March 21, 2018
Karissa Hanson, whose hometown is East Grand Forks, Minn., earned a Bachelor of Science in Education degree from Mayville State University in May of 2016. Karissa’s major was Composite Biology Education. Ms. Hanson is now teaching biology, anatomy, and applied biology/chemistry at Grafton (N.D.) High School. She is pursuing a master’s degree in science education from North Dakota State University, and her future goal is to teach science and education classes at a college or university.
While at MSU, Karissa’s coursework included classes in both the education and science departments. She enjoyed the opportunity to take a variety of science classes, including geology, astronomy, and meteorology. She also took upper-level biology courses, including botany and invertebrate zoology. To help prepare her for a career in teaching middle and high school science, Karissa also took a range of teacher education courses.
Ms. Hanson was very happy with the MSU faculty members with whom she interacted. “I was very lucky to have mentors such as Dr. Joseph Mehus and Jeff Sieg in the science department,” she said. “Dr. Mehus was integral in encouraging me to put my scientific knowledge into practice by working in his research lab.”
Hanson worked in the research lab of Dr. Mehus, assistant professor of biology and INBRE researcher, for two summers. Together with her team, she studied the effects of cadmium on different trophic levels in the Red River Valley. This research allowed Karissa to create and present posters showcasing the research. She was even able to travel to Washington, D.C. to present a poster at a national conference.
“I learned many valuable skills from this experience. I use these skills in my teaching today,” said Hanson.
Karissa also had the opportunity to learn from Jeff Sieg, professor of science at Mayville State. “Jeff Sieg does a tremendous job of sharing his experiences to help prepare future science teachers. The faculty of the education department were equally influential in my academic career at Mayville State,” said Karissa. “They are kind, caring, and compassionate, all of the qualities that they want to instill in their future teachers.”
The faculty and staff of Mayville State are extremely proud of the wonderful alumni of the science programs and the positive impact they are having in the world. To learn more about the programs and opportunities available in the world of science at Mayville State, go to mayvillestate.edu/majors.