate a fun and encouraging learning environment. I am a competitive distance runner and coach track at a Middle School in Bellingham, WA, I play classical guitar, enjoy sailing around the San Juan Islands, and have a love for reading.