Noyce Scholars: Class of 2011-2012
Christine Audo, University of Arkansas
I am a senior Physics major graduating in May and entering the Master's of Arts in Teaching program at the University of Arkansas this summer. It only took one course freshman year for me to realize that I have a love for physics. Over the last several years, it was this interest that afforded me many new opportunities, such as helping to teach the introductory physics lab that first whetted my curiosity. Through teaching, I have found a way to share my own passion. I'm thrilled for the new possibilities that physics has presented to me.
Kimberley Barnes, Seattle Pacific University
Kimberley Barnes is my name, and helping people to succeed is my passion. Ever since junior high I have wanted to become a math teacher. It wasn't until my senior year in high school that I found my love for physics as well. Even now as I am continuing my mathematics major, physics minor, and teacher certification at Seattle Pacific University, the classes that I find myself enjoying the most are the classes in which the professor/teacher is passionate and caring. It is because of my high school math and physics teachers that I decided to continue on to college to become a teacher. They helped me to believe in myself and strive to do my best. I want to do this for others as well; I want to help students to see that they can do great things. Even those that don't like or understand physics or math can succeed at it and even enjoy it. I find much joy in seeing others challenge themselves and attain their goals. When I'm not doing math, physics, or tutoring I am most likely to be found outside on some adventure, climbing rocks, mountains or trees, running, or doing my favorite sport equestrian vaulting.
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.
Amber Frazier, Seattle Pacific University
I am currently attending Seattle Pacific University, majoring in Physics. Prior to taking Physics in high school I was interested in either Medicine or Nursing. However, since I have been introduced to Physics, I haven't thought of doing anything else besides making it a part of my everyday life. Initially, I believed that engineering would be the way that I embraced physics regularly. However, I quickly realized that not only did I not have a passion for engineering, but I was drawn towards a different profession. I knew that I loved students and what better way to enjoy the two things I love than teaching physics. As a minority in the field of science, both as a woman as well as a student of color, I realize that it is easier to say that you are not capable of doing something as opposed to stepping out of the box and building bridges over barriers. As a teacher, I want to show all of my students that they are capable of doing anything they put their mind to. I want them to appreciate science and physics whether they believe they are "science people" or not. I know that I can help make the difference and I will strive to each day. In my spare time I enjoy hanging out with friends, going to amusement parks, and spending time with family.
Lorie Hess, University of Arkansas
Physics is really exciting to learn! Not only does it provide an understanding to just about everything in the physical reality, but with each new discovery, a new scientific mystery can evolve. The more I learn about physics the more passionate I am to pass on this knowledge to other people. In my opinion, teaching is by far one of the most influential careers. The opportunity to help students expand and enrich their minds, as well as their futures, is gratifying on so many levels. Unfortunately, many students find physics to be boring, tedious, and difficult. I eagerly look forward to drastically changing this false perception.
Taylor Rae Jacobsen, Seattle Pacific University
I am a graduate of Seattle Pacific University where I took a number physics and engineering courses as part of my self-designed major. Along with learning many basic principles within these fields, I came to appreciate their usefulness in today's world. In classes such as micro-finance, community economic development, alternative energy systems, and hydro-systems, I saw real needs and real-world applications for physics, math, and engineering. I began working as a Learning Assistant in the physics department, training other college students in the same foundational physics concepts I had learned to love and marvel at. What drove me to teaching was not only my enjoyment of this experience but also my understanding of the needs of our world and the beautiful practicality of physics. In passing on what I know as a teacher, I will endeavor to equip a generation of people with hearts of compassion for the world's needs and the tools to meet those needs. I am personally passionate about the worldwide water crisis, particularly the lack of access to safe water and sanitation that plagues much of the developing world today. My husband and I live in Stanwood, Washington and enjoy exploring the outdoors, photography, reading, and music. I will enter the Master in Teaching Mathematics and Science degree program at Seattle Pacific this summer with the intention of teaching high school math and physics.
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.
Timothy Uher, University of North Carolina
My high school physics classes quickly hooked me onto physics, as it was a different way of thinking about and looking at the world. It required thought and understanding rather than just memorization. As a tutor and TA in college, I found a strong passion for teaching physics. Sharing understanding with others and opening up their minds to a new way of thinking is an extremely rewarding experience. I like to be well-rounded and I appreciate that physics can be applied to nearly everything. My hobbies include playing sports, running track, working on cars, and renovating houses, all of which I find can be enhanced with an understanding of physics and how things work. Physics and my physics teachers have provided me with enlightenment; I am now eager to pass it onto others.
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 finishing my Masters of Arts in Teaching at Seattle Pacific University. For my undergraduate studies, I attended Western Washington University where I received a Bachelor's of Science in Physics with a minor in Math. Physics is my primary passion. I find Physics to be fun, exciting, and challenging. 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. In my spare time I enjoy distance running, I play classical guitar, enjoy sailing around the San Juan Islands, and have a love for reading.