Ben Davis graduated from NC State in 2004 with a B.S. in Microbiology. He then returned to earn a Master’s of Microbial Biotechnology (M.M.B.) in 2007. Since his time at NC State, Ben has had a successful career as a science teacher in his home town of Robbinsville, NC, where he lives happily with his wife and two daughters (ages 3 and 7). He also has become a sort of informal recruiter for NCSU – at least eight of his former students have attended NC State!
We reached out to Ben to find out about his experiences since graduating.
Did you go straight into teaching from NCSU?
“Well, not exactly. I graduated with my B.S. in Microbiology in 2004, but came back for my M.M.B. in 2005. As part of the Master’s program, I worked as a Teaching Assistant in the Biology Department (shoutout to Dr. Ferzli, Dr. Parks and Patty Aune!). I found I really liked teaching, and was kinda good at it. A couple months before graduation, I found out there was a teaching vacancy back in my hometown, and the rest is history, as they say.”
What do you enjoy most about teaching?
“I am a giant science nerd. I love sharing my excitement for learning and all things science with my students. Making personal connections with people and getting them excited to learn something new is really pretty awesome.”
What do you consider your biggest accomplishment in your career?
“I was chosen as Teacher of the Year in 2019, which was exciting because it is a title voted on by the faculty each year. I would also say that a big accomplishment was when I got $120,000 in grant funding from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund for an after-school science program.
However, my biggest career accomplishments are really my students’ accomplishments. I’ve taught two Park Scholars and helped a hundred others get into Ivy League schools, community colleges, or whatever their dream school was. I have coached gold-medal, Science Olympiad competitors. My students have been state champion football players, wrestlers, and runners, but even more than that, they’ve turned into good citizens, parents, and people.”
What do you miss most about NCSU?
“I miss the people…there were so many of them. No matter what your interest, you could always find someone who was into the same things you were. The students, faculty, and staff were a big part of making the big campus feel small and making every student feel important.”