Tara Piercy ‘18

Major: Biology
Hometown: Navarre, OH

Minor Adolescent to Young Adult Education

Member of Kappa Phi, Beta Beta Beta, Kappa Delta Pi, Alpha Lambda Delta, Zumba instructor

Choosing Mount Union
When working on a project in high school, I was required to find nearby schools that offered the majors that I was interested in. In high school, I knew that I wanted to go to college for one of three things: environmental science or biology or to become a science teacher. I found Mount Union on an internet search and was so impressed that they offered all three, I knew I had to go for a visit! The moment I walked onto campus, I felt at home. I remember looking around me and knowing that this school was the one. It had every major I was interested in, a gorgeous campus, and so many friendly faces. I didn’t want to go anywhere else!

Making Mount Union Home
The people make this place feel like home. There is a certain vibe on Mount Union’s campus. We smile and greet everyone we pass, we hold doors, we do what we can to make everyone feel welcome. I feel so comfortable and at home The friends I made in my first week of going here are my best friends today. I met a lot of incredible girls in my dorm freshman year, and being surrounded by so many other girls that were experiencing exactly what I was experiencing made adapting to college life feel so natural.

Favorite Aspects of Mount Union
First, I’d say the faculty. Since Mount Union is a small school, you get to know everyone around you, especially professors. Educators from every department are more than willing to help their students succeed in every way possible. I can’t thank Mount Union enough for all the connections and relationships I’ve formed with my professors. Second, I would say the opportunities. This university allowed me to teach in a real classroom in my freshman year of college. I also got to travel to Florida for my marine biology class to study the ocean for two weeks. And that’s just the beginning! Not all colleges have these experiences embedded in their programs, but Mount Union does.

Advice for Future Students
Come to college with an open mind, and get involved as much as possible. Do things you don’t think you have an interest in, and you might be surprised about the connections you make and interests you develop.

Majoring in Biology Education
I didn’t originally want to go to college for biology or education. However, in my first semester I took a general biology class and fell in love. BIO 141 is the second biology class I’ve taken at the university, and I still talk about it today. I learned so much about plants and animals and I knew from that day I found my passion: biology. From that class I knew I never wanted to stop learning about the study of life. I was also really inspired by the biology department to become an educator myself. They were so thoughtful and genuinely cared about my success. I was so inspired to encourage others to feel the same way. For the second semester, I took my first education class and never looked back.

Experiential Learning
I’ve traveled to Florida for two weeks to study marine biology; I traveled to Georgia for spring break to do community service; I had the opportunity to do a two-year research project on woolly bears. I’ve also worked on a restoration project as an internship at the Wilderness Center. I was able to observe in classrooms and tutor students in my first year of deciding to go into education. I was also able to attend several biology and education seminars. My favorite experience was the trip to Florida, and doing research in a real biology lab.

Liberal Arts Education
The liberal arts education I’ve received has open my eyes to many different fields of study, specifically theology and religion. I’ve been able to take this perspective and compare and contrast it with my science major. In addition to that, I’ve been able to apply this to education and inspire my future students to be able to think for themselves and think from different perspectives. The number one thing this university has taught me is to make connections, and to collaborate with everyone I possibly can. Making strong connections and working with individuals that may not have the same background as you can open up a world of opportunities, and can provide a new perspective that you otherwise would not have seen.

Integrative Core Experience
The Integrative Core will help me make connections with my students. I will be able to take information from multiple fields and apply this knowledge to my classroom to make my lessons more relatable to the students. I’m also able to make connections with individuals outside science and education for collaboration purposes.

Faculty Attention
I could write a book about how influential, supportive, kind, and humorous Dr. Schneller is. He spreads so much love, and is so inviting and warm. He makes you feel comfortable and calm no matter how stressed you are. My freshman year, he helped my cope with anxiety by telling me, “If it won’t matter in five years, it shouldn’t matter for more than five minutes.” This simple statement has pulled me through so many tough classes, and I can’t thank him enough for being so kind and understanding.

Future Goals
My ultimate career goal is to teach high school science, and eventually go into administration, specifically focusing on curriculum. Mount Union’s education and biology departments have shaped me into the person I am today by providing me with guidance, support, feedback, and confidence to chase my dreams.

Educators from every department are more than willing to help their students succeed in every way possible. I can’t thank Mount Union enough for all the connections and relationships I’ve formed with my professors.

Fun Facts

What is your favorite holiday, and why?
Thanksgiving! A full day of food, friends, and family! What more could you ask for?
What is your favorite quote or motto?
“All you need is love.” – John Lennon and Paul McCartney
What three songs define your music tastes?
“Mother” by Florence and the Machine “Going to California” by Led Zeppelin “Big Yellow Taxi” by Joni Mitchell
What did you want to be when you grew up as a kid?
A teacher
What’s your favorite app?
Instagram
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