Tell us about your work / research. What kinds of things do you do?
As a science educator, I maintain a wide repertoire of learning strategies in order to make subjects such as Chemistry and Biology more appealing to our students. In other words, I constantly aim to show the relevance of science in their lives. Education has undergone transformational changes. The use of technology and the development of critical thinking skills are essential traits to meet professional demands of the future. Likewise, I mentor students enrolled in my scientific research course. These students have successfully competed at state and national levels. Therefore, I continuously strive for excellence and instill these traits into my students.
What sparked your initial interest in your career?
I have always enjoyed the thrill of new discoveries. This excitement led me to major in biochemistry. When an opportunity to conduct biomedical research at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey materialized, I instantly became interested in contributing to the body of knowledge from the scientific community. Furthermore, I was fortunate to have visited the Galapagos Islands and become enchanted of its flora and fauna.
Who influenced you or encouraged you the most?
I am grateful for receiving encouragement at different stages of my life. Early in my career my parents emphasized the value of education. Subsequently, my high school chemistry teacher provided challenging learning experiences. Then, my undergraduate academic advisor encouraged me to follow my passion for science. More recently, my wife and children have been very supportive of my desire to pursue an Education Specialist degree.
What element of your work / study do you think is the most fascinating?
As an educator, I look forward to meet students from distinct backgrounds year after year. Moreover, I am very proud of the accomplishments of past students. Some of these students are already finishing their undergraduate education and visit me on a regular basis. On the other hand, when I conduct summer research at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, I value the opportunity to interact with a diverse group of faculty, graduate, undergraduate and high school students.
What other jobs led you to your current career?
Previously I spent several years in the health care field. There, I managed resources to ensure patients received the utmost quality of care. In many ways, health care and education share many similarities. Health care and education utilize finite resources to address the needs of unique individuals. However, when I transitioned into education, I truly realized my role as an agent of change. I feel responsible for guiding the next generation of students in their pursuit of excellence.
What are your degrees and certifications?
Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry – Rutgers University; Master in Administration from Baruch College/Mt. Sinai School of Medicine; Education Specialist (in progress) in Curriculum and Instruction - Arkansas State University.
I also possess an official (starter and stroke and turns) certification from US Swimming.
What are your hobbies?
I enjoy swimming and playing tennis on my spare time.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to have a career like yours?
Learn about different careers and expose yourself to different disciplines. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related careers bring unique prospects for everyone. The earlier someone develops an inclination towards a career, the sooner a plan of action could be devised. Moreover, I constantly remind our students to propose realistic goals and do anything on their power to achieve them.
How did you get involved in the Nautilus Exploration Program? How did you get on the ship?
I learned about the Nautilus Exploration Program through the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA). The Nautilus Exploration Program offers a unique opportunity to explore the ocean and become part of the Corps of Exploration. As a Science Communication Fellow I intend to show my students the importance of protecting our natural resources and environment from deteriorating conditions.
Paul participated in the following Ocean Exploration Trust expeditions: