Student Bios

Get to know a few of the Teach@Mines students

Teach@Mines serves undergraduate students, graduate students, and alumni from every major at Mines!

 


Dawson Lang – 2022 Graduate

“As an undergraduate at Mines, I received the Noyce scholarship, and because of this, I have extensive research experience. I worked as a research intern at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where I developed computer scripts to analyze data, measured the brightness of stars, and developed tests for tidal disruption events. I also worked for California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo from 2020–2021 as a STAR Teacher-Research Fellow in the Cosmic Evolution Project, which used Net Logo to investigate the universe’s evolutionary history. I also worked as a research intern for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory during the summer of 2021, developing and evaluating physics experiments using microelectromechanical sensor sets in phones. I would have never had these opportunities if not for Teach@Mines and being a Noyce scholar.

My interest in teaching started in high school but was influenced when I spent three years

Dawson Lang Headshot

Dawson Lang

as a resident advisor and a teaching assistant at Mines. I learned so much and knew I wanted to become a teacher through these experiences. I also spent several years as an education research assistant for the Colorado School of Mines. In my senior year, I evaluated students’ experiences with introductory courses and sought to improve the accessibility and equity of education within the school. For the last five years, I have worked with the Get the Facts Out Project, a partnership between four national societies that aim to repair the teaching profession’s reputation. Working with GFO has opened up several opportunities, and I have met some incredible people!

I have taught algebra, engineering, and AP Physics. Starting in 2024, I will start my third year of teaching and will be teaching AP Physics at Chatfield High School, Colorado. In my free time, I enjoy coaching multiple sports teams. I have been the head coach of my previous school’s softball and girls’ golf teams and the assistant coach of the basketball program. At Chatfield, I will be working with their boys’ basketball program and maybe other programs in the future. I also love attending sports activities and support all Denver professional sports teams. I enjoy spending time with friends and occasionally volunteer to serve meals to the local homeless population.”


Katelyn Miller – 2022 Graduate

Katelyn Miller Headshot

Katelyn Miller

“Hi! I am graduating in 2022 and next year I will be teaching at Memoria Press Online Academy! I studied Applied Math and Statistics at Mines, got married to another Mines grad, and am following my husband around the country with his military career.

I came to Mines with the goal of using an engineering degree for humanitarian causes. However, the more I sat in classes, the more I envied my professors! I soon learned about SCED 262, Early Field Experience, and found my Thursday evenings booked with hands on lectures about teaching. In the field part of the class, I loved being in the classroom and seeing students learn, get frustrated, overcome their challenges, and say things with the wit and gusto that only a well-served student can have with their ever-patient teacher.

Teach@Mines informed me of an amazing summer program called Generation Teach. Being a GT fellow meant that I had my own class and could really explore the field. My students made me look forward to work every single day. If they couldn’t make me smile, a sympathetic glance from an understanding coworker could. My summer with GT convinced me that it was time to look for teaching jobs, and the resources from GT set me up well to teach in Denver. My marriage, however, and our frequent moving took teaching in Denver off the table. I knew of MPOA through my high school and knew I liked the curriculum, so I began substitute teaching with them. After meeting lots of amazing teachers and faculty members, I took a full-time job for next year and cannot be more excited! Teaching at an online academy means that I can empower families to tap into the fluid, student-oriented field of homeschooling. I’m also free to move around the country without affecting my students. I find a lot of purpose in my job, which is something most educators really value. I could not be more thankful for my time at Mines and for Teach@Mines, and cannot wait to hear about the wonderful educators Mines continues to produce!”


Alyssa Teteris – 2021 Graduate

Alyssa Teteris

Alyssa Teteris

“My name is Teteris (they/she) and I was always considering changing careers to teach after a few years on the field, but when I was able to get my license concurrent to my bachelors, and get some scholarship money for it, it allowed me to go straight into the education field. I got my bachelors degree at Mines in Biochemistry.  I am currently teaching Biology and AP Biology at DSST: College View High school. Due to my connections at Mines, I have had the opportunity to bring scientists into my classroom and my students have worked on real research projects!”

 


Eric Norfleet – 2020 Graduate

Eric Norfleet

Eric Norfleet

“My name is Eric Norfleet and I am a 6th grade science teacher at Aurora Science and Tech Middle School. I became interested in education while attending graduate school at Mines in 2019-2020. I was able to enroll in both SCED262 – Early Field Experience and PHGN498/598 – Physics Teaching Techniques which gave me both valuable experience shadowing in an actual classroom and learning the fundamentals of education with Dr. Adams.

Through Teach@Mines, I discovered an Apprentice Teacher role offered by DSST Public Schools that led me to where I am today. As an apprentice teacher, I began the year as a mentor to a fantastic science teacher who taught me the ins-and-outs of teaching. Throughout the year, I went from mentor to lead teacher and was offered a full-time teaching position at my school as a sixth grade science teacher. Not only did I land a job with an amazing set of coworkers, but I am also at a founding school (currently in its third year) with an ambitious long-term vision for its partnership with the Anschutz Medical Campus, which is located just south of our building. As part of this vision, I have taken on the responsibility of coordinating a year-long Seminar Series, inviting professional biomedical scientists to come to our campus and share their work directly with students on a biweekly basis. Through Teach@Mines, I was able to find my way into a very rewarding, challenging career that combines my love of teaching with my love of science.”


Blue O’Brennan – 2020 Graduate

Blue O'Brennan

Blue O’Brennan

“Before I had any definite idea of what I wanted to do, I felt like I had a responsibility to make some sort of positive impact on the world and people around me. I gravitated toward engineering as the process of creating lasting solutions to real problems, but it concerned me that the impact of my work would start and end with my own presence and effort. I wanted to bring about sustainable positive change that would continue to propagate on its own, and teaching has so far seemed like the best way to do that. While I feel that my education at Mines has prepared me to be an effective engineer, I believe that my time is better spent giving others the tools to critically evaluate and address the challenges they encounter.”

 

 


Nicholas Dyer – 2018 Graduate

Nicholas Dyer

Nicholas Dyer

“I have moved about a dozen times, getting to go to a variety of schools doing everything from online programs, public school to being home-schooled. I have lived all over the United States, and spent a few years in Japan. My love for computers brought me to the school of Mines, but after a few years of working as a summer camp counselor with iD Tech I found that working with students is much more rewarding. Thanks to the UNC-Mines cohort I am able to pursue both passions as I prepare to be a mathematics teacher.”

 


Amanda Casner – 2017 Graduate

Amanda Casner

Amanda Casner

“I’ve known I wanted to be a teacher since I was very young. After graduating high school, however, my love for science and math led me to Mines, where I’m majoring in Engineering Physics with minors in Mathematical Science and Space & Planetary Science. I love my department and my peers, but I’ve always felt a bit torn, knowing that a career in industry or research wasn’t right for me. When the TEAM-UP program was created, I immediately knew it was perfect. Through TEAM-UP I can complete my degree in physics and simultaneously pursue licensure for a career I know will make me happy. TEAM-UP has already provided me with many valuable opportunities to work in local classrooms and network with experienced professionals. I plan to graduate from Mines in May 2017, earn my teaching license in December 2017, and start applying to teach high school math or science as soon as I can!”

 


Mollie Murray

MOLLIE MURRAY

Mollie Murray

“When I was in high school, one of my favorite teachers often told us of his time studying to be and eventually working as an electrical engineer. His industry experience and schooling in a specific content area allowed him to relate the content to real-world applications, which was extremely beneficial for our classes. As I looked at my own future I knew that I wanted to be a teacher, and I realized that for me, in order to be the best teacher possible, it would be best to pursue a degree that would give me a strong content background and a broader scope of knowledge. Now, I am a senior in engineering physics and I feel that my future students will benefit from all that I have learned here. I am extremely thankful for TEAM-UP because it has given me the chance to connect with other students with similar interests, to work with students in a nearby high school, and to network with and get advice from amazing educators. The relationships I have made in this program have enriched my life tremendously.”

 


Brittany Fleur

Brittany Fleur

Brittany Fleur

“I am a senior in Engineering Physics at the Colorado School of Mines. I am from Somewhere-In-The-Middle-Of-Nowhere, Oklahoma and I enjoy reading, eating, and sleeping. After taking an amazing physics class in high school, I became interested in the idea of teaching science classes at a higher level. I live in Lakewood, Colorado with my handsome fiance.”

“When I was in high school, one of my favorite teachers often told us of his time studying to be and eventually working as an electrical engineer. His industry experience and schooling in a specific content area allowed him to relate the content to real-world applications, which was extremely beneficial for our classes. As I looked at my own future I knew that I wanted to be a teacher, and I realized that for me, in order to be the best teacher possible, it would be best to pursue a degree that would give me a strong content background and a broader scope of knowledge. Now, I am a senior in engineering physics and I feel that my future students will benefit from all that I have learned here. I am extremely thankful for TEAM-UP because it has given me the chance to connect with other students with similar interests.


 

 


Evan Genrich – 2024 Graduate

Evan Genrich

Evan Genrich

“My name is Evan Genrich but I go by Mr. G to my students. I received my B.S. and M.S. degrees from the Colorado School of Mines in the last 6 years. Through a professional internship and family discussions I realized that teaching is a career that suits me well. I am graduated from the STEM Educational Program in May 2024 and am beyond excited to start my career as a teacher in Colorado. I have many teachers, counselor and one admin in my family and they are quite proud that I will carry on the family tradition. 

The Teach@Mines staff have been supportive and attentive to me throughout the program. I have confidence moving forward and personally believe I offer a substantial amount of technical expertise, developed pedagogy, and an awesome personality to be an exceptional teacher in the years to come. It is thanks to the program, mentorship and family support.”

 


Abi Thompson – 2024 Graduate

Abi Thompson

Abi Thompson

I graduated with a Masters in STEM Education in May 2024. I studied Electrical Engineering in undergrad and discovered that I wasn’t interested in a career in Engineering. Through TA-ing and working in youth sports, I found that what I was interested in was a career in education. Teaching is not just what you teach but how you teach it, and I find the matter of how you convey material effectively a fascinating challenge. And it is wonderful to get to know students and guide them as they discover the world around them. Teach@Mines offered me a path to explore the teaching profession while earning my bachelors and to earn a Masters and License in just one extra year. Come August, I will be teaching 6th and 7th grade Math in Jeffco Public Schools. I am so excited to teach my favorite subject since grade school and for everything that comes next!

 

 


Virginie Genevet – 2024 Graduate

Virginie Genevet

Virginie Genevet

“I’m Virginie GENEVET. I am French, coming from Nice, South of France. Since 2006 I’m a physics and chemistry teacher in the French public educational system. I taught in several schools, including middle schools and high schools. We moved here in July 2023 and since then, I am back as a student to earn a Master and License in Science Education. I really love teaching and helping my students succeeding and chasing towards their dreams. I like sharing with them some exciting science facts or experiments.”

 

 

 


Gwyneth Ormes – December 2023 Graduate (First MS in STEM Education Graduate!)

Headshot of Gwyneth Ormes

Gwyneth Ormes

“Hello! I graduated from Mines with my master’s degree in STEM education in December of 2023. Now, I am currently teaching computer science at EPIC Campus.

After graduating with my bachelor’s in computer science and mathematics from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do. I knew I wasn’t interested in a typical computer science career, so I decided to start substitute teaching while I figured it out. Hearing about Mines’ masters in STEM Education program, it seemed like the perfect fit.

I started at Mines in January of 2023 and started working towards my teaching license. Through my Teach@Mines classes, I was paired with a mentor teacher: an outstanding high school computer science/science teacher who in teaches in Littleton Public Schools, the district I teach in now. Working with him was an incredibly valuable experience and I continue to use skills and strategies I learned during my observations in my classroom today.

Through Teach@Mines I knew pursuing an alternate teaching license was an option for me, since I already had my bachelor’s degree. That fall, I started my full-time position at EPIC Campus, a new career and technical education program in Littleton Public Schools, while I finished my masters’ degree. Teaching at EPIC Campus is a really rewarding experience because I get to teach unique classes with an explicit focus on hands-on learning. The Teach@Mines program was the perfect bridge between my previous experience and career goals.”


 

 


Emma Khorunzhy

Emma Khorunzhy

Emma Khorunzhy

“Hello! I am an undergraduate pursuing the minor Teach@Mines offers and a research assistant for the Get the Facts Out Program that Wendy directs. In the future, I hope to get my master’s, go into a research field, and then teach in underprivileged schools in the US.

I took a gap year before college backpacking around France and New Zealand and used this time to explore what drives me as an individual. Though I didn’t figure out a definite “life plan,” I felt like I gained something with more value: the importance of embracing the unknown. That is, to explore and uncover what drives me as an individual. I was lucky to find a source of my drive in the first few months of being here. In the past, I enjoyed tutoring but it wasn’t until I became involved with Teach@Mines that I could recognize this passion.

Being a decent teacher isn’t too difficult, but being an impactful and life-changing one requires dedication. I had thought teaching consisted of you coming to school, teaching the students about the material, and going home, and for some, it is. But after taking two of the classes Teach@Mines offers, I realize the effort and time some of my favorite teachers put in. Getting kids to understand something is one thing, but making them feel valued and interested in the material is a whole other challengeーespecially for students that come from less privileged backgrounds.

Here at Mines, we have the power to make real, concrete changes in the world we live in. Whether you’re an engineer or an artist, I believe at the root of every accomplishment was a good teacher.”


Dawson Lang 

Dawson Lang

Dawson Lang while at Mines (2022 Graduate)

“I am a Colorado native and an undergraduate at the Colorado School of Mines, pursuing a degree in engineering physics. I am from Brighton, Colorado, and grew up raising cattle and harvesting alfalfa. I am a member of a couple of clubs on campus which include, Club Baseball and TEA (Teaching Education Alliance) club. I am also a Resident Advisor on campus. I love Colorado sports and love to be very active. While I am getting my degree in engineering physics, I am also striving to receive my teaching licensure along the way. Being a teacher means helping support students pursue their dreams. It means being able to shape the future and make respectful individuals that can change the world. I want to be a teacher that makes students excited to come and learn and leave feeling fulfilled that they learned something useful. I am interested in teaching because I want to make a real change in the world. I feel that education has the benefits of feeling you are making a change in someone else’s life, and I would love to be able to that every day.”

 


Jess Noffsinger – 2001 Graduate

Jess Noffsinger

Jess Noffsinger

“I have been an educator for the past 23 years.  The past 13 years have been spent teaching science and Engineering at the STEM Lab School in Northglenn, CO.  I love to create learning experiences that provoke my students to think!  My classroom is based on Problem Based Learning where students develop solutions to the problems of the world.  From landing on Mars to developing synthetic blood for a medical device company, my students use math and science concepts to prototype and develop solutions that are wise beyond their years.  In addition to teaching, I am the sponsor for the NJHS and a cooking club and coach volleyball.  I was the 2015 recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching for Secondary Science and in 2021 was Fulbright Teacher for Global Classrooms.”