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Kevin M. Dorn2013 Rising Alumni

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After two years teaching high school science in Saint Louis with Teach For America, Kevin M. Dorn returned to Minnesota for graduate school and was awarded a fellowship from the National Science Foundation. He has received the Outstanding Performance Award for Teaching Assistants from the College of Biological Sciences.


Graduate Fellow, Plant Biological Sciences
College of Biological Sciences, University of Minnesota

If you could have coffee with anyone from history, who would it be?

Coffee with Basho
A Great Japanese Poet
Invented Haikus

What skills are important to succeed as a young professional today?

Adaptability: The world is changing so quickly due to technological advances that the jobs young people enter into today will drastically change throughout their careers. The ability to adapt to changes that don’t yet exist will be critical. Creativity: Have a diverse skill set and be able to apply those skills to novel situations. Communication: Technology has changed the way we interact. I grew up during the Internet boom, thus instant messaging, email, Facebook, and other social media are second nature to me. However, technology sometimes gets in the way of the human aspect of good communication, and continually developing those interpersonal skills is important.

What is your favorite memory from the University of Minnesota?

Meeting my wife, Katie.

What gets you excited about work?

The best part about being a scientist is that I’m able to combine the excitement of learning things no one has ever known with being able to share my love for science with others.

What was the impact and benefit of your experience in CEHD?

As an undergraduate, I was a teaching assistant for Jay Hatch in Postsecondary Teaching and Learning (PsTL). He helped foster my love for teaching early on, and when I came back for graduate school, he was a tremendous mentor for my practicum and continues to be an incredible friend.

The PsTL certificate coursework helped further develop my understanding of multicultural education and how to effectively teach at the postsecondary level. I believe what I learned during the program will help me when I become a college professor.