Nancy C. Grim Hunter, Assistant Professor of Science Education and
My role in life seems to be builder or bridges.
Early in life, I tutored my siblings and classmates through middle
and high school. My science fair projects on Biological Oxygen Demand
and Thin Layer Chromatography earned a scholarship at Ohio University
where I earned my B.S. Chemistry degree in 1993. During those years,
I struggled with the idea of teaching versus lab science and whether
or not I should change my major to Biology or Environmental Science.
My senior research was in small-scale chemistry education laboratory
I moved to Miami University of Ohio and
began my studies as the first graduate student in the chemistry
education program. During those years, I worked towards a Ph. D.
in Chemistry Education with joint emphasis in Chemistry Education,
Analytical, and Physical Organic. I was technically ABD when I settled
for a double masters in Chemistry and in Education in 1996. My thesis
involved scenario-based investigations for first-year chemistry
students. Teaching full-time, being a graduate student full-time,
working on numerous NSF science education grants, and helping to
nurse my mother until she died was too much.
Having settled in Chicago with my husband
(Bob) in 1996, I taught high school and middle school science, all
subjects, for a couple of years until I was invited to teach at
Chicago State University for some science workshops. The relationship
worked so well, I was invited to stay on as a lecturer of Chemistry
and Physical Science. Nearly three years ago, I was asked to consider
a joint tenure-track appointment in both Science Education and Chemistry.
As part of that agreement, I have nearly completed a new doctoral
program in Science Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
My role as a bridge builder works wonders
here at Chicago State University. I teach courses in both colleges
and both sets of faculty use me as the liaison to talk to the other.
Currently, I am the Director of the Teacher Quality Enhancement
Middle School Project at Chicago State. In that grant project, we
are working to co-create best practices in the curriculum for all
education majors, starting with the middle school teacher candidates.
I envision that this FIRST II Project will help me personally in
my middle school and elementary education methods courses. In addition,
this project will give our team ideas to integrate meaningful content
and experiences into the general education science courses for all
students and for the teacher candidates of the future. We hope to
build yet another bridge for our future students and their students.
Joyce J. Jones, Associate Professor of Biology
Chicago State University has a special place
for me. I graduated from CSU with a B.S. in Biology with a minor
in Education (1970). I worked on a M.S. in Biology (Cell & Dev)
at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL (1974). I
have taught all grade levels specializing as a Bilingual Science
Teacher. I moved to the University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia,
MO where I earned a Ph.D. in Biology (Cell & Mol) in 1993. I
then stayed at the University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO
to work on a postdoctoral fellowship from 1993-1997 in Physiology
During the years at the University of Missouri-Columbia,
I began serving as a mentor to minority students. This led to serving
as a mentor/facilitator for a number of programs involving high
school through graduate school students in the sciences. My work
later led to a position as a Research Assistant Professor in the
Department of Physiology. Even then, my love for teaching has drawn
me home to Chicago.
Currently as an Association Professor of
Biology, I teach biology courses for preservice teacher candidates
and for the secondary education biology teacher candidates. The
FIRST II Project looks to help me redesign my Biology Concepts for
Teachers class and my methods courses for the Biology Secondary
Education majors. In addition, our team is redesigning the certification
in science education courses. This project will give us great tools
to integrate into the curriculum.
Back to Regional
Marea Spentzos, Lecturer of Environmental Science and Middle/High
I am a geologist who is now teaching ninth
grade environmental, earth, and space science at John F. Kennedy
School in Chicago and serving as lecturer/curriculum developer for
general education science courses at Chicago State University. I
have a particular interest in ecological systems. I can see how
the experiences at the swamp will be considered "cool"
for students who are city-bound.
My degrees include a B.A. Geology from the
University of Montana (1997) and an MAT in Secondary Education from
Chicago State University (2002). I am considering working towards
a doctoral degree in either Science Education or in Environmental
Science. Between degrees I have worked at the Science and Industry
Museum as a docent in hands-on science exhibits. For me, I can no
longer separate being a scientist from being a teacher.
Date Modified February, 2006
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