Robert Noyce STEM Scholars Program


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Emily Heller





Science (Biology)



South Florida

Teaches at:









I was born and raised on the east coast of Florida, where I spent as much time as possible outside enjoying nature and playing with animals. There was never a doubt in my mind that I would study anything besides biology in college. I always loved school and had dreams of either being a veterinarian or a marine biologist. It wasn’t until my junior year of college that I realized my true passion is education. The classes I benefited from the most were taught by instructors who were passionate about what they were teaching. I realized that not only did I enjoy the course content, but also the process of learning itself.

Learning about the Master of Arts in Teaching Science Education program was great, because I just knew it was what I was meant to do. Throughout my undergraduate experience at the University of South Florida, I had constantly been tossing around career ideas, but never felt completely sure about any of them. After various research and volunteer endeavors, I knew that I was not passionate about scientific research or animal medicine. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from USF in December 2011, and along with completing my coursework, I also had a few opportunities to aid others in their learning process.


In the spring semester of 2010, I was an assistant to the Graduate Teacher’s Assistant in an anatomy lab, and I also worked for almost two years as an academic tutor for various science courses at USF Athletics.  These two instances specifically made me realize that teaching is what I am passionate about. I absolutely love helping others learn, and I believe it is very important to be passionate about what you do.

The MAT and Robert Noyce STEM Scholars programs made me see that I can combine my content knowledge with new teaching skills to really make a difference. I am interested in studying the current research on learning and teaching approaches, in hopes of working toward improving our public school system. What I learn from this program will be incredibly invaluable. I see myself as a life-long learner and I hope that my future students will become life-long learners as well. I have always wanted to make a positive impact on people’s lives, and what better way to do that than to teach? I don’t know much about what the future holds for me, but I am now confident in the career that I have chosen.






Dr. Jason Jude Smith, Program Manager
University of South Florida
4202 E. Fowler Ave, EDU105
Tampa, Fl 33620
Phone: 813-974-1345











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