Dr. Justice Walker is a biotechnologist and assistant professor who studies teaching and learning at the University of Texas, El Paso
In our conversation on May 5th, 2021, Justice described his work that focuses on design in the teaching of life sciences. At UTEP, he introduces biotechnology to future teachers in ways that can inspire their students to become engaged. His own background, that he describes as “hodgepodge,” has worked at the intersection of many fields and but through all his training – undergrad and graduate — he made time to teach. His pursued his interests in science and humanities as an undergraduate Biology and English major at University of Miami. His masters work at Penn focused on biotechnology engineering and education for his PhD, also at Penn.
Justice has found a way to bring his love of education and science together, relying on his ability to stay open and flexible and to learn new things from all endeavors, whether they work as expected or not. His resiliency grew out his many experiences trying new things throughout his growing up, from middle school to high school to college, learning from the big and small successes and setbacks along the way. His willingness to try new things continues with BioBuilder where he jumped in to teach a BioBuilder Teacher workshop the first time it was held at FirstHand Lab in Philly, with some fan-filled moments talking to illustrator Karen Ingram, and at UTEP where he is setting up a teaching research lab in ways that bring biotechnology to the maker space there.