#newtoACC: Kisha Barrett
September 30, 2020
Our #newtoACC series welcomes new faculty to our Austin Community College Riverbat family.
Meet LaKisha (Kisha) Barrett, ACC’s new Biology faculty member!
What inspired you to apply to teach at Austin Community College?
“Start here. Get there.” It is all in these words. I feel honored to take part in my students’ educational journey. Seeing my students recognize their potential, identify with their dreams, explore new interests, and accomplish their goals; allows me to feel more connected with my passion: facilitating learning. Student success is the best and most rewarding part of my job. I am grateful to share the wonder of science, relate it to everyday life, and engage with the professionals of the future.
What are you currently teaching?
Cellular and Molecular Biology (Biol 1406)
Microbiology for the Health Sciences (Biol 2420)
Three words that best describe you?
Caring, passionate, dreamer.
How do you keep up to date in your field?
I am passionate about science communication. Engaging students, professionals, researchers, and the public with dynamic and understandable presentations of principles and hot research topics brings science to life, makes it relatable, and opens up discussion. This summer, I completed an online course on “Writing in the Sciences.” It gave me a refresher on the learner perspective and affirmed the importance of clear, impactful, and stimulating science communication.
Do you have a motto or mantra or personal philosophy?
Each year I challenge myself to find a new byline that reflects my professional and personal mantra. As I enjoy my first year at ACC, I have chosen Bruce Lee. He was a powerful force and ahead of his time. “Empty your mind…Be formless, shapeless – like water. It can take on any form, any state. Be water, my friend.” (Adapted from Bruce Lee) This motto speaks to me on so many levels. It reminds me to appreciate the perspective of others, to have a growth mindset, to be present in and adapt to my environment, and to be accepting of change.
As an instructor, how do you create a classroom culture that intentionally welcomes and supports students from different racial/ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds?
Creating a campus culture of equity, inclusion, and diversity means to me: vulnerability, honesty, transparency, active listening, and stimulating engaging dialog. In my classroom, I share my educational, professional, and life experiences, my aspirations, and my passions to show that there are strands that connect us all on a human level. Next, I aim to foster a safe environment, to get messy and learn (thanks, Ms. Frizzle and the Magic School Bus), and create an open forum to share perspectives and build community. I enjoy telling awesome science jokes in class; a little laughter always brings the class closer.
What is the best thing about your job?
Best thing….. I get to share every day about the awesomeness of science! I can enrich it with my educational and professional experiences and provide some of these same experiences for my students, especially in the lab. Although this semester is in a virtual lab space, it is still so exhilarating to see the students make the connections and climb Bloom’s taxonomy through experiential learning! I have had an interesting path to ACC, and I am grateful for all the experiences, interactions, and learning opportunities that helped shape me. Now, I can grow into a permanent role and make a difference for my students and my community.
Welcome Kisha to ACC!
Post a comment below or email Kisha Barrett at email@example.com.