Associate Professor of Biology and Biology Program Coordinator
“Biology is all around us, and students need to understand that their interactions can have an ecological impact.”
Getting Students Excited about Science Dr. Irma Santoro wants her students to understand the world around them—that science is not just a subject in a textbook.
“I guide students to be able to have intelligent conversations about science and not be intimidated or scared to do so; it’s a part of our everyday lives,” she said. “If I can excite anybody about science or have students ask and want to ask questions, that’s exciting to me.”
Small Classes Create Better Understanding Recently coming to Reinhardt from a larger institution, Santoro already sees the difference that it makes for students to be in smaller class sizes.
“The small class sizes give me the opportunity to let students work in groups, instead of me standing up and lecturing all the time,” explained Santoro. “Students are able to work with different personalities and work ethics, and activities can often be much more relevant when they work with their peers.”
Interested in All Sciences As a molecular geneticist, Santoro enjoys understanding how genes work and how genes get fixed; she has done research in the field for more than 12 years. She is interested, though, in science all across the board.
“I started out as a human geneticist, then I moved to mice, and then to yeast,” said Santoro. “I have moved down the evolutionary species; it gives me a broad background. I can cross over the different fields of science, and that’s what I can bring into the classroom.”
Paying It Forward Like many undergraduates, she changed her major several times during college before she discovered her passion for biology. It was working in a biology lab that turned her to the field.
“I was a pre-vet major and then a pre-med major,” explained Santoro. “It was then that I started working in a lab a few hours a week and realized that biology was my real passion. My undergrad experience opened my eyes to see that there is so much you can do with a biology degree. I want to pay that forward to my students.”