Biology instructor guides students toward success

While working as a teaching assistant in his doctoral program at the University of Washington, instructor Josh Whorley discovered what he wanted to do in biology – teach. Since 2007, he has guided his students toward their own passions in STEM fields.

“I’m very impressed by my students here,” Josh said. “They are so focused and know exactly what they are giving up to be here. I hope to be able to offer them the skills they need to meet their goals.”

Josh teaches Human Anatomy and Physiology, Introduction to Undergraduate Research and Animal Biology. In the classroom, he creates a foundation for his students to achieve success by focusing on practical skills. These include applying the scientific method and comprehending scientific literature, which will only help students in future coursework and in their professional careers.

Josh also encourages students to take advantage of undergraduate research opportunities and mentors students throughout the process. This often means getting students out of the classroom and into the field to do hands-on research, such as when he worked with a former student to research biodiversity in Seattle parks. While sometimes he meets with students who don’t quite know what they want to study, he enjoys working with them identify different research projects that align with their interests.

“I like helping students realize that doing research is totally attainable for anyone who is interested,” Josh said. “It’s so rewarding watching students build on their skills and, when they transfer, they can do it successfully because they already have connections and research experience.”