As a teacher, I work on connecting with students in order to help them become outstanding problem-solvers as well as scientists.”

Melanie’s Story

Melanie Villanueva graduated from University of California, San Diego, with master’s degrees in physical chemistry and education and a teaching credential in secondary education. “I have always had a passion for education. I chose to study chemistry because of the positive influence of my high school chemistry teacher.”

As an undergraduate chemistry major at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, Melanie worked with the Chemistry Higher Education Workgroup developing interactive software for chemistry textbooks and was involved with STEMTEC, a program which worked to improve high school science education. She moved to San Diego to pursue a PhD in chemistry. Although she found the research fascinating, she was more inspired by teaching. “Today, I believe that joining the Teacher Education Program at UC San Diego was one of the best choices I have made in my entire life.”