Student Spotlight: Dan Voss

Student Spotlight: Dan Voss

By MSEd Office Staff

Q: What were you doing before you started at Northwestern?

A: I entered the MSEd program just a semester out of undergrad. My bachelor’s was in materials engineering at Iowa State University. As I moved into higher-level course work there, I realized that as my peers increasingly relished the details engineering focuses on, I wanted to talk more about big ideas. I also did a couple internships at a great company, loved my coworkers and enjoyed the work. Still, I knew that I wasn’t willing to pull all-nighters to get a manufacturing line running again.

 I wasn’t sure what to do next. I loved science, but options like science journalism and policy just didn’t feel right. Then I saw Bill Nye speak at Iowa State and it hit me: I wanted to teach, to inspire, to help prepare the next generation of curious and informed citizens and STEM innovators.

Q: Why did you choose Northwestern University’s Master of Science in Education Program?

A: I chose Northwestern's MSEd program for two main reasons. First, I appreciated the opportunities for research that Northwestern affords. While here I’ve been lucky enough to work for Brian Reiser, one of the originators of the Next Generations Science Standards, and to do some tremendously fun curriculum design (some of which I presented at the Illinois Science Educators Conference). What really sealed the deal, however, was that the people of the MSEd program made me feel at home, and I knew that this would be a great place for me to learn and grow.

3) What do you enjoy most about attending Northwestern?

I enjoy being at a large university and in the Chicago area. I’ve been involved in the Northwestern chapter of Engineers Without Borders-USA and took improv classes at iO in Chicago. Academically, I loved working with middle school students as part of my methods class and being pushed to consider the finer points of how students learn science.

Q: What was your experience with student teaching?

A: I started student teaching in January (in the middle of my program, for a variety of reasons). It was challenging and a lot of work, but I appreciated the feedback from my cooperating teachers and the chance to spend even more time around students. Then, in February, I slipped on ice and broke my ankle. I needed surgery and was consequently unable to walk for two months. I had to withdraw from student teaching, which was extremely frustrating. As I was waking up post-surgery, a nurse asked me how old my children were – apparently I’d been talking about my “kids” under anesthesia. I missed my students! But it helped that my classmates graciously supported my recovery, driving me to MSEd classes and bringing over the occasional meal. Thankfully I healed, and I’m enjoying another year in the MSEd community with a spring full of student teaching and job-hunting to look forward to!

**Dan recently accepted a physics/chemistry teaching position for next year at Boone High School in Iowa! 

Contact Us

Master of Science in Education School of Education & Social Policy

618 Garrett Place
Evanston, IL 60208
Northwestern University

Phone: 847/467-1458