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Small Change, Big Impact

How Teaching Became This Scientist's Calling

Photo by Sarah and Chris Rhoads

The Wilds

Tara Maloney was working in the lab of a biopharmaceutical company that developed drugs to treat rheumatoid arthritis, tumors, even cancer. She liked her job, but she had reached a plateau: "I knew I could either continue to work in the lab, or try something new."

That's how she found her true calling. On "a whim," Maloney began teaching chemistry and biology at Eastside Catholic High School in Sammamish, Washington. It was a fit. She could use her skills as a scientist, and she could challenge students to think about how science and religion complement each other.

"I believe God puts us where we need to be," says Maloney. But somehow she had to earn her teaching certification while still teaching. She chose Seattle Pacific University's master's degree program in teaching science and mathematics.

"I chose SPU because of its vision to engage the culture and change the world," she explains. "That's what a teacher does every day."