JHU Center for Biotechnology Education Welcomes New Instructor, Dr. Beatrice Kondo
by Aliyah DeVille
Everyone knows that doing work you are passionate about isn’t really work. Dr. Beatrice Kondo, the new JHU Center for Biotechnology lecturer and program coordinator, has devoted her life to pursuing hers. And with her new job at the Center, which is part of the Krieger School of Arts & Sciences Advanced Academic Programs, she’s found the perfect combination of her two loves: biology and education.
“I’ve always had this innate curiosity about life,” Kondo said. “I like to understand the world around me.”
After finishing her PhD in 2006, the former Johns Hopkins University undergraduate biology lecturer went on to receive a teaching post doc at Cornell College in Iowa in hopes of marrying her two interests. There, she cultivated a passion for developing new methods of teaching as she began instructing at an innovative liberal arts college. She arrived at JHU’s Homewood campus shortly after that.
Now, as program coordinator at the Montgomery County Campus, one of Kondo’s many duties will be to serve as an academic advisor to the program’s graduate biotech students. She also will be active in the campus’ K-12 outreach and will teach a number of graduate courses, including featured courses within the new Post Master’s Graduate Certificate in Sequence Analysis and Genomics.
Kondo is especially excited about her new role with the Center because of her passion for incorporating different teaching styles into her teaching. She said that she feels the unique nature of part-time graduate education will allow her to further this interest.
For example, after working as a graduate teaching assistant while finishing her doctorate, Kondo was inspired to adapt a peer-to-peer instruction model that encourages group work amongst students. She believes that learning from peers is an important way to give students a different way of interacting with the information.
As a teaching assistant, she worked with mentor Dr. Phil Sokolove who made Kondo aware of the need for students to have one-on-one guidance when it came to studying and writing scientific papers. Kondo works with students individually to ensure understanding. Dr. Sokolove also helped to shape the way Kondo designed labs for her undergraduate students. Kondo says she sometimes has students design their own experiments to encourage them to get more invested in the project. The students’ understanding is her number one priority.
Dr. Kondo is truly an educator at heart. Whether it’s figuring out new ways to keep her students engaged or deciding on the best methods of getting results out of her students, she is constantly trying to improve her talents and push herself.
And according to Kondo, teaching is more than just a profession for her. It’s a way for her to increase her own understanding of the world as she helps others do the same.