Department News

Elaine Sia: Teaching the ‘how’ as well as the ‘what’ in science

October 27, 2021

Elaine Sia’s first experience teaching came as a graduate student at the Columbia University Medical Center.

“I began to get a sense for the diverse strategies students used to learn material,” she says. “It became clear that simply taking good notes and memorizing them is not enough to achieve proficiency in the sciences.”

From those experiences working in small groups and one-on-one with students, Sia developed a teaching philosophy that still guides her today as a professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Rochester. “Good teaching is about building relationships,” she says. “Students must be encouraged, supported, and provided with the tools to be active participants in the learning process.”