Wednesday, February 3, 2021

By: Claire Quigle

Happy “Where Do You Work” Wednesday! Meet alumna Kathleen Weiss (MAT ‘10  Secondary Science Education and certification to teach secondary science, Ph.D. ‘20 Teaching and Learning with an emphasis in science education).

Weiss is from Iowa City and is now working as an Instructional Design and Educational Support Specialist in the Center for Educational Enhancement at Des Moines University.

“DMU is a health sciences institution comprised of three colleges and several degree programs across the health professions,” Weiss says. “Our department provides faculty and student support in the areas of teaching, learning, and educational scholarship.”

Before working at DMU, Weiss taught high school science for 5 years, and supervised student teachers for 3 years, and worked in a professional development program with teachers for 3 years.

Weiss attributes her success to the University of Iowa College of Education and is grateful for all she got to learn.

“The people and experiences I had at the University of Iowa College of Education enabled me to find my passion, develop my skills, and experience teaching and research first-hand,” Weiss says. “My understanding of learning and teaching was transformed during my time in the College of Education.”

Weiss doesn’t know where she would be without the assistance of professors at the university.

“I conducted my first educational research studies in collaboration with Dr. Hand, McDermott, and Fulmer,” Weiss says. “I also received valuable professional mentorship and support and was honored to work with amazingly talented fellow graduate students. I am the researcher and educator I am today because of these people and experiences and am so grateful!”

Weiss appreciates how she can apply her skills to her new roles as she accepts new positions and furthers her career.

“I love seeing the similarities across my various experiences in education,” Weiss says. “Though my background is in secondary and undergraduate science education, much of my expertise has translated to my work in health sciences education in unanticipated ways. I have enjoyed learning from and being challenged by my team members and supervisor.”

Weiss has chosen to be a life-long learner and continues to expand on her knowledge through research.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed diving into research in a new field of education,” Weiss says. “Health sciences education is a fun field to be a part of, as it enables me to draw upon my passions for science, education, teacher support, and research. Ultimately, teachers and students are all learners and I love supporting people in their learning!”

Despite the challenges Weiss has faced because of the COVID-19 pandemic, she remains optimistic. She graduated with her Ph.D. and started her new job since the pandemic began, and says it has been a great learning experience to see how she can use her experience, skills, and ideas to make a contribution.

“It has been challenging as, I am sure, is true for many people this past year,” Weiss says. “However, I think it has also been a great opportunity to take my unique perspective and explore new ways to face challenges in education.”

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