Why did you choose your major?
I have always loved science. It was my favorite as a kid because I was able to work with my hands, and I was able to figure out all my “what if…” questions on my own. Plus I got to make a mess and my mom wouldn’t get (as) mad. Then, when I got to high school and science was broken up into different subjects, I found that I enjoyed chemistry the most, mostly for the same reasons as I loved science as a kid. I had teachers who encouraged my curiosity, I was working with my hands, and it may have been a little less messy, but there was more fire so I felt that the trade was worth it.
Also, I should probably mention that my favorite movie was Flubber and my favorite activity was playing with ooblek. As a kid, I had hoped that I could find a way to turn ooblek into flubber, and I thought the way to do that was through chemistry. Now I know that my goal is improbable, but I still have an affinity to finding out how things work and experimenting with goo.
What most excites you about the Carthage Noyce Scholarship Program?
What excites me most about the Carthage Noyce Scholarship Program is the networking. I have found that every teacher I talk to or work with has their own tips and secrets that I hope I can implement when I become a teacher. There are some things that you can only learn from experience, even if it is experience from others.
What has receiving this scholarship meant to you?
This scholarship has meant that I can stay within the Carthage community. I was really beginning to worry about the costs associated with Carthage and had begun thinking about transferring. The thought had upset me though, because I have come to love the community I was apart of in the chemistry and education departments, as well as in my various activities. I was scared I would not be able to find a new place where I would fit as well; where I would know all my professors and they would know me, where I had friends anywhere I went on campus, and where I would be given so many opportunities for a vast array of experiences.
What most attracts you toward teaching?
What attracts me most to teaching is the way you can spread your passion to your students. In high school, I helped teach the basic flag moves to the new members of the flags team, and I helped with the JV team after I was moved up to varsity. I didn’t realize it at first, but after I graduated I saw the impact I had made. One girl filled my shoes and helped the JV team. Another girl who I remembered as being terrified of tosses, came up and showed me she had learned a complex toss that had scared me when I first learned it. Some who have now graduated went on to continue flags in park district teams. I know I didn’t affect everyone I worked with, and my goal was never to make anyone love the activity, but seeing that there were some who became passionate about flags so easily made me realize I could spread my love for chemistry if I became a teacher.
What has been your favorite part of the Noyce program so far and why?
My favorite part of the Noyce program so far is the J-term teaching immersion courses. Not only did I have a lot of fun during the class, but I got to teach my first lesson as a freshman. It was an amazing opportunity. Normally teaching your first lesson is scary, and it was, but I had a lot of help and support. The lesson was far from perfect, and even the lesson plan that I created for it, but now I am much more confident when presenting lessons and ready to adapt to changing classroom conditions.
If you are doing research this summer, tell us briefly the goal/objective of your project and what you find most interesting in this work.
This summer, I was developing methods to use the microwave plasma atomic emission spectrophotometer (MP-AES) to quantify common ions in surface waters for Dr. Blaine. Dr. Blaine’s previous research has looked at the changing concentrations of road salt that has been washed into the surface waters of Kenosha. They used conductivity to track the changes and chloride selective electrodes to quantify the concentration of road salt. I am using the MP-AES to quantify the other cations in the surface waters that contribute to the conductivity of the water. I find this most interesting because it is investigating a form of pollution that I never even thought about, and it will be something I can easily tie into my curriculum when I teach chemistry. I hope it will interest my students as well.
What other activities are you involved in on campus?
In the Straz science building, I work as an in-class as well as preparatory lab assistant, I am one of the outreach coordinators of Chem Club, and I am an active member of the Carthage World Relief club. Around the rest of campus, I participate in the Carthage Swing Society, and am treasurer of the Belly Dance Club. I also enjoy indoor and outdoor volleyball intramurals.
What are your hobbies? What do you like to do for fun?
Around campus, I enjoy playing video games, attending yoga, and attending my various dance clubs. When it is nice out, I love hanging my hammock and relaxing outside. I also like to hike, bike, play sports, and to go to the beach with my friends. I really enjoy reading and doing a bunch of arts and crafts activities.