I have known since high school that I wanted to be a teacher. For me, school and learning became more exciting as I came to understand more and more about the world around me. I wanted to be a part of that experience for others. I had teachers who made me feel empowered and valued, but I came to realize that this is not the case for many students, especially in science classrooms. Promoting a sense of belonging for all students in science, especially those traditionally underrepresented in this field, became another driving force for me to become a teacher.” 

Tess’s Story

Teaching Discipline


Why Chemistry

“I chose chemistry because it has always challenged me in a really motivating way. The way that chemistry can explain natural phenomena of all types and sizes means I can constantly apply chemistry ideas to the world around me and can always be learning about things that matter to me.”

Professional Experience

From January 2016 until May 2019, Tess worked as an undergraduate researcher for Dr. Silvia Cavagnero’s research group in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The biophysical chemistry research group studied protein folding in a cellular context. Tess’s research began with a chemical education project that resulted in a cover article in the Journal of Chemical Education titled, Naked-Eye Detection of Reversible Protein Folding and Unfolding in Aqueous Solution. 

With Dr. Cavagnero’s research group, Tess also worked on a project designing and assembling a custom confocal microscope to conduct single-molecule studies of protein folding using a fluorescence technique called FRET. She received a Hilldale Undergraduate Research Fellowship from the University of Wisconsin-Madison for this research project.

In college, Tess tutored students in undergraduate chemistry. Also, she tutored high school students in math for one semester through a United Way program in Madison, Wisconsin. 

Additionally, Tess worked as an AVID tutor for one year. During her time with the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program at a high school in Madison, Wisconsin, she focused on freshman math and science. 

In summer 2019, Tess co-taught a summer school science class for fifth and sixth graders with a focus on design thinking. 

Tess will begin her first year of teaching during the 2020–2021 school year. 


Tess enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family, doing yoga and watching reality television shows. 

Academic Background

  • Stanford University (Master of Arts in Education)
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison (Bachelor of Science in Chemistry)