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BIOS

Erika Mitkus

2016 Fellow
The Sanford School
Hockessin, Delaware

Teaching Discipline

Biology

Why Biology

“I chose to go into biology because I had always been drawn to the natural world growing up, and as I grew older, I found myself wanted to understand it more deeply. While pursuing my undergraduate degree, I came to appreciate that true biological thinking is never black and white. In ecology, medicine, and even cell biology, we cannot consider pieces of knowledge separately—we have to understand greater patterns, and use more complex ways of thinking. It requires those who practice it to deeply think about the environments they are working in, and synthesize enormous amounts of information before drawing even the simplest conclusions. Some people dislike biology because it’s too “messy” for these reasons, but that was always its greatest appeal to me. I hope I will be able to share the things I love about it with the students I teach!”

Professional Experience

Erika worked in education informally for more than 10 years before pursuing the field professionally. She spent three years working as an environmental educator, one year as a ski instruction and nine years as a camp counselor. Erika also she spent long days weeding, identifying plants and sorting biomass as a Plant Community Ecology Intern at the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Reserve in East Bethel, Minnesota.

Volunteer Experience

Erika taught English to Tibetan nationals aged 16–21 at a Buddhist monastery in Nepal for one month.

Hobbies

Erika enjoys hiking, climbing, long-distance backpacking, gardening and reading.

Academic Background

  • University of Pennsylvania (Master of Science in Secondary Education)
  • McGill University (Bachelor of Science in Biology)

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Teachers should ignite curiosity in students, build their confidence, and show them new ways of seeing the world around them.

Erika Mitkus
2016 Fellow