The science we have relied on to feed and power the world is not sustainable. Advances in science and technology can provide alternatives, but only if teachers can inspire this generation to be innovative and create those alternatives.”
Growing up with two teachers for parents, it is not surprising that playtime for Natalie Dutrow was often spent teaching her stuffed animals math and reading from old textbooks. She attended McPherson High School in McPherson, Kan., where a chemistry teacher inspired her to a life of studying science. While completing her undergraduate degree in biotechnology at Elizabethtown College, located in Elizabethtown, Penn., she came to love the creativity and problem solving involved in bench science. This led her to graduate studies at the University of Utah.
In between undergraduate and graduate school, Natalie had the pivotal experience of spending two years in Northern Ireland as a youth worker in Belfast. It was there, working with young people that she rediscovered her love for teaching. After completing a PhD in oncological sciences at the University of Utah, teaching high school biology seemed the perfect combination of her love for biology, for teaching and for working with teens.
“As a country and culture, we are moving from a period of relative wealth and abundance that fostered complacency and entitlement, to a period of relative poverty, both of resources and intellect. This generation of teachers will play an integral role in inspiring this generation of young people to change their worldview.”
A published genetics researcher, Natalie is the recipient of a Genetics Training Grant from the National Institutes of Health. As an undergraduate, she received the Outstanding Academic Achievement Award from the Elizabethtown College Biology Department, the Thomas C. Conover Memorial Scholarship and the Rettew Associates Environmental Scholarship.