School of: Science Math and Engineering
What he teaches:
Cell Biology Lab
Number of years teaching at SLCC:
University of Utah (Cell Biology and Biochemistry)
University of Utah (Genetic Engineering)
University of Utah (Molecular Biology)
Why working at SLCC matters:
Working here allows me to share my understanding and love of the natural world with students who may have never been given a chance to develop their own. We live in a golden age of teaching biology. Students come to us already interested in inheritance, disease, climate change, etc…. As a biology professor, I get to simply point them in the right direction and let them follow their own inherent interests. It is fun to watch.
Greatest professional challenge:
Finding ways to reach as many of my students as possible. Some SLCC students come fully prepared to push forward with their higher education. Many, however, are behind and not necessarily ready for what lies ahead. The challenge for me has been to find ways to help them all grow and move toward their ultimate goals.
Greatest professional accomplishment:
I love introducing students to the world of research. Our cell biology class includes the SLCC Genome Annotation Project, wherein students sift through the genetic information of an organism and decipher its contents. Our microbiology lab class includes the PARE (Prevalence of Antibiotic Resistance in the Environment) Project, in which students examine soil samples from their own surroundings and monitor the growing problem of antibiotic resistance. By showing students the practical implications of their own knowledge, I get to help them achieve a far deeper understanding.
Advice for students or others:
Be patient but persistent. I am convinced that there is a place for each of us, but it may take some time to find.
I am involved in the OPEN SLCC Initiative, which seeks to make low- and no-cost textbooks and other resources available to students. The Biology Department has many classes and labs that use free textbooks and lab manuals. I hope to help that spread and to help other faculty see the utility of this initiative.
I have been married to my beautiful wife Sally for 36 years and we have two wonderful daughters, Heidi and Anna.