Meet Catherine LePrevost
Catherine LePrevost already had some NC State experience under her belt when she was accepted into the doctoral program in Science Education for Fall of 2008.
After having earned the B.S. in Biology from Wake Forest University in May 2006, the Hickory, North Carolina, native completed the Master of Toxicology degree from NC State in December of 2007. About her graduate work at NC State, LePrevost says, “NC State provided me with the opportunity to obtain a graduate degree from a prominent research institution. With support in the form of funding and a faculty committed to facilitating my work, I have had the opportunity to develop as a teacher, as well as a researcher, throughout my graduate career.”
LePrevost considers that the Graduate School’s Certificate of Accomplishment in Teaching (CoAT) was instrumental in furthering her knowledge of teaching by studying teaching methods and applying them in the classroom. And she strongly believes that feedback from the faculty and discussions with her fellow teaching assistants were the highlight of the program.
“CoAT increased my confidence in my teaching while serving as a teaching assistant and allowed me to realize my interest in continuing to study the teaching and learning of science. It was because of my participation in the CoAT program that I later applied to the doctoral program in Science Education here at NC State,” says LePrevost.
In addition to enhancing her classroom teaching, LePrevost credits the CoAT program with her initial interest in writing a proposal and obtaining a three-year grant with Julia Storm and Dr. Greg Cope of the Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology. Funded by the Pesticide Environmental Trust Fund, the project’s goal is to develop the Pesticides and Farmworker Health Toolkit, comprised of educational materials about pesticides for Hispanic/Latino farmworkers.
As a teaching assistant, LePrevost had the unique opportunity to assist students in applying general biological concepts to complex problems -- issues that she herself was addressing as a graduate student. She states that being a teaching assistant “. . . affords graduate students the unique opportunity to interact with and mentor students who are at a point in their educational careers from which the graduate students themselves are not far removed.”
The most rewarding part of her teaching experience, however, was “. . .[c]reating meaningful relationships with students and providing them with support and guidance in the smaller and more personal laboratory setting. . .”
During her ‘down time’, LePrevost enjoys cooking and traveling with her husband John Michael and playing outside with her Border Collie-Labrador mix, Emma.
And the one piece of advice to her fellow graduate students? LePrevost encourages other graduate students to seek projects which they find inherently interesting and motivating and about which they are passionate.
Click here to view archived Graduate School stories.