It falls on teachers to inspire students to put forth their best efforts, to appreciate the world in which they live, and to embrace curiosity.”
When Brittany Franckowiak was a high school student, the Iraq war, global climate change, stem cell research and the Human Genome Project were among the major topics occupying the national consciousness. The complexity of these issues persuaded Brittany to switch from a career in biological research to teaching. It is in the classroom where Brittany believes she can “contribute in addressing the complex challenges facing society by preparing and encouraging students to engage with those challenges.”
One of Brittany’s favorite teaching moments came as a teaching assistant for the research-oriented Gene Team program at the University of Pittsburgh. “Students were engaged with real, current biological research and I had the opportunity to teach them laboratory techniques, and guide them through the concepts underlying their work.” With the help of Knowles, Brittany hopes to build an environment where students are able to engage in authentic scientific work.
Brittany graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh, where she worked for three semesters as an introductory biology undergraduate teaching assistant and for two semesters in biological research labs.