STEM Education Scholar Alumni

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Congratulations to our STEM Education Scholar Alumni!

Click each Scholar's name to expand his/her profile for more information.

Rebekah Adams is a 2019 graduate of Central Michigan University studying secondary education with a focus in chemistry and mathematics. After her first high school chemistry class, Rebekah was hooked and wanted to make a difference in students' lives. Like her former teachers did for her, Rebekah wants to give students fun chemistry experiences that make their learning memorable.
Throughout her four years in the STEM Education Scholar Program, Rebekah has learned that using hands-on, student-driven and inquiry-based challenges may allow students to better understand some of the math and science concepts, rather than teaching them in isolation. Her experiences in the makerspace have helped her gather ideas for different approaches she may be able to take with students in her own classroom someday.
Rebekah is originally from Aurora, Illinois, a large suburb of Chicago and in addition to being a STEM Education Scholar she is also the president of the American Chemical Society student chapter on campus.
Garrett Comer
Mark Anthony Davis who has a double major in mathematics and history, is a 2019 graduate of Central Michigan University and the STEM Education Scholar Program. Mark Anthony served as Vice President of the STEM Education Scholar Program’s eBoard prior to student teaching. Upon completion of his bachelor’s degree in secondary education, Mark Anthony intends to teach middle school mathematics and/or social studies, or high school mathematics and/or history, and currently works as a substitute teacher in the Clare and Gladwin areas whenever possible.
Throughout his education, Mark Anthony has been positively influenced by several experiences, but few have come close to those associated with the STEM Education Scholar program. During one of his first opportunities to work with students, Mark Anthony felt extremely unsure of himself as an educator, and almost could not see his future-self as a teacher. He interacted with a pair of students on designing an original model. Shortly after the workshop, faculty members shared several positive remarks about his ability to ask open-ended questions, which encouraged him and helped increase his confidence as an educator. 
Additionally, Mark Anthony realizes the constant learning that teaching requires. While he is sure to encounter challenges trying to integrate STEM concepts in a history or social studies class, he understands that the “why’s” and “how’s” of a challenge are where growth happens. These critical questions that are the essence of STEM are necessary for learners of all ages to understand and grow in the world around them. 
Simon Fikse is a 2019 graduate of Central Michigan University and has been part of the STEM Education Scholar Program for four years. This Zeeland, MI native, Simon enjoys reading, hiking, snowboarding, and several other sports. A true lifelong learner, he is always on the lookout for new interesting information to digest. Simon also has a passion for passing this knowledge onto others. As a result, you can usually find him talking to people and learning more about their perspective and personality. These factors play an integral role in his choice to become a teacher and having the ability to interact with and inspire people every day. 
Simon loves working with students on a variety of exciting experiments and projects, such as coding, building, and exploring a range of tools and topics. Witnessing the projects of other educators at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) conference in Los Angeles further inspires Simon, who is already easily excited. “Reading about relativity and doing activities with imaginary numbers provides him with a sense of accomplishment and entertainment. My passion for math and science helps shape me as an educator.”
In addition to his coursework and volunteering, Simon does his best to stay involved on campus. He works with University Recreation running lots of different engaging athletic events. His commitment to hard work, love for education and patient personality serves Simon well. 

Mark Anthony Davis who has a double major in mathematics and history, is in his fourth year at Central Michigan University and the STEM Education Scholar Program. Mark Anthony currently holds the role of Vice President of the STEM Education Scholar Program’s eBoard. Upon completion of his bachelor’s degree in secondary education, Mark Anthony intends to teach middle school mathematics and/or social studies, or high school mathematics and/or history, and currently works as a substitute teacher in the Clare and Gladwin areas whenever possible.
Throughout his education, Mark Anthony has been positively influenced by several experiences, but few have come close to those associated with the STEM Education Scholar program. During one of his first opportunities to work with students, Mark Anthony felt extremely unsure of himself as an educator, and almost could not see his future-self as a teacher. He interacted with a pair of students on designing an original model. Shortly after the workshop, faculty members shared several positive remarks about his ability to ask open-ended questions, which encouraged him and helped increase his confidence as an educator. 
Additionally, Mark Anthony realizes the constant learning that teaching requires. While he is sure to encounter challenges trying to integrate STEM concepts in a history or social studies class, he understands that the “why’s” and “how’s” of a challenge are where growth happens. These critical questions that are the essence of STEM are necessary for learners of all ages to understand and grow in the world around them. 
Sara Fisk is a 2019 graduate of Central Michigan University and in the STEM Education Scholar Program, where she also serves a eBoard President. Sarah’s desire to become a teacher began in her third grade classroom in Big Rapids, MI and has only grown over the years. Throughout the coursework for her mathematics and school health double major and her work in the makerspace, Sara views STEM as an avenue to integrate real life experiences into lessons, which helps students relate to and understand the content more effectively.
“Integrating STEM means creating a cohort of problem-solvers who seek out learning opportunities, ask questions, fail forward and challenge ideas.” Sara encourages every teacher education student consider the STEM Education Scholar Program. “I have learned a lot about myself as a teacher, things I wouldn’t have learned if not for the experiences I have had with students.” 
In addition to her work in the makerspace, Sara also works part-time for Tech-Ops and advocates for financial wellness on campus by working as a Money Mentor.
Jayda Sykora is in her fourth year at Central Michigan University (CMU) and a third year STEM Education Scholar. Jayda chose to go into education to not only expand her own understanding, but also to help others see the importance of being educated. She is pursuing a major in mathematics and a minor in earth science for secondary education. “STEM is important for today's K-12 students because it gives them real-life scenarios they are able to tie to their core classes.” Many people do not realize that STEM is the integration of the four subjects as opposed to each individual component in isolation. 
The STEM Education Scholar Program gives future teachers the ability to work with students in a unique STEM-rich environment of the makerspace on campus. In working with students of different ages, scholars are able to improve their own questioning skills, something that will serve them well in their own classrooms someday. Being able to ask targeted questions that allow students to explain their answers will not only help students and teachers, ideally it will empower students to feel a sense of ownership over their own education. Jayda has also learned that she will never know all the answers to her students’ questions. Rather, she is prepared to work through problems alongside her students and to encourage their creativity in designing possible solutions. 
Outside of teaching, Jayda enjoys attending various horse shows in the central Michigan area, and outdoor activities such as biking, skating, skiing, kayaking, and swimming. Jayda has been assistant JV soccer coach for 3 years and is leading a quilting module for middle school students, emphasizing the math concepts involved in quilting.