Meet the Chairs: Cara Wall-Scheffler and Jenny Tenlen

Professor Cara Wall-Scheffler

We love working with our colleagues in Biology, partly because they share our intrinsic passion for trying to understand the world better, and also because we all participate in the common goal of encouraging our students to reach their full learning potential.

Research is at the core of who we are as a department and we are committed to preparing our students for careers in research, medicine, and the sciences by engaging them in our own active research projects, both in independent studies and in classroom laboratory work. Active involvement in the real process of science teaches students to think critically and apply what they have learned across disciplines to solve novel problems — skills that are essential to every career, as well as to being engaged citizens.

This research is done in the context of our shared Christian faith. This faith influences our dialogs on faith and science issues, and is core to why we chose to be scientists working as educators--preparing students to most effectively engage and resolve problems to help those in need.

To our students: we feel blessed with the opportunity to spend four years of your life focused on your education. This comes with a heavy responsibility to use what you learn to help others. Whether your career takes you into the medical field, research science, or some other biology-related field, you will find both the technical expertise and the caring guidance from the faculty at SPU that will allow you to hone your talents and apply them in service to the larger world — while at SPU and long after you leave.

Cara Wall-Scheffler and Jenny Tenlen
Co-Chairs, Department of Biology

Faculty Contact

Jenny Tenlen

Associate Professor and Co-Chair of Biology
PhD, University of Washington

Phone: 206-281-2007
Office: Eaton 113
First Generation student

Cara Wall-Scheffler

Professor and Co-Chair of Biology
PhD, University of Cambridge

Phone: 206-281-2201
Office: Eaton 107


Why I Teach at SPU

Cara Wall-Scheffler, Professor of Biology

“I teach at SPU because it is a place that values academic freedom and the love of learning. We have extremely talented students and colleagues who all ask wonderful questions. It is a place that enlivens the mind and pushes ideas into new contexts.”

Biology | Why I Teach

Why I Teach at SPU

Jenny Tenlen, Associate Professor of Biology

“I teach at SPU because both teaching and research are valued, and my students’ enthusiasm for my research has rekindled my own passion for research. I am part of a strong and nurturing department that cares deeply about our students. I particularly appreciate that I can really get to know my students and colleagues, and have been inspired by their goals, dreams, and accomplishments.”