Laura Nutter found inspiration in nature at an early age. She grew up spending winters in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and summers in western North Carolina. Laura began considering a career in biology as a high school student at the Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. “My AP biology teacher was engaging about everything he taught. Even previously ‘boring’ topics seemed fascinating with his enthusiasm and obvious love of science.”
As an undergraduate biology student at Duke University, Laura assisted graduate students in a plant molecular ecology lab, and assisted teaching high school science classes through Duke’s Talent Identification Program (TIP). One of her favorite teaching moments came from her time there. “Students loved creating skits together, everything from explaining the auditory pathway to inventing and diagnosing a novel neurological disorder. It ended up being the perfect way to get them engaged and excited about what they were learning.” Laura graduated with distinction from Duke, winning the biology department’s Award for Excellence in Plant Science. She went on to work as a research assistant in a plant molecular ecology lab at the University of Richmond, and had work published in a peer-reviewed journal before deciding that her true calling was teaching.
“Urban districts often suffer from high rates of teacher turnover, which means teachers don’t really ‘hit their stride’ in the classroom before leaving. With the five years of support I will receive from KSTF, I would like to help change this situation.”