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20 Under 30: Amanda Waters

Amanada Waters is a genomic researcher and science educator who discovered her passion for research working in a faculty lab as an undergraduate.

By living a professional life in which she’s able to combine scientific research and teaching, third-year Ph.D. student Amanda Waters (B.S. Biology, '10) says, “I truly love where I am and what I am doing. Research and discovery are challenging, yet rewarding, and I get to help students fall in love with biology. I have the best of both worlds.”

Waters, who says that her motto is, “Science doesn’t always work the way you think it should, but that’s what makes it exciting,” says that she hopes to earn her Ph.D., gain teaching experience and contribute quality work to her research field. “One of my long-term goals is to become a tenured faculty member at a teaching university. I want to maintain an active role in research, but my true passion is teaching.”

As for her own teaching philosophy, she says, “I strive to facilitate students’ science education by helping them understand and draw conclusions about current scientific findings, and realize how scientific theory and research affects their daily lives.”

She adds that her love of biology was fueled by many CBS faculty, and mentions Dr. Melissa Palmer, for whom she was an undergraduate TA, as well as Dr. Nathan Springer. “While I was an undergraduate, I took his genetics course, then worked as his undergrad lab assistant,” she says. “I learned important lab techniques, gained fieldwork experience and was further intrigued by the questions one could ask and answer using genetic and genomic tools and techniques.”