In my life, I have been very fortunate! As everyone seems to say, everything does work out for a reason. Over the years, I have held many titles (Teacher, Technology Director, Consultant, Trainer, Professor, Student) but few of those titles compare to those titles that I am looking forward to in the next several years (Husband, Father). Right now, my title is IT Coordinator at the Korea International School on Jeju Island in South Korea. This is really my dream job! I get to play in a beautiful paradise, work with K-12 Students and Teachers to integrate technology, and develop the systems and design for a comprehensive technology education plan. I cannot imagine a position that would better suit my needs and desires as an Education Technologist. I constantly ask: How did I get here? It was through hard work and lots of determination.
College opened many of the doors in my life (one of the main reasons to choose a Liberal Arts Education). Colorado College is a wonderful school in the heart of the Colorado front-range. Taking courses in 18 days is not for the faint of heart, but it can be one of the most invigorating experiences as you watch yourself go from a novice to a specialist in the course of three weeks. My education mostly stuck with the Natural Sciences and I was one of the colleges first double majors in Chemistry and Biology (they seemed to remember that there was one other one, but that was many years ago). When I wasn’t studying the sciences, I took time to study Russian Language, Aboriginal Culture (in Australia), and the history of Antarctica (from McMurdo Station). By the time I graduated in 2007, I had so many wonderful experiences that it was difficult to recount them all. As a scientist, I had contributed to three large scale research projects and already had one published article in Tetrahedron Letters. As wonderful as my experiences abroad were, I still cherish the time I spent in the basement of Olin Hall trying to study for all of those chemistry finals (and trying to blow things up whenever I had a chance).
One of my biggest regrets from college was not taking time off after graduation. Instead of reveling in my success, I immediately entered the PhD program at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. I decided that I wanted to be a Synthetic Organic Chemist and I was in a hurry to start my professional life. When I was at the UofU, I found the program somewhat confrontational (not the University itself, but the Department I was working for). Several professors spent lecture time soap-boxing about politics and environmental issues, rather than teaching us what we were there for – chemistry. Over the course of first summer, I worked for a research group and I was explicitly told “the research you are doing will never get published and will never have any use outside of our lab.” After that “talk” I had almost no desire to continue as a Graduate Student. As school started up in the spring, I was depressed, missing the mountains, and was thinking about making a transition away from the University.
My wife, who has and will always give it to me straight, saw my plight and offered some critical reflection: “It seems like the only thing you enjoy doing is teaching.” In my depression, I thought she was crazy, here I was, with everything that I ever wanted. As one of the fortunate graduate students, I taught a lab of advanced organic chemistry and even was allowed to teach the lecture on several occasions. Even then, I was not fully convinced that I wanted to teach. In Salt Lake, I started looking at Jobs in Chemistry (with Myriad Genetics) and sent out some feelers to the Department of Education at Colorado College. As my Job prospects started to dry up, CC granted me late entry into their Master of Arts in Teaching Program.
I moved back to Colorado that spring and immediately took two jobs, one as a research assistant and the second as a Teaching Assistant and Lab Tech for the Physics 101 course. 14 months later, I had a Masters Degree in Secondary Science with a Focus on Educational Technology, and was going into my second year of teaching.
I loved my experience with Education and Technology (since my masters focused on how to integrate Cellular Phones into Science Classrooms). Ever sense I started teaching, I have been captivated by working with At-Risk students and advocating the cause of technology Education. You can view my work and accomplishments on this site.
Last year, I enrolled in and have now completed the Graduate Certificate Program with Johns Hopkins University in School Administration and Supervision. My current position allows me to use the knowledge and skills that I have gained throughout my education career and use them to lead a school through designing and implementing a technology strategic plan. I could not be happier.