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April 28, 2011 Volume 32, No. 29

Meet the Kempers: Bethany Stone


Assistant Teaching Professor of Biological Sciences

Bethany Stone’s undergraduate teaching interests include introducing nonscience majors to science in general and biology specifically.

Her goals are for students to know the facts about the issues discussed and to be able to defend their position using research-based information. She wants to equip students with the skills to research science-related topics. “I would like students leaving my class to understand the importance of issues such as global climate change, antibiotic-resistant superbugs and biotic diversity,” she says. “I want students to find these topics important enough to go home and share what they have learned with their family and friends.”

Students note that they entered her course hating science and left it loving biology. “It was awesome to have a teacher who was passionate and excited to teach the subject,” one student says.

Stone is able to emphasize to students interested in biology how the subject might play a role in their lives and how their career choice might include a biology emphasis.

As the job market tightens, future employers look for potential assistant professors to demonstrate experience and proficiency in more than research. They are expected to be experienced in grant writing, people and money management, and teaching. Stone has participated in the division’s Teaching Intern Program, which gives graduate students an opportunity to work with faculty members.

“Bethany is quite simply the kind of teacher that we all want to be and that every student dreams of having at least once in his or her career,” one colleague says.

In 2007, Stone received a Provost Outstanding Junior Faculty Teaching Award.

She received a bachelor’s degree in biological science in 1996 from Missouri State University and a doctorate in 2001 from MU.