Mona Easterling is a professor and outreach planner. She completed the biotechnology program at Tulsa Community College. In addition, she holds an M.S. in Natural Science, a B.S. in Molecular Biology, and an A.S. in Biotechnology. Below, she describes her multifaceted work as a professor and outreach planner at the interface of biotechnology and communication.
What biotechnology program did you attend?
What degree/certificate(s) do you hold?
-BS Molecular Biology
-MS Natural Science
Since completing my Master's degree, I have found two part-time jobs in my field. One is teaching Biology for Majors as an adjunct at TCC. The other is a grant-funded position to enhance the Bioscience pipeline in my state. This involves helping high-school students into the education pipeline, retaining students in the pursuit of post-secondary education and helping bridge transitions for university transfers.
What are some techniques that you commonly use?
I still use many techniques for teaching:
-isolation of individual colonies
Please describe what you do in an average day
An average day for me as a professor includes time in the lab with students and a lecture session. I usually plan all outreach events around my teaching schedule. Outreach involves tours of our Biotechnology labs and presentations at locations in the community where tours are not possible. Some days, I present to groups off campus before teaching, then teach and have tours after my class is dismissed. I am able to attend community events, like career fairs, to let students see what types of STEM opportunities are available to them.
What advice would you give someone who is interested in a biotech career?
Dr. Richard Feynman said, “Fall in love with some activity, and do it! Nobody ever figures out what life is all about, and it doesn't matter. Explore the world. Work as hard and as much as you want to on the things you like to do the best.” While presenting my research as a freshman in the AS Biotechnology program, I fell in love with the interface of science and communication. That passion still energizes me today, and I am busy working as hard and as much as I can on the things I like to do the best!