COSAM News Articles 2020 April COSAM Senior Plans to Inspire Future Scientists through Teaching

COSAM Senior Plans to Inspire Future Scientists through Teaching

Published: 04/06/2020

By: Carla Nelson

Auburn University senior Georgeann Hester will soon graduate with a degree in microbial, cellular, and molecular biology, with a minor in French, and hopes to one day inspire future scientists.

Originally from Birmingham, Ala., Georgeann originally planned to one day attend medical school but has now decided to earn a Master’s of Science Education degree and pursue a career as a high school biology or chemistry teacher.

“Teaching has always been in the back of my mind since I was a kid,” Georgeann remembered. “I have always loved learning and the idea of being a lifelong learner. As the daughter of a teacher, I have always heard the incredible stories of my Mom inspiring young minds to learn and the things she herself has learned from her students, and these stories are inspiring to me. I want to be able to share my love of the sciences to my students one day and maybe inspire them to be scientists themselves.”

Georgeann earned the Auburn University Presidential Scholarship as well as the Joseph Sarver and Castonli Foreign Language Scholarship. She is an undergraduate teaching assistant for Dr. Scott Bowling in the Department of Biological Sciences.

Her volunteer experience includes working through Honor Serves with the Mercy Medical Clinic and Compassus Hospice services.

“I volunteered for hospice companies throughout high school and really enjoyed hearing the stories that the patients I saw would tell me,” she shared. “I carried this on through my times at Auburn. It is always inspiring and thought-provoking to hear about the things that those women have lived through and the knowledge they have about the world.”

She gained real-world teaching experience last summer by working with the nonprofit organization Breakthrough Collaborative. She taught higher achieving middle school students from Birmingham City Schools who have less resources during the school year and need a challenging summer enrichment program.

“This was probably the hardest experience I have ever gone through,” Georgeann said. “It was extremely challenging to connect to these students and form relationships with them, but once I reached that level with them it was such an eye-opening and wonderful experience. I learned a lot about myself and how I interact with the world and how to improve upon the teaching skills I already had.”

Georgeann said she has always felt supported by the students, advisors and professors of COSAM and said she feels she has been prepared well for graduate school.

“COSAM has offered me very challenging coursework that is at times frustrating, but in the end so rewarding because they have allowed my mind and knowledge to grow in ways I hadn’t thought possible,” she said. “I’ve created relationships with professors and other students that have helped me grow as a student and as a human. I’m so thankful for the challenges that professors have thrown at me because I feel so prepared for the coming challenges of graduate school and grad-level classes.”


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