When I use my skills for personal achievements, my impact on the world is limited – but if I share my skills with others, there are no limits to their potential utility.”
Ivy McDaniel thrives on the challenges that teaching presents. It’s that drive that has motivated her to take on some unlikely assignments. Distressed by the structure of the prison system, she decided to volunteer teach at San Quentin State Prison. “At San Quentin, the students were so committed to really understanding what they were learning. If I failed to express something in an interesting and clear manner, they would not let me get away with it.”
Ivy has taught groups of students at the high school and university levels. “I love this subject, and I want the chance to show it off to people who never thought it could be interesting.” After graduating from Wasilla High School and Scripps College, Ivy entered a graduate program at University of California, Berkeley where she received a master’s degree in molecular biology. As a graduate student, she organized a group of fellow graduates to volunteer as classroom speakers at local high schools. It was an arduous task of matching schedules, availability and “kicking reluctant graduate students into gear.” In the end; however, it was a win-win for everyone.
A National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and Fulbright Scholar, Ivy hopes to teach in the Chicago Public Schools. “I want to explore science with students who will challenge me to really show them why this information is important. It will force me to become the great educator and communicator that I want to be.”