Here is the transcript of the podcast interview with Noyce Scholar Maelanie (“Lanie”) Galima (March 2011). For the full story, Science & the CSU takes “A Closer Look” here: http://blogs.calstate.edu/science/?p=437
Hello. This is Jennifer Wicks with the California State University on “Science and the CSU.” I’m here with Lanie Galima, who is a Noyce Scholar.
I would like to take a minute to talk a little bit about the Noyce Scholarship Program. It was created and funded by the National Science Foundation and encourages talented majors and professionals in science, technology, engineering and math to become math and science teachers in high-needs K-12 schools.
Lanie earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology at Cal State Long Beach before pursuing a doctoral program at the University of Texas. She’s currently on a leave of absence from her Ph.D program to pursue a teaching career. She finished student-teaching last semester in the Noyce program. She was recently hired in a part-time position at Pioneer High School in Whittier to teach earth science and biology.
Welcome, Lanie. Thank you for joining us today.
When did you first become fascinated with science?
Well, I think it was my second year of college, while I was at Cerritos College. I actually took an introductory course in marine biology, and I really fell in love with the class. So I changed my major from computer science to marine biology; and I haven’t looked back since. I mean, I just loved the science and also being out in the field.
How has the Noyce Scholars Program helped prepare you for a career as a science teacher?
It helped me tremendously. Not only the financial aspects of the program, but, as a student-teacher teaching at a high-needs school, you’re really provided tremendous support with the seminar program that I was involved in last semester.
Do you have any advice for biology majors who might be considering a career as a science teacher?
I think as a teacher it does require a lot of hard work, patience, and commitment. And also a passion for teaching, because it’s not easy. It takes a lot of dedication.
And, again, patience for the students because they are at the stage of their development and a lot of them are a lot more advanced, either behaviorally, mentally, academically; and (there are) some that are not quite there yet. And so, as a teacher, you really have to have that capacity to understand what they’re going through, where they’re heading.
What do you hope to find on the horizon next, once you finish the Noyce program?
I would really like to work with a school district – and in particular a high-needs school. As someone who is an immigrant, I’ve been through what the students are experiencing right now, what they hope to accomplish after high school. So, I’m someone who’s been there and has gone through the process; I can relate.
When I see that change in a student – whether academically, behaviorally or just outlook about science or towards anything – and I see that over the course of the year, I see that huge growth in the student; and I really derive satisfaction from that.
After all that stress, all that frustration, when you see that students have gone beyond their own expectation – I mean, that to me, that’s worthwhile.
Yeah. That’s the payoff. That’s the bonus.
Great. Well, we look forward to all of the future teachers that you’re inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us today, Lanie. We appreciate your time.
Thank you, Jennifer.