School of Education

TigersTeach Noyce Scholars

Tillman Hall, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina

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  • Carmony Adler

    Carmony AdlerBackground: Growing up with entomologists as parents, I was immersed in science, always outdoors exploring and asking questions about what I saw. This curiosity and love I developed for science throughout my life never faded, leading me to graduate with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biological Sciences at Clemson University.

    Why I want to teach: I have always had a passion for learning, particularly about the sciences, which is why my mind changed countless times concerning how I wanted to use science in my career. I’ve explored paths as diverse as genetics to neuroscience to conservation biology to environmental science, but I could never completely settle on just one. Through my experiences of tutoring students and working as a Zoo Camp Education Intern at the Greenville Zoo, I discovered how much I enjoy teaching what I find to others. Teaching allows me to explore all of the areas of science that I enjoy all while helping others.

    Memorable teaching and learning experiences: The summer after my sophomore year of college, I worked as an education intern at the Greenville Zoo. Originally, I mainly wanted to work at the zoo so I could work hands on with the animals, but as I started teaching kids about the animals we had, I realized how much I enjoyed sharing my passion for wildlife and nature with them. Even though I wasn’t getting paid and I had to wake up at 6 every morning with an hour commute there and back, it was beyond worth it to me. I loved every minute of it: the challenges of teaching the kids, the pleasure of sharing my passion with others, and all that I learned while I was there.

    Goals and Aspirations: As a teacher, I want to be able to help children do more than just learn about the sciences. I want to help them develop an awe and excitement for science akin to what I had growing up. One of my main goals is to create a learning environment in the classroom that stimulates curiosity through hands-on learning, interesting facts, current science news, discussions, true understanding of material rather than rote memorization, and connecting concepts and subjects. I believe that education is the fundamental key to every aspect in life; it gives knowledge and provides opportunities, often in unexpected ways, to those who receive it and I want to help give this to others.

    Advice for Prospective Teachers: I haven’t had much teaching experience yet, but I remember the science student teacher I had when I was in seventh grade. She loved the material she taught and was always excited to teach us about it. She made such an impression on me, I still remember her after all these years. I would just say, let your love and passion for the material you want to teach shine through. If you’re excited about something, odds are that excitement will spread.

    What the program means to me: I’m honored and thankful to be part of the Noyce program. The program allows me to focus on becoming the best teacher I can be, rather than having to be concerned about financial issues. I am also provided with a great support system of encouraging peers and instructors along with beneficial experiences that will help me throughout earning my degree and as a future teacher.

  • Doug Adomatis

    Doug Adomatis

    Background:  I have a Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics from Georgia Tech with ten years working experience in experimental physics and twenty years of technology-related business experience.

    Why I want to teach: I have benefited from an education in science and technology and have always been eager to help others along this path. In every phase of my life, I have found an outlet as a trainer, mentor, or guide.  Now I aspire to teach full-time. 

    Memorable teaching and learning experiences: My desire to teach is rekindled every time I see the expression on someone's face at the precise moment they understand something I'm teaching.

    Goals and Aspirations: Certification in less than two years. Clemson University's Masters of Art in Secondary Science has me on track to be teaching in my own classroom by Fall 2014.

    Advice for Prospective Teachers: Before you put yourself in front of a classroom, you need to be comfortable teaching one-on-one and in small groups.

    What the program means to me: The Noyce Scholarship means that I will be able to more fully participate in immersion activities, my family will not struggle to put me through school, and I will be able focus on my training to become the best science teacher that I can be.

  • Emily Annas

    Background: Originally from New York, I now call home a small, country town in South Carolina. My various interests have led me on several adventures, from studying molecular biology in Maine to working on a private yacht in Mexico. I am truly grateful to have had these past experiences that shape how I teach in the classroom.

    Why I want to teach: One day, friends and family will attend my funeral, and I hope that they are able to say, truthfully, that I had a positive impact on the world. To put a spin on a favorite quote of mine, I might not make a difference to all the students I encounter, but to one student, I will change their world for the better. My goal is to make a difference to one student, and then another, and another, until I am no longer able to do so. 

    Memorable teaching and learning experiences: I remember I was substitute teaching, trying to teach something meaningful about how we grow and process our food, and I really wasn't getting anywhere with the students chattering away. Until one student explained where baby carrots came from, and the class went silent with interest. Knowledge doesn't always have to come from me; sometimes it is best if I just act as a guide for their natural curiosity.

    Goals and Aspirations: My goal is provide a solid enough science background to all students so that they may have every career opportunity available to them in the future. I never want to hear that a student couldn't follow their dream because they didn't have a strong enough background in science.

    Advice for Prospective Teachers: It is best if you have a natural desire to learn. If you aren't willing to continue to learn, how will you inspire your students to do so? Also, with everything, a good work ethic helps too!

    What the program means to me: I knew that I couldn't walk in off the street and be an effective teacher. The program has taught me about all of the aspects of teaching.

  • Blake Blasingame

    Blake Blasingame

    Background: I am from Rock Hill, South Carolina. Both of my parents are teachers. My mom teaches fifth grade and my dad is a pastor so I’ve always grown up in a very educational household. Growing up I’ve always loved math and I’ve done well at it. When I was younger I enjoyed building things, so I had early aspirations to be an architect. When I got into high school I still loved math, but I started to enjoy working with computers a lot and so after some debate I came to Clemson University to become a computer engineer. The driving factor behind this decision was the salary. After taking some engineering classes, which I really didn’t enjoy, I thought about education. The only reason I didn’t want to be a teacher was because of the money. I always enjoyed helping my classmates in high school with math, so after a lot of consideration and prayer, I made the decision to major in math education. I feel that this is definitely what God wants me to do with my life, which was the deciding factor in switching.

    Why I want to teach: A mission trip I went on in the spring of 2012 to Chicago impacted my decision to teach. I spent a week in a very high needs and a very low-income school. It was incredible to see the need that the students had and the lack of motivation and poor effort on the end of the teachers. The students definitely had a motivation to learn but that motivation wasn’t being fostered in the right direction. Instead, the students would just get in trouble because there was no direction for their energy. This experience definitely added to my motivation to be a teacher.

    Goals and Aspirations: I really wanted to see those students from my mission trip excel, but their teachers were not doing anything to spur that on. I want to be a teacher that helps students to excel. Not only do I want to help students do better in the classroom, but many students need help with life. As a teacher, seeing the same students on a daily basis there is a great opportunity to have a positive impact on these students’ lives. I would love to be the teacher that guys come to when they’re having trouble not only in school but with whatever and need some help or advice. Those teachers were always the best when I went through high school and I would love to be that teacher eventually.

    Advice for Prospective Teachers: To someone going into education I would say make sure you know this what you want to do, because the education system doesn’t need teachers who are not going to be sold out to what they do. It is a big decision, so take some time in considering it. Also make sure this is what you love. If you don’t love it then you will be miserable and so will the students in your classroom. There is huge opportunity to better the educational system and it is nothing to take lightly.

    What the TigersTeach Noyce Scholarship means to me: Noyce TigersTeach means a lot to me because it has really helped me out monetarily with tuition. It also gave me motivation from freshman to sophomore year. I interviewed my freshman year for the scholarship, but didn’t receive it. It was a great driving factor behind my schoolwork so that I could apply again my sophomore year again.

  • Megan Burdette

    Megan Burdette

    Background: Growing up on a farm gave me the opportunity to explore outdoors and interact with nature.  At the time, I didn’t know that this environment was laying a foundation for me to become a science teacher.  After high school, I attended Presbyterian College and chose Biology as my major because I had developed an insatiable curiosity for science.  My interests in science lead me to pursue my MS degree in Microbiology at Clemson University.

    Why I want to teach: During the time I was working towards my master’s degree in microbiology, I had the opportunity to be a lab instructor for an introductory microbiology course.  Although teaching took a lot of time and preparation, I found that I really enjoyed the experience.  When one of my students told me that my lab was their favorite class and that they appreciated how much I cared about teaching, I knew that becoming a science teacher was the natural path for me to take.

    Memorable teaching and learning experiences: Initially, most students are intimidated by lab or may anticipate that the work will be boring.  Because of this, I made my best effort to have an enthusiastic attitude every week.  I was amazed when my students started to enjoy the lab experiments and actually look forward to being in my lab once a week.  

    Advice for Prospective Teachers: Although I have experience teaching a lab, I know I still have so much to learn.  However, from my experience, my advice would be to have enthusiasm for the subject that you are teaching.  Also, ask for helpful hints from experienced teachers.

    What the TigersTeach Noyce Scholarship means to me: This scholarship represents an opportunity to receive an excellent education without the worry and stress of student loans.  I am also excited about the additional immersion activities provided by this program. Now I can focus on becoming the best teacher I possibly can be! 

  • Kerry Foltz

    Kerry Foltz

    Background: I originally grew up in the upstate of South Carolina, where my father was a professor of fisheries biology and ichthyology. As a child, I would attend his field trips to streams and lakes. I always thought it was really interesting to learn about the different fish species and the environment. I attended Furman University, where I received my bachelors of science in biology. During my undergraduate career, I was given the opportunity to travel abroad during the summer for an internship. This internship involved working with two professors studying the threat of fisheries bycatch to Hector's dolphins in New Zealand. This led me to become very passionate in the field of marine science and conservation. I went on to intern at Mote Marine laboratory, and then received my masters of marine science at Hawai'i Pacific University.

    Why I want to teach: After graduating from Hawai'i Pacific University, I took some time to try substitute teaching. I realized how vital science education is at the secondary level. I also realized that I want to be involved in education and outreach in the field of environmental and marine science, along with teaching biology at the foundational level so that students gain an understanding of its value to society and the environment.

    Memorable teaching and learning experiences: While substitute teaching, I was able to sit in and observe a biology teacher's regular and honors classes. It was really awesome to see how well he interacted with his students, and adapted his teaching methods to the nature of each class. He really helped the students become engaged in the material covered, and helped them connect what they were learning to everyday life.

    Goals and Aspirations: Over the past few years, I have really become focused on research in my specific field. For me, it will be a new experience learning how to teach and manage a classroom. I really hope to become a proficient teacher, and to learn how to connect with and help students. I hope that I will inspire students to become enthusiastic about many fields of science.

    Advice for Prospective Teachers: I have limited experience teaching so far, but I would say that it is important to realize that teaching is a learning experience itself. It will take time to develop the skills to become an effective teacher, and these skills will be shaped by day to day experiences. In this regard, I would give the advice (to others and myself!) to not give up. I would also give the advice to substitute teach to learn what it is like to manage a classroom; however, do not solely base your decision to teach based on this experience. Substitute teaching can be challenging because you are not in complete control of the subject matter, and you may not know the students as well. However, it will show you how a school operates and familiarize you with the classroom setting.

    What the TigersTeach Noyce Scholarship means to me: This scholarship has been a wonderful opportunity for me. I have my fair share of student loans to pay back from my previous degrees, and this scholarship is really helping me throughout this next degree. I am very grateful to the program, and to be able to be a Noyce scholar itself provides new learning opportunities, while also allowing me to focus my goals towards working in a high needs area. I think this will be a challenging, yet incredibly rewarding experience.

  • Brian Holt

    Brian Holt

    Background: I was born and raised in Anderson, South Carolina just outside of Clemson. I enjoy spending time outdoors and figuring out how the natural world works. I graduated from Clemson University in August 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Conservation Biology.  After spending a year off from school where I did some traveling and working, I decided to return to school for my Masters in Teaching. I’ve always known that I wanted to work in some type of academic field in the life sciences however it is was not until recently that I knew for certain that I wanted to be a high school science teacher.

    Why I want to teach: It wasn’t until I graduated from undergrad that I realize that teaching was the right field for me. Upon graduation, I spent 5 months in Brazil performing research as part of an internship. While there I realized that research was not something I was passionate about, but instead teaching was. It made me reflect upon my own education and made me realize how grateful I should be for my own education. My time in Brazil made me realize that education is not always equal and though I might not be able to help the students in Brazil, I can help make good education more accessible to the students in US. In the back of my head, I’ve always known that teaching would be a fulfilling job. When I was in high school I had a few inspiring teachers that helped me through some hard times and were there for me not just as a teacher, but as a mentor also. Without these teachers, getting through high school would have been more challenging. I am passionate about the life sciences and would like to spread my knowledge and enthusiasm to high school students. I also want to be there for my students and help them through what is a difficult time in a lot of young adults’ lives.

    Memorable teaching and learning experiences: I did some volunteering at the Adult Education Center in Anderson and there was this one gentleman that I will never forget. It was an older gentleman in his late 70s that returned to school to become literate. He had a hard time reading, but would never give up.  I admire his resilience and persistence to learn to read even at such a late age. He taught me that no matter how old you are, you are never to old to learn something new.

    Goals and Aspirations: My goal as a science teacher is to help my students learn and be successful in high school. I aspire to help students understand how the natural world works and what wonders it entails. I want my students to come out of my class having learned something that they can use and pass on. I want them to understand the “how” and “why” certain things work the way they do in science. I hope to get students excited about learning science and help students understand that everyone has the same chance to succeed as long as they try hard.

    Advice for Prospective Teachers: I just started the MAT program at Clemson University and I do not have much experience teaching. For this reason, I am not able to give a whole lot of advice for those that want to become a teacher. However, I would say to someone that is thinking about becoming a teacher to never give up their passion for their field. If you lose your spark for what you are teaching, how will you get your students intrigued to learn?

    What the TigersTeach Noyce Scholarship means to me: This scholarship gives me the wonderful chance to go back to graduate school. Without this scholarship, I would be in the debt of the rising costs of higher education. I am very grateful to have this opportunity to be represented as a Noyce TigersTeacher Scholar and will wear this title with pride. I am also looking forward to attending conferences, immersion activities, and getting to know my fellow scholars.

  • Kortney Hullinger

    Kortney Hullinger

    Background: I was born and mostly raised in Easley, SC. My parents are military and we did our fair share of moving. I spent time in Oklahoma and Knoxville, and Nashville, Tennessee. I graduated from Brigham Young University-Hawaii in 2013 with a B.S in Mathematics. I knew that I wanted to teach high school math but in choosing Clemson it was just a matter of finding the right program that would shape me into the teacher I wanted to be.

    Why I want to teach: My University had a math lab on campus where students could come and get help on their homework. There was always a tutor on duty ready and willing to answer questions. As a math major it was very easy to get a job as a tutor in the lab. At first I got the job because I needed the money and I knew I had the qualifications. The more time I spent in the lab and with the students the more I realized that I really loved teaching and interacting with students. It took a couple semesters for me to realize this but once I came to the realization that I loved to teach I decided to pursue a career as a teacher.

    Goals and Aspirations: One of my goals as a teacher is to make learning fun. I want my students to actually understand math. Math is more than just a list full of formulas to memorize. I want my students to know the “why” behind the questions and formulas and if they know the why they will understand the topic and hopefully it will stick with them longer.

    Advice for Prospective Teachers: I have not had any formal experience as a teacher but from my time as a tutor I would say to always show your students how much you care. If you don’t care about your students and their learning then the students aren’t going to care either.

    What the TigersTeach Noyce Scholarship means to me: Being a Noyce Scholar to me means being able to focus all my time and energy on becoming the best teacher I can be. It has opened so many doors that I have never thought possible and it has introduced me to some wonderful educators and mentors that are more then willing to help me become a great teacher.

  • Johnathan McMasters

    Johnathan McMasters

    Background: I am a graduate of Clemson University where I majored in Mathematical Sciences. I entered college not having an idea of what I wanted to use my degree in math for, but throughout my years at Clemson, I developed passion for teaching. This came through my experiences as a tutor at Clemson for two and half years. My entire life I have enjoyed mathematics, and it was at Clemson where I learned how much I enjoy helping others understand and appreciate math. Now, I am a graduate student at Clemson earning my Master’s Degree in secondary mathematics education with aspirations of being a high school math teacher.

    Why I want to teach: The reason for my desire to teach is very simple: I enjoy helping others and love to see them learn something new. Because of my skills and appreciation for mathematics, I know that I can help students learn the material and understand why they need this knowledge. I know that with my enthusiasm for mathematics and my desire to see students succeed I will be able to make a difference and help many students better enjoy and understand mathematics.

    Memorable teaching and learning experiences: I have had several memorable experiences as an SI leader that continue to remind me why I want to be a math teacher. These moments occur after a lot of time and hard work with the student. I am referring to the times when they come up to me and thank me for my help and tell me they did much better on an exam or class because of the help I gave them. The joy in me, while seeing a student’s happiness because of their accomplishments in a subject, is indescribable. This is why I want to be a teacher, so students do not have to go through motions in learning mathematics, but so they can enjoy what they are doing while at the same time really learn what may have seemed impossible at the beginning.

    Goals and Aspirations: My goal as a teacher is to help make a difference in academics and help change the way that students today are learning. My hope is for students to not only learn mathematics, but also to enjoy it. There is so much reasoning and understanding behind mathematics and so many real-world applications that students never learn because they are just trying to get the right answer and know the basic facts. I desire to see a change in education today so we are not just teaching students how to get by in school but instead are really helping students learn the meaning and application of each and every subject. My desire is to be a part of that change.

    Advice for Prospective Teachers: My advice for prospective teachers is if you’re not in it for the kids and just think it’s a good job because you have always excelled in a subject, I highly recommend considering a different career. However, if your passion is for the students and bettering their education, then my advice to you is don’t let anything stop you. Do what you love and don’t let money or what others say about education keep you from making a change in people’s lives as a teacher.

    What the TigersTeach Noyce Scholarship means to me: What the scholarship means to me is that there are people who really care about the education of our youth and want to see a change in the way that students are being taught in schools today. I am honored to be a second-year scholar and am grateful that someone has helped make it possible for me to become an educated teacher to better help my future students.

  • Ashley Morgan

    Ashley Morgan

    Background: I’m from a small town in the lower peninsula of Michigan.  I earned my BS in Chemistry from Central Michigan University in 2010.  While in school I worked as a laboratory aide for general chemistry courses and in the chemical stockroom preparing laboratory experiments for said classes.  After finishing my undergraduate years, I worked a few positions in the chemical industry as a contractor laboratory technician.  I realized, after some time, that the career path I was following wasn’t quite as fulfilling as I had hoped.  I took a big leap and decided to make a change and pursue one of my all-time dreams of becoming an educator.

    Why I want to teach: It’s no secret that I love science or that my enthusiasm for learning has no limit.  Becoming a teacher has always been a part of my life plan; however it took some time to find the best opportunity.  When I was an undergrad I loved being in the laboratory with students.  I felt comfortable interacting with them by answering questions and helping improve laboratory techniques.  I often tutored students outside of the laboratory as well.  I have also had the privilege of being a part of the coaching crew of a local Science Olympiad Program in Michigan.  I work closely with high school students studying various scientific topics, including chemistry.  These mentioned activities have provided me with a level of reward that I could never explain, and I know that my passion lies in science education.

    Memorable teaching and learning experiences: Most of my passion outside of the laboratory came from my experiences with Science Olympiad, and I wouldn’t trade those for anything.  When attending group practices, team gatherings, and competitions, I always feel so comfortable and more at home than anywhere else.  I love seeing the students work together to learn and compete, but I also enjoy that they look for guidance and encouragement from their leaders.  I can’t even put into words how wonderful I feel when the group earns both individual and team awards.  Having those types of interactions and experiences on a daily basis in the classroom will be beyond rewarding.

    Goals and Aspirations: My goal is to feel like I am getting something out of my life and my career.  I want to have the ability to feel reward daily and I believe that working in a high school would be the perfect place for me to make a difference.  I want to spend my days being in a classroom getting students excited about chemistry and other sciences and preparing them for higher education and careers.

    Advice for Prospective Teachers: If you have the passion, go for it.  Take advantage of every opportunity you have to interact with students and other educators.  If perhaps you’re unsure about devoting your studies to education solely, doing some volunteer work with afterschool programs or tutoring might help you solidify your decision.  The bottom line is that you have to love what you do and convey that to your students.  Attitudes and energy are contagious, so you’ve got to set the tone you wish to see in your classroom.

    What the TigersTeach Noyce Scholarship means to me: I am honored to be a part of the TigersTeach program and to have the opportunity to work with the faculty and staff.  Being chosen for this program means that someone believes in me enough to help me make my dreams come true.  I am excited to engage in activities outside the standard curriculum.  I will embrace every opportunity I have to network and to learn from my peers.  I am ready to become an educator and am honored to have the support and recognition from this program.

  • Mary Katharine Ramos-Negrete

    Mary Katharine Ramos-Negrete

    Background: I grew up in a big family with parents that really encouraged learning for learning’s sake. So I grew up having an innate curiosity particularly about the natural world. As a teenager I had little naturalist notebooks of my observations and diagrams of plants, animals and natural processes. This love of nature and biology led me to pursue a degree in fisheries from Auburn University.

    Why I want to teach: I loved getting my degree in fisheries but junior year I discovered that I got the most joy and did the most good teaching others. I was a biology tutor for the athletics department and I really enjoyed seeing the athletes learn. I also taught at an art camp in Auburn and that’s where I really began to love teaching. I really enjoyed researching and compiling lesson plans for the kids. Also, as the oldest of five kids I had been “teaching” science at the dinner table for about 10 years! So after a little deliberation I decided to pursue a graduate degree in teaching science after finishing my undergrad. Clemson was the perfect fit!

    Memorable teaching and learning experiences: My main memorable experience of teaching was teaching one day at an art camp about Salvador Dali. I loved seeing the kids' faces light up as I told them about the eccentric artist. And in my mind I was thinking, “If they think this is cool, then photosynthesis would knock their socks off!” It was that summer that I realized if you have the knowledge and enthusiasm for a subject then it’s a ton of fun to teach and fun to learn.

    Goals and Aspirations: My main goal is to simply be the best teacher I can be. I want to have a positive lasting impact on my students and hopefully mold some scientists of tomorrow!

    Advice for Prospective Teachers: My advice would be for people considering education would be for them to look back to the teachers that had the most impact on them. Then, think about if you want to be that person for someone else. I think learning from our past teachers builds upon our future as good educators.

    What the TigersTeach Noyce Scholarship means to me: The Noyce TigersTeach scholarship means a lot to me. It allowed me to pursue this degree without financial constraints and it allows me access to multiple resources for becoming a better teacher.

  • Stefanie Wagner

    Stefanie Wagner

    Background: Ever since I was little I have enjoyed adventures in the back yard with my little sister, exploring every sport known to man and trying to adopt every animal I come in contact with. Although I am originally from Maryland, after attending Clemson and my first football game in Death Valley I knew I was hooked and I would never be able to leave Clemson for long.

    Why I want to teach: After graduating from Clemson University in 2011 with a B.S in Mathematical Sciences, I had been accepted to teach English in a very, very small village in San Joaquin, Costa Rica. Here I spent a little over six months living with a host family, learning all that I could from my small town and sixteen students. Once I returned to the States I knew without a doubt that I wanted to teach Math! Teaching and watching my students grow is the most fulfilling feeling, and I knew that if I loved teaching English abroad, then teaching math would be ten times the fun!

    Memorable teaching and learning experiences: While I was teaching in Costa Rica one of my 2nd grade students come up to me the last week I was there and she said in PERFECT English, “Teacher I need you, please do not leave.” I began to cry and just hug her. Our last unit in English class was the difference between need and want and how a need is something we could not live without. In that moment I knew more than anything that I was born to teach because there are so many students out there that need someone to care and a helping hand.

    Goals and Aspirations: Today I am working hard to become a high school math teacher. In the future I would like to be able to go back to school to get my PhD so that I can teach in both high school and college math courses. This will give me more flexibility to be able to do what I love: teach, and hopefully one day raise a family.

    Advice for Prospective Teachers: This advice was given to me by my Grandpa before I left to teach in Costa Rica, and it helped me make it through even my hardest days: “Lord, grant me the strength to change the things I can, the serenity to accept the things I cannot, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Every day as a teacher will have different challenges and although your number one goal is to educate and help all of your students you have to remember that not everything is in your capabilities and to accept that you may only have an effect on a few students, and that should be good enough.

    What the TigersTeach Noyce Scholarship means to me: The Noyce TigersTeach program means so much to me, because it has helped me make my dream of becoming a high school math teacher a possibility. This program has given me the opportunity to complete graduate school over the course of a year rather than slowly working towards my masters while teaching. This way when I start teaching my students will have the best possible teacher I can be.

  • Rebecca Weinel

    Rebecca Weinel

    Background: I was raised in Simpsonville, SC along with my two sisters.  I participated in many sports growing up including softball, volleyball and basketball.  After high school, I played softball at USC Upstate for two years before transferring to Clemson University.  I majored in Biological Sciences and spent my free time officiating and participating in Intramural Sports.  I am now married to my high school sweet heart and am starting the Secondary MAT program at Clemson University.

    Why I want to teach: When I first started at USC Upstate I was taking courses in Physical Education.  I knew I wanted to be a teacher but I never knew what subject interested me the most until I took my human anatomy and biomechanics courses.  When I decided to transfer, I knew I wanted to learn more about science and decided to change my major.  I thought about pursuing physical therapy after graduation so I took a job at a physical therapy clinic to learn more about the field.  After a few months of work I realized that I could not see myself becoming a physical therapist and I wanted to continue to pursue my dream to teach and coach high school students.

    Goals and Aspirations: I hope to finish the Secondary MAT program and gain as much knowledge and understanding about becoming the best teacher I can be.  I hope to get a job at a high school where I am able to impact the lives of young adults.  I hope to never lose the passion I have for science and teaching and give each day the best of my ability.

    Advice for Prospective Teachers: If you are considering going into education I advise you consider all the different fields of education.   Each grade level brings different challenges that require a unique set of skills and personality.  Find the one that fits you best and work hard at becoming a better teacher than you were yesterday.

    What the TigersTeach Noyce Scholarship means to me: The Noyce TigersTeach program means the world to me.  It is going to allow me to have all the resources and guidance I need to prepare me to enter into my teaching career. I would not be able to enroll and complete the MAT program without the financial assistance they have given me to follow my dreams and goals and for that I am very grateful.  


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  • Amy Johnson


    Background: I grew up outdoors, exploring under rocks, playing in streams, and generally learning all that I could first hand from Mother Nature. I continued learning in this manner when I attended Clemson University and graduated in 2009 with a B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology. I’ve always known I wanted to have a career that was science-related; it was just a matter of finding the right fit.

    Why I want to teach: After graduating college I was set on becoming an environmental scientist. Unfortunately the economy had other plans, and no such jobs could be found. I took the first position I was offered as an Outdoor Educator at a camp. School groups came to our camp for two nights to get out of their bubbles at school, explore, get dirty, and experience hands-on learning. This position surprised me in that I loved teaching the students and interacting with them. It was the first time I considered teaching as a career.

    Memorable teaching and learning experiences: At camp most of the students were not outside often and clearly were uncomfortable in the setting. I loved seeing them transform from being scared and out of their comfort zones, to embracing and appreciating nature by the time they left. I felt like I helped them explore a world that they didn’t know existed, and it was a great feeling.

    Goals and Aspirations: As someone who grew up outdoors, it astonished me to realize how many children never play outside or go on hikes. I want to change this and make science a hands-on learning experience for students. The concepts I remember most from past teachers came from lessons that were hands-on and that had real life applications. I want students to get excited about science, and realize the need we have for it in our everyday lives.

    Advice for Prospective Teachers: I don’t have much formal teaching experience yet, but from taking many classes I can advise teachers to get excited about what you are teaching. My favorite class in college was freshman biology because of my teacher. You could see and feel his love for biology, and that transferred to the classroom. He put so much energy into the class, and it transferred to the students. While I dreaded attending other classes, I loved going to his.

    What the TigersTeach Noyce Scholarship means to me: The Noyce program means I can breathe a sigh of relief! It affords me financial freedom while completing my Master’s program and allows me to focus my efforts on succeeding in my classes. It also means I will gain valuable experiences through immersion activities and seminars.

  • Jonathan McMasters


    Background: My name is Jonathan McMasters and I am a 20-year-old senior at Clemson University. I was homeschooled my entire life all the way up until college. This was a great experience for me and helped me grow as a person as well in my academics in so many ways. I grew up in a home where I was pushed to get an “A” in every class and this motivation has translated to my college career. Every single class I enter I expect to get an “A” and work my hardest to do so. Whether that happens or not, that is always my goal. This has led to a cum-laude GPA after my junior year.

    Why I want to teach: This motivation helped me tremendously in my Calculus 2 class during my freshman year of college. It was the hardest class that I had ever taken up to that point in my academic life. However, I strove the entire semester to get an “A” and worked harder than I ever knew I could. At the end of the semester, I achieved my goal and finished the class with an A. That is the semester that I became interested in being a supplemental instructor, or SI leader, at Clemson. During the end of that class, while I was studying for finals, I worked with several of my classmates. While I was studying for the final for myself, I was helping them understand and learn the material so they could do well in the class as well. This made me so happy and I loved helping out my classmates with this material. That joy in helping out other students is why I decided to apply for a SI position. I got the job and started as an SI leader that next year.

    Memorable teaching and learning experiences: I have already had some wonderful experiences as a SI leader. At the end of a semester as an SI leader, a student came up to me telling me how excited he was for the grade that he got, he thanked me for all of the help and said that he couldn’t have done it without me. Another student during a different semester came up to me after one of the exams, told me how great she did on the exam and how excited she was about it and thanked me for all of the help. The joy in their faces and seeing them achieve a higher goal than they thought was possible is the epitome of why I want to be a teacher. I love being a part of a student’s success, but even more so, I love seeing their joy when they do well.

    Goals and Aspirations: After being an SI leader for three semesters, I began to realize my passion and love for teaching math and helping students learn and succeed. My goal in my teaching career is to help students succeed and enjoy math. I understand that not every student likes math, but my goal is to help them take the class, learn the material, and have a good learning experience at the same time. I want to see students who are struggling realize that they can succeed and strive for that accomplishment. I also want to help those who math comes more easily to, and help them increase their knowledge in the subject. I am not just focused on these two groups, but all types of students. I want to help them thrive and enjoy learning mathematics.

    Advice for Prospective Teachers: The advice that I have for prospective teachers is to enjoy what you are doing, enjoy the material that you are teaching and convey that to the students. Don’t let it become something that you are doing just as a job, but show your students how much you care about them and want them to do well in the class. If you show that you are not interested in the material, it will negatively affect the student’s interest in the class. Likewise, if you do not show interest in the students, they will more than likely not be interested in putting much effort in the class. So enjoy what you are teaching and enjoy helping the students you are teaching and you will earn respect and see students succeed at the same time.

    What the TigersTeach Noyce Scholarship means to me: The Noyce program means so much to me. It is a stepping-stone for those like me who want to become a teacher. It provides a way for me to pursue what I love to do and become the teacher that I want to be. It shows me that there are people that want not just to help me while I am learning and becoming a better teacher, but want to help the students who I will be teaching. The Noyce program helps provide for a great education for teachers like me so that the students that I will be teaching will learn from an experienced, knowledgeable teacher. The Noyce program, in the end, is providing for younger students who will benefit from the education for prospective teachers like me. There is someone who is helping me and cares for my education and this motivates me to utilize this blessing to help others.

  • Ashley Mitchell


    Background: I am a graduate from the University of Georgia where I majored in Animal Science. After graduation I was not sure what the next steps would be; however, I was very interested in pursuing further education. I worked for three years as a veterinary technician in an animal hospital and volunteered as the area coordinator for the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, where I managed and taught a group of college students how to train future guide dog puppies. After moving to Greenville, South Carolina, I began volunteer teaching and tutoring at the Greenville Literacy Association. I tutor a student in essay writing, and teach a pre-GED science class to adults working toward their GED. I have recently begun the Secondary Science and Secondary Mathematics MAT program at Clemson University and expect to graduate in the summer of 2013 and begin teaching high school science.

    Why I want to teach: I have always enjoyed science and discovering new things and how they work. I have known since high school that I would do something in the science field; however, it was not until I began volunteer teaching a pre-GED science class that I realized teaching was my calling. I enjoy being in front of the classroom, interacting with students, learning, and talking about science so much that I wanted to do it every day, all day! I want to become a teacher in order to impact the lives of students in a positive way, get students excited about science, and inspire them to stay in school. Every day will be a challenge, but I look forward to a career where I can learn as much from my students as they learn from me.

    Memorable teaching and learning experiences: At the beginning of my first semester as a volunteer teacher, I had many students express that they did not like science and did not believe they could ever get it. A few weeks into the semester we were learning about the solar system and I briefly mentioned something about solar coronal mass ejections and how they were supposed to be particularly strong that week. At the beginning of the next class one of my students said she wanted to hear more about the sun explosions. It took me a moment to realize what she was talking about since I had mentioned it so briefly the week before. It was then that I realized some of my students were really listening and that I was actually fostering an interest in science in students who previously thought it was out of their reach. After I presented some information on interesting moons in our solar system, this same student went home and researched more about planets and moons and brought in a list of facts she found most interesting. Before the end of the semester she had passed the science part of her GED. Seeing that spark of interest and her success was just one of many memorable teaching experiences so far. It is seeing students’ progress and success throughout the class that makes teaching so rewarding.

    Goals and Aspirations: One of my goals as a teacher will be to see students succeed and get excited about science and learning. The other day one of my GED students told me that he dropped out of school because he felt that his teachers had given up on him. To prevent this from happening to even just one child will be a success. I believe every child deserves a teacher who will teach him and who cares. I want to be a teacher who instills confidence and a joy of learning in students. When I think of what kind of teacher I will become, I think of my secondary physics, astronomy, and meteorology teacher, Mr. Ehrensperger. His passion for science was infectious. My junior year physics class marked a point in my life where I knew I would go on to do something with science. As a teacher, I hope to make a difference in students’ lives the way that Mr. Ehrensperger and his science classes did in mine.

    Advice for Prospective Teachers: I would advise prospective teachers to take advantage of every opportunity, moment, and experience during their teacher education. We all want to be the best teachers we can be for our students, so it is important to take the information we encounter and think “how can I use this in my classroom to the students’ advantage.” Keep in contact with those teachers that challenge and inspire you as those connections will be invaluable for advice and resources.

    What the TigersTeach Noyce Scholarship means to me: I am so thankful to be a part of the Noyce program! The Noyce program allows me to focus on becoming a great teacher without worrying about financial issues and holding down a job throughout graduate school. The program also provides the support, experiences, and lifelong partnerships that will be instrumental to me throughout my journey to become a teacher, as well as my many teaching years to come. It is important to me to give back to the Noyce program which is giving me so much! I will stay involved with the program long after graduation. I hope to take what I have learned and contribute to other future teachers’ journeys. I will have as much to learn from them as they will from me, because as a teacher I will always be growing, learning, and striving to be better.

  • Katie Moore


    Background: I graduated in 2011 from Erskine College with a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics. I've known I've wanted to teach for a few years now, but had not decided what grade level to pursue. Through working with camps, I have grown to enjoy working with the high school age group. I am now on track to teach high school students mathematics and share my passion for math with them.

    Why I want to teach: I knew I wanted to teach after being a supplementary instructor for a statics class my junior and senior year of undergrad. It was through helping others gain a real understanding of the subject that I enjoyed. I like being able to communicate how a subject is applicable and having students understand the concepts to use the applications taught in different situations.

    Memorable teaching and learning experiences: One memorable experience I have in supplementary instruction is when I was holding a study session for a statistics class. One of the students got so frustrated with the material that he made a scene, stormed out and left. He came to the next session, apologized, told me he did well on his test, and sat through another session because he felt like the one before had helped him. Learning something foreign to anyone is difficult, and sometimes frustrating, but feeling the progress as a student is amazing. Being part of that progress is right up there too.

    Goals and Aspirations: One of my goals in teaching is teaching understanding, not facts. When students understand a topic, it will be more meaningful and stick with them longer. Hopefully, they will be able to transfer learned skills from a class to a real life situation, even if it is only on a small scale.

    Advice for Prospective Teachers: I'm just starting my education classes, so what little advice I have is never lose passion for your subject and the students. Students can tell when the fire is out, and if the teacher's fire is out, who's going to light up the students?

    What the TigersTeach Noyce Scholarship means to me: Being a Noyce Scholar to me means taking advantage of every opportunity we have to be better educators, helping our students learn to their fullest potential, and being leaders in our respective programs.

  • Nick Sadie

    Nick Sadie

    Background:  My background is in Mathematical Science and I have experience in education, toxicology, utility contracting, and telecommunications.

    Why I want to teach:  I started thinking about the teaching profession in high school after looking up to some of the teachers I’d had through the years.  I pursued a Mathematical Sciences degree with the intention of entering either an MAT program or the PACE program after college.  I ended up teaching High School for one year in NC through the Lateral Entry program.  The experience left me somewhat overwhelmed so I pursued some opportunities in the private sector in the years after that before finally deciding to return to school.  I can say, however, that my experiences gave me a different outlook on the program curriculum here than I would have had otherwise and, to the extent that that qualifies me to offer an endorsement, I highly recommend the Clemson MAT program.

    Advice for Prospective TeachersFor those of you entering the program:  Be prepared to write. 

  • Lauren Scowcroft

    Lauren Scowcroft

    Background:  I attended Montreat College near Asheville, North Carolina, where I studied Environmental Science and Outdoor Education.  Montreat College is a small institution nestled away in the Appalachian Mountains, which afforded many opportunities to study the environment through hands-on experiences out in the field.  I participated in many field studies courses, one of which being American Ecosystems.  For this course, I had the opportunity to travel to twenty National Parks around the country.  During my undergraduate years, I also had the opportunity to act as a field instructor for elementary students, facilitate outdoor experiences for other college students, travel to Africa, and work as a backpacking instructor. 

    Why I want to teach:  Looking back, I do not remember one specific moment when I said, “Ah ha! I am going to be a teacher!”  Instead, I look at it more as a journey rather than an isolated decision.  I believe all of my past experiences have shaped me, equipped me, and instilled within me a passion for teaching.  This passion was confirmed when I was given the opportunity to travel to Malawi, Africa.  While staying in a remote village with a Malawian family, I was overwhelmed with the Malawians’ desire to simply learn.  It was here where I realized that I was meant to teach, encourage, equip, and motivate young people to discover their own gifts, which they can then use to make a difference in the world. 

    Advice for Prospective Teachers: For those of you who are considering entering the field of education, I want to encourage you to pursue it!  As an educator, you have such a wonderful opportunity to positively impact a student’s life.  During my student teaching experience, I came to the realization that there is so much more to being a teacher than simply teaching students about your content area.  Many students come from challenging situations outside of school and you have the opportunity to encourage them, remind them of their unique abilities, and help equip to go out and change the world. 

    What the program means to me: Receiving the Noyce TigersTeach Scholarship has not only been a blessing financially, but has also provided me with greater opportunity to learn and an extensive support network.  The experiences and support system I have received through the Noyce TigersTeach Scholarship will help me to best help my students throughout my career as an educator.