I see teaching as a lifelong opportunity to deepen my understanding of science and scientific thinking. I cannot imagine more enriching work.”
While a freshman at Stanford University, Monica Sircar shared her interest in becoming a teacher. To her surprise, both her teachers and her friends cautioned against this choice. She was uncomfortable with the idea set forth by others that she should pursue a career that carries “more respect.” “I take issue with this notion. My enthusiasm for learning about and communicating science is the quality that supported my success as a student, and is what compels me towards a teaching career.”
Monica spent her childhood examining amphibians, reptiles and insects in the streams and woods of Iowa, Indiana and Ohio. After graduating from Reno High School in Reno, Nev., she brought this love of nature to Stanford University, where she studied as an undergraduate. In 2004, she received the Howard Hughes Memorial Grant for her undergraduate research on the neural correlates of depression.
At Stanford, Monica cultivated an interest not only in sexual health education and the neuroscience of emotion but also in sustainable agriculture and food production. Monica’s love for teaching and food are evident in the cooking and food craft demonstrations she conducts with several sustainability organizations including the Center for Urban Education in Sustainable Agriculture. “My favorite laboratories are my kitchen and my garden.”
As a fan of the Bay Area, Monica feels, “It’s the perfect mix of exhilarating human energy and stunning natural beauty.”