Fall 2019 Cohort
Krista, currently a Senior at MSU, first went to college straight out of high school with the intent of being an architect. She quickly discovered that she didn’t have a drive or passion for it. She decided pause on college and to take on a full time position working with kids at a local elementary school. She started as an ELL Para and group leader in the before and after school program. Krista found her passion was working with kids. After 5 years at the elementary school she took a position as a child-care director opening a new K-8 school. The next 15 years she spent working with kids and running the child care program. In March of 2016 she made the decision to go back to college and pursue her degree in teaching. As a non-traditional student Krista has found MSU to be an amazing experience.
Originally, Krista entered MSU as an elementary education major. However, during the Fall of 2016 Krista took integrated math and quickly found her real place in education was math. Krista’s love of Math started in 3rd grade on a road trip, while her mother and sister were sleeping and the young Krista complained to her father she was bored. Her father introduced her to Algebra by giving her basic equations to solve. Krista has always loved puzzles and sitting there solving for letters that represented numbers was her kind of fun.
As Krista has progressed through her education degree, she has found that her number one goal in becoming a math teacher is to take the fear and frustration out of math for students. One of her greatest success has been a middle schooler that would hide from the simple mention of multiplication. So, Krista introduced him to fast addition and pattern counting groups of numbers instead. After a month of work in this alternative method, she reintroduced the idea of multiplication and we met with initial resistance, but quickly sold that they had been doing for the last month was really multiplication. Smiles ensued and fear left. Krista hopes to impact countless students in the same way as a math educator.
April is currently a senior in the Math Education program here at Metro and hopes to student teach in the spring of 2020. She is also a part of the LA program where she continues to grow and learn from fellow students and professors.
Throughout school she always enjoyed the beauty of math and did well in her classes. She tutored students through the AVID program at her local high school and realized here that teaching was for her. It wasn’t until college that she started to struggle with math.
After a brief break from school and then through her classes and professors, she realized that this struggle was beneficial. She can understand her students better and know what it will feel like for them when they struggle. She learned that it was only through these struggles and mistakes that you learn and to not be afraid of them. She hopes she can pass this thinking on to her future students so that they can have a more positive relationship with math.
Jairy Identifies as Latina.
She is bilingual in English/Spanish.
She grew a passion for math her junior year in high school, after having a passionate teacher who believed in her and made math amusing.
Jairy realized she wanted to become a teacher after her first year in college, she missed math and wanted to follow her passion for it. She hopes to encourage students to love and understand math.
She hopes to change the view of math in our world, and encourage women in the STEM field. She looks forward to being a part of NOYCE, and working with the community to better develop her skills as a future teacher -- to help support all her students as best as she can.
Hayley is a white, cisgender, and straight.
She is bilingual in English/French, and can speak Spanish at a 5 year old level.
She has always loved mathematics, and has always looked at it as if it were a puzzle waiting to be solved. She almost lost her passion for the subject when her 6th grade math teacher wouldn’t allow her to join the mathletes because she was a girl. It wasn’t until after having her son that she realized she needed to set a good example of a strong woman in STEM.
She knew she was supposed to teach when she realized how much of an impact her middle school English teacher made on her. She had joined his class mid year and was terrified of the new school. The class was weeks ahead of her in the material, but he still held her to the same high standards to which he held the rest of the class. It was his support and dedication that helped her succeed. She hopes that she can pass down this drive and passion for learning to all of her future students.
Hayley is currently working for the MSU department of education.
Keisha has been studying science her whole life. In kindergarten she would collect rocks, bugs and plants. Understanding the world around us, using science has changed her life. Her breath was taken away at the beauty of the solar eclipse. While camping she eagerly identifies plants and pets fuzzy moss. While she gravitates towards Earth and Life science, she loves finding connections and interdisciplinary ideas in chemistry, technology, and mathematics.
STEM has profound impacts on the world but so does education. Keisha wants to share her curiosity with her students and spark the light for lifelong learners. She plans to deliver a quality education that utilizes experimentation, collaborative problem solving, and the growth mindset.
Keisha is currently working in the Learning Assistant Program and is getting ready to take the second field experience course. She is also pursuing the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse endorsement. She is eager to start learning alongside her students.
Morgan identifies as white, cisgender, and straight.
She speaks English, but knows a little German.
She was always told she had her head in the clouds, as her favorite past time was watching the weather. Meteorology has always been her passion and sparked her interest in science. Meteorology at UNCO started her path in college until some medical issues inferred. She came to Metro after UNCO did not go as planned and continued her education in secondary science education in environmental science.
Her mom used to work in the attendance office at a high school. Her mom would become someone the kids that everyone gave up on could talk to. Seeing this, introduced the idea of teaching into Morgan’s head. She saw these kids look up to her mom and saw the way her mom changed some of their lives.
She is a senior in the program and will be student teaching Fall 2019
Spring 2019 Cohort
Anna transferred to MSU Denver during the Fall of 2017 in pursuit of a Secondary Social Science Education degree. However, she found a drive to pursue the field of Secondary Mathematics after researching the teaching deficit within the state of Colorado. Anna looks forward to working with MSU Denver’s Learning Assistant Program to support and facilitate student learning in mathematics.
She was inspired to study Education because of various teachers and advisors that have shown their passion for learning and student success. Anna found her appreciation for math as she entered her post-secondary education, and has discovered it is a subject that has both challenged and motivated her to becoming a better future educator. She looks forward to collaborating with NOYCE and the surrounding community, as well as representing women in STEM.
Monica identifies as Latina, of Mexican descent, cisgender, and straight.
She is bilingual (Spanish and English) and knows a little French. She would love to learn ASL as well.
She did well in math classes all throughout school but it wasn’t until she attended University that she really started to struggle. It was different than what she was used to but she still believed she would get better and it was there that she realized what she had been missing in terms of math classes and how it should be taught. She hopes to bring all these new things she has learned into her future classroom and encourage all students to believe they can be good at math, especially those that have had negative experiences.
She realized she wanted to be a teacher because she loved being in the classroom and interacting with all the students. She decided to mix her passion of math with her passion of working with kids and become a math teacher.
Mariska identifies as white and Dutch. She is bilingual in English and Dutch, knows quite some German and French, and is learning Spanish and Swedish.
Since she was a little girl, Mariska has been interested in science. Initially because of what she read in books and later also because she had awesome teachers in high school. She studied chemistry (including teaching methods) at Utrecht University before moving to the US. After taking a general biology class at a community college, Mariska realized that one of her great passions is botany. She's since taken many botany-related courses and (co-)taught a number as well as a teaching assistant and in the field as a Native Plant Master.
Her teaching experiences made Mariska realize that she really enjoys to help people learn about nature and science. Because she received positive feedback from her mentors and many of her students, she worked toward a secondary teaching license and graduated in Spring 2019.
Ivan is a senior student at MSU with major in mathematics. Eight years ago his family came to Colorado from Moscow, Russia. Ivan is bilingual in English and Russian. He also wants to learn Spanish.
He has the desire to teach children math for a long time and now he is very close to fulfilling his dream. Ivan wishes to dedicate his teacher's career working in high need schools to give children from low-income families the highest quality math education.
Ivan believes that education is the most effective way to eliminate inequality in society.
Victoria is earning a degree in Mathematics with a concentration in secondary education. She did not always like math and was found to be a year behind during a middle school placement test. Someone tried to console her by saying, “That is okay, girls are supposed to be better at reading and writing than math anyway.” During middle school through hard work and extra classes, she caught up. It was not until high school that a caring teacher took the time to show Victoria that math can be fun. Victoria always wanted to be a teacher and in high school, she decided that she wanted to teach math. Her goal is to show others (as her Algebra teacher did) that math is more than formulas and equations; it is exciting and relevant outside of the classroom.
Brandt is a junior at MSU pursuing secondary teaching in environmental science. He considered teaching as an option after graduating from high school and volunteered to teach in India for a semester where he confirmed the universal importance of education and knew he wanted to go into that field. He was attracted to the idea that teaching is new everyday, something will always be learned by the students and teacher, the relationships that are built,and the sense of responsibility and leadership that is required with teaching.
He always liked math and the challenges that it came with, however teaching it was a little more difficult for him to explain concepts. Science always sparked an optimistic curiosity in him as he loved learning how the world functions and how we can work with it to solve problems. He had very generous science teachers, especially in high school, and likes the idea of paying it forward from the passion he got as a student to future students.
Mary is a Biology and Secondary Education Major at MSU Denver. Mary is passionate about biology, but also loves physics and Earth sciences. Mary wasn't always as passionate about science, and didn't realize until the end of her associates degree that biology was her calling. Mary had a female physics professor that inspired Mary to become a teacher, because representation matters! Mary is a huge advocate for individuals with disabilities and hopes to create a inclusive, multi-tiered classroom for a diverse group of learners. She hopes to make science fun, and teach in a meaningful way. Mary is currently in her fourth semester at MSU Denver.
Rebecca is a senior at MSU with a major in Mathematics. She is a Colorado native who grew up in North East Colorado.
She has always had a passion for Math, and attributes her inspiration to her mother who has taught math for over 10 years, as well as some of her other math teachers throughout her education. One of her favorite things about Math is that it can be seen in our world no matter where we are because it is a universal language.
Rebecca has always known she wanted to be a teacher. Even as a child she would play school with her younger cousins and showing them the things that she was learning in school. She believes that every student is capable of being a mathematician and she hopes she can help students realize their mathematic potential.
Fall 2018 Cohort
Matthew is a Secondary Science student with a focus on Chemistry. Currently enrolled in MSU’s Post-Baccalaureate program, Matthew completed his Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration from San Diego State University. Born and raised in Redondo Beach, CA, Matthew relocated to Colorado in 2007 from San Diego.
Matthew has a curious mind and a passion for learning; he was raised with science from a young age through watching Mr. Wizard and Cosmos. He decided to become a science teacher after years of being a trainer at previous jobs and looks forward to bringing his real-life work experience to the classroom.
Matthew’s desire to work with high need and at-risk youth developed during his time in San Diego with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department - he coached sports and taught science experiment classes. During these classes Matthew taught attendees that science demonstrates how the world comes together through fun experiments, including throwing water balloons, dropping eggs from building roofs, as well as the occasional explosion.
Ashley identifies as polyethnic, cisgender, and straight.
She has always felt a strong connection with science for as long as she can remember. Though she values all sciences, her favorite subjects in science include environmental science, astronomy, ecology, and geology. Her favorite part about science is the idea of being able to continually learn while answering questions about the world we call home. One of her favorite things to do is share fun scientific facts with anyone who’s ready to learn.
Immediately after she graduated high school, she knew she wanted to be a teacher. She credits her passion for teaching to various teachers of different grades and content areas throughout her life who created a strong spark of passion and growth – something she hopes to pay forward and do for her future students through the wonders of science. With a strong passion for science, the urge to continue learning, and admiration for past educators, she felt that teaching science in secondary education was the clear path for her.
Ashley is currently a student at MSU Denver and plans to graduate in Spring 2020.
Seth Lichtenstein earned a degree in Mathematics with a concentration in Secondary Education Licensure and a minor in Secondary education. He is serving as a Math teacher at Gateway High School in Aurora Public Schools.
Erin is a white, cisgender, straight woman. She speaks English and some Spanish. She discovered a love for math as a high school senior while taking Calculus. Before that, she had found math uninteresting and had been discouraged from learning it by a high school algebra teacher. Erin Sanchez is a post-baccalaureate student seeking certification to teach high school math. She wants to become a teacher because she likes working with students and she cares about their success. She is now teaching math at Contemporary Learning Academy of Denver Public Schools.
Spring 2018 Cohort
Leslie identifies as Hispanic, cisgender, and straight.
She is bilingual in English/Spanish.
She has had a great passion for biology since she was in high school. She attended Denver School of science and technology at Stapleton, where she was inspired to be a teacher due to her favorite teacher who taught biochemistry. She hopes to bring in a touch a magic to the classroom through her love of Harry Potter and she hopes to inspire more minority students to pursue a field in STEM.
Leslie is a science teacher at Green Valley Ranch High School.
Atzin Identifies as Latina, cisgender and Straight.
She is bilingual is English/Spanish.
She grew a passion for math in middle school after having a passionate teacher who made class intriguing and enjoyable. She never really enjoyed science because she never had a teacher who she believed had the passion for teaching the subject.
Atzin realized she wanted to become a teacher after noticing how much she liked working with high school students. She realized that she wanted to inspire students and help them reach their goals by educating them. She decided to become a math teacher because that's what her passion was in.
Cassie identifies as white, cisgender and straight.
She is in the process of learning Spanish, has a background in French and can speak some broken Italian.
She has always been drawn to the sciences, and the connection between the brain and behavior. In high school she had a great Anatomy teacher who noticed the style of questions she would ask and eventually introduced her to the field she would later receive her undergraduate degree in, neuroscience. She also loved courses in chemistry, even when they felt more abstract or challenged her. She felt the teachers she had could really make or break her understanding of chemistry and this has inspired her to get her Master’s in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and to become a secondary science educator with an emphasis in chemistry.
Cassie knew she wanted to be a teacher while volunteering for a program called Girls Inc. She was able to experience how girls picture themselves in STEM and was able to be part of inspiring those girls to change their views about the field and their potential future in that field. She would like to be a positive force for equity in STEM.
Cassie graduated with her secondary science education licensure at MSU Denver and is currently teaching at Delta High School.
Nadia is a female, Colorado native with South American and Middle Eastern descent. She is bilingual in English/Spanish and is currently working on her fluency in Farsi.
During her secondary education, Nadia had always excelled in her English classes. It wasn't until she had attended Metropolitan State College of Denver for post-secondary school that she really became passionate about science. Her favorite area in science is biology, particularly human biology, and has worked in the medical field for 8 years prior returning back to school at Metropolitan State University.
After years in the workforce, Nadia had decided to return to school to work on her teaching degree. She had always had an interest in teaching and her high school nieces were one of her motivating factors for getting into the field. Nadia enjoys working with young adults and helping, motivating and inspiring them.
Nadia is currently teaching at Aurora Central High School.
Fall 2017 Cohort
Maria identifies as Hispanic female. She is from a small town in New Mexico and relocated to Colorado in 1997. She is a single mother to her two teenage sons, Blake and JJ, and she resides in Denver, Colorado.
Maria returned to college in 2008, following a successful career in operations management and human resources. Due to changes with the economy, Maria faced a layoff that encouraged her to pursue her passion of becoming a high school math teacher. She received her associate of science in 2012, and graduated from Metropolitan State University in May 2018 with her BA in Mathematics with a minor in Secondary Education.
Maria realized she wanted to be a high school math teacher when she was in high school as a student. She loved helping her friends with their math homework, and time after time her friends would express relief that she could help them understand things better than the teacher could. However, when Maria was college-bound, she was discouraged from a teaching career and pushed into registering for an engineering degree. She found herself leaving college and pursuing a career in retail management instead. It was not long before Maria received several promotions that put her in the role of teacher for employees and peers. This rekindled her passion to return to school and make her dreams a reality.
Maria is currently working at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Early College.
Ashley is a Hispanic woman.
She was always good at math. When she decided to attend college, she was required to take some general math classes and was reminded that she was not only good at math, but really enjoyed it. She quickly changed her major to mathematics.
Ashley knew she wanted a career that involved math, but she also wanted to help people directly. She began tutoring math to k-12 students and found a love for helping people understand mathematics. She joined the Teaching Program at MSU Denver and knew she was in the right place because their values aligned with hers.
Ashley is currently teaching High School Math at Vista PEAK Preparatory in Aurora, CO.
Stefanus identifies as Asian-Pacific Islander, male, and demisexual.
He prefers to speak English is also learning Batak-Indonesian, American Sign Language, and Spanish.
He enjoys doing math because he is a social butterfly and loves to share his thoughts, ideas, and helping others understand too. His classmates often looked towards him for help because of his patience and commit for all to do well in school. His favorite areas of science are astronomy and chemistry. He loves to go on astronomical sightings and share with others about the heavens above. He likes to sew, paint, and work with his hands. He loves the visual demonstration and value art has to play in enhancing stem to be steam.
Stefanus realized he wanted to be a teacher because he loves the idea of community and global citizenship. He went from a career path of being a green interior designer to teaching math because he noticed a greater power and join in facilitating knowledge amongst our future global citizens. He is teaching at Aurora Community School.
Rebecca identifies as white, cisgender, and straight.
She speaks English but is continuing to learn Spanish.
She always loved science and the outdoors. She developed a passion for science in 7th grade when she attended a school sponsored overnight trip to Wyoming where she had the experience to look for fossils with fellow classmates. She thought she wanted to be a pharmacist until she took organic chemistry for a year in college. Her favorite areas of science are biology and earth science.
When she was in kindergarten she told everyone she wanted to be a teacher. Throughout high school those thoughts changed into a career in health science but changed back to teaching in college when she was a Biology lab assistant for a freshman class.
Rebecca is currently teaching at Gateway High School.
Logically Minded // Creative At Heart
Seeking to empower a society that is becoming more complex and increasingly turbulent, while simultaneously bursting with opportunity.
Yoko is a STEM Education Consultant, GLOBE Fellow, and a Science Teacher at Mapleton Skyview High School. She completed her Secondary Teaching License from Metropolitan State University to build a society that is becoming more complex and increasingly turbulent, while simultaneously bursting with opportunity. Yoko holds an M.F.A. in Museum Exhibition Planning and Design from the University of the Arts in 2005, and a B.S. and B.A. in Wildlife Biology and Applied Arts from The Evergreen State College in 1998. She also holds a Certificate in Design from the Alberta College of Art and Design. She has been lucky to be a part of a few fantastic teams spanning lab and field work to publication for research agencies, exhibit concept to launch at the Science Museum of Minnesota, and curriculum to syllabus design in formal institutions. Over the past several years, Yoko has had the additional opportunity to work as an Education and Design consultant, substitute teacher at River Song Waldorf, a Board Member for Fort Collins Creator Hub, and Developer for ProgressNow.
As her skills at MSU developed, her passion for science education has grown. Yoko is drawn towards a multi-disciplined approach to her work, to actively connect design thinking and extend the boundaries of content development. She has gained a wealth of technical knowhow and edge to create best practices in public education and the quantified self. It has allowed her to merge science, art, and education into individual and community experiences that break the soil so students of all ages can live fully the life of the mind with freedom, inquiry and exploration.
She is a self-pro-claimed foodie and poet, love martial art films and indie/folk music, enjoy putting together Maker parties with her girls, and intrigued by armchair philosophy, and even better conversations. Yoko is a learning designer, an optimist, an explorer, and a modern woman looking to take on the world one challenge at a time.
She currently teaches at Mapleton Academy High School.