Whether in a classroom, a lab or working alongside students while sampling fish in Lake Michigan, biology professor Tracy Galarowicz prides herself on bringing passion to her teaching. There’s no better way to inspire that passion than putting students out in the field and giving them real, hands-on learning experiences.
“A true strength of CMU and the department of biology is the link between teaching and research,” Tracy said. “The opportunities to work one-on-one with our students in the laboratory and field are amazing.”
A 15-year veteran of CMU’s biology department, Tracy said it’s important for students to tie classroom learning with field experience.
“I want to help students make connections between the classroom material and the real world,” she said. “The most fulfilling part of being an instructor has been watching my students grow as biologists in and out of the classroom.”
While conducting her own research in freshwater fish ecology, with a special interest in how fish interact with each other and their environment, Tracy has watched as her students have taken their experiences at CMU and begun making their own marks in the field of biology.
“Since I have been at CMU for almost 15 years, my former undergraduates and graduate students are now fisheries biologists or academics themselves. Watching the impact that they are having on our field is rewarding.”
In addition to teaching, Tracy serves as the department of biology chair.
Tracy was one of the lead researchers for a team that restored a reef essential to survival of native fish in Grand Traverse Bay.
Tracy was named 2016 Woman of the Year by the CMU American Council on Education.