Called to teach science
Feeling called to be a teacher from a very young age, Sarah credits the challenging courses and practical experiences she had at Northwestern for her current success in the education field. Smaller classes and a faith focus on campus added to Sarah’s personal growth and helped her develop closer relationships with students and professors.
What convinced you that Northwestern was right for you?
I originally visited Northwestern College because I was being recruited to run track. But on my visit, I was blown away by the kindness and servanthood of the faculty and staff. I didn’t have an official visit scheduled but was in the area with my parents and decided to stop by campus. When I arrived, I felt like I had been expected the whole time. Within an hour, meetings were set up with the track coach and a professor from the biology department. I loved the smaller size and anticipated more personal relationships with faculty than I would get at a larger school. I had always wanted to attend a Christian college, and NWC seemed like a genuinely faith-based community.
Why did you choose biology as your major?
I have loved exploring God’s creation since I was a little girl. Life science courses were my absolute favorite in high school, and I knew pretty early on that I would want to do something in biology. I even bought my own microscope when I was in high school. I find microscopic organisms and cells amazing, and their complexity reinforces my faith in a Creator.
What are the strengths of the NWC biology department?
The department genuinely feels like one big, nerdy family. The faculty are so intelligent, and they pushed me to use my own intellectual gifts to the fullest. I had strong relationships with the professors and felt truly cared for. I was challenged academically like never before, but I also felt so accomplished when I excelled in those difficult classes. Classes in this department grew my critical-thinking skills, and as a teacher now, I often strive to develop those abilities in my students as well.
How did Northwestern prepare you for your future?
My education classes, student teaching opportunities and work as a teaching assistant did an excellent job of preparing me to teach. Additionally, one of my most helpful practical experiences was serving as a biology tutor for the Peer Learning Center. In my current job, I often have students who need one-on-one tutoring, and the lessons I learned as a peer tutor in college prepared me for this aspect of my career. Northwestern gave me opportunities to challenge myself, build my critical-thinking skills and strive for excellence. The courses in the biology department are rigorous, and many employers recognize that students who graduate with a degree in education from Northwestern will likely excel in this field.