I hope to promote my students’ self-esteem and independence, giving them the confidence and motivation to succeed in school and become leaders for the next generation.”

Emma’s Story

Emma completed high school at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where she studied piano. As an undergraduate at Oberlin College, Emma spent five semesters as a biology laboratory teaching assistant, an opportunity that fueled her passion for teaching. “My time as a TA helped me discover some of the qualities that separate a merely competent teacher from one who inspires affection and enthusiasm—the ability to present information and expectations clearly; to keep students actively engaged; to be sensitive to those over whom she has authority; and to place the needs of those she serves above her own.”

Emma’s enthusiasm for science teaching led her to intern at the Museum of Natural History in New York City. She spent much of her time in the museum’s Discovery Room where she had many opportunities to work with adolescents, guiding them through hands-on experiences with science. “Because teenagers are able to fully engage in critical thinking, high school teachers have the responsibility, not just to explain the facts, but to ask the right questions.”

While pursuing a BA in biology at Oberlin, Emma was awarded the Leo S. Millar Memorial Prize and the Leonore Annenberg Teaching Fellowship. Raised in the mountains of rural Appalachia, Emma is committed to teaching in a poor rural area similar to her home county of Grayson, Virginia “to help give other students the opportunities that I’ve had.”  She sees the Knowles Fellowship as a valuable asset to her development as a teacher. “I hope that regular meetings and online communication with a talented community of current and former Knowles Fellows will help me to become an exceptional teacher.”