A deep belief that Mers has is that arts-integrated STEM allows for rigorous and joyful learning through creative/critical thinking.
Mers (they/them) grew up as a shy kid, but the magic of choreography dance culture in East Side San Jose brought them out of their shell. They identified as a scholar-creative early in life, and this stance has remained with them throughout their educational career. They graduated at UC San Diego with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Chemistry with a minor in Business, all while directing two choreography dance teams. Their leadership role in dance spaces was what sparked Mers’s love for teaching.
Before becoming a teacher, Mers was a scientific research associate at Genentech, using analytical chemistry to support research and development. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted their initial plans to join a teacher education program in 2020, and they pivoted to a staff researcher role for UCSF. There they trained lab staff on using advanced lab instruments to support brain tumor imaging research. They followed through with their graduate school goals by completing the Berkeley Teacher Education Program in 2023 with an MA/credential. They student-taught chemistry at Berkeley High School through the Arts and Humanities Academy, focusing on the integration of arts with chemistry.
Mers is currently a Knowles Teacher Fellow, where they aim to expand what it means to be smart in STEM through collective inquiry. They are excited to bring what they’re learning as a Knowles Fellow to Latitude High.
In their spare time, Mers loves dancing, learning new crafts, top rope climbing, asking
introspective questions, and picnicking.