Assistant Biology professor Dr. Emily Flynn started teaching at Cazenovia College in the fall semester of 2016. In that time, Flynn has taught biology courses including Human Anatomy, Human Biology, Cell and Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, and Genetics.
Flynn brings a love for biology to her classroom. Her passion for lifelong learning started as an undergraduate when she was asked to be a teaching assistant (TA), something that commonly is only asked of graduate students. She gained experience as a TA during her undergraduate program, as well as during her Ph.D. program.
Starting her educational journey studying biochemistry at Northern Michigan University, Flynn found her passion in a genetics course. She adds, “It was the most exciting course that I have ever taken. The professor was just so passionate and enthusiastic, it just made the class so much fun.”
After graduating from Northern Michigan University with her bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry, she continued her education at Michigan State University and earned her doctorate in Genetics. Soon after, she became an adjunct professor at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, Minnesota. She was an assistant professor at a small school in Southern Minnesota (South Central College) for three years before accepting a full-time teaching position at Cazenovia College.
Why Cazenovia College?
After her experience at a small state school, Flynn understood the unique experience small institutions provide students. So when she saw that Cazenovia College was looking for a biology professor, she jumped at the chance to be part of the Caz family.
When asked why she chose to teach at Cazenovia, Flynn responds, “The thing I like most about teaching at Cazenovia College is the fact that students come first. The class sizes are small and students have an individual experience.”
Flynn prides herself on learning the students’ names the first couple weeks of school and getting to know what drives them. She enjoys the conversations she has with them about the course materials, but more importantly, the real interactions she has with them when they ask her for advice, or the excitement they show when they land their first job.
Best Part About Cazenovia College
Flynn fell in love with Cazenovia College from the very first moment she stepped on campus, which is a similar experience that many of our students feel during their first visit. Right from the start, she knew she was home.
“From day one, the biology professors make their students feel welcomed. They hold a meeting for first year students to ask questions,” comments Flynn. “We talk about how you purchase textbooks at the bookstore, the importance of attending Quad Day and getting involved on campus, and where different offices are on campus.”
Flynn shares that the Cazenovia College learning experience is unique. Students have the opportunity to choose from a variety of elective courses that interest them. She adds, “On top of that, students have the option to think outside of the box. The capstone course also allows students to study a topic that they are passionate about.”
When asked about a moment she was most proud of her students, Flynn responses, “I have had multiple occasions when I was very proud of my students’ accomplishments. A couple of my students were dual majors in biology and psychology, so I attended the psychology poster presentations and was blown away by what a wonderful and professional job they had done. I was also very excited when one of my star students was a recipient of a division award.”
All faculty also have those ah-ha moments, where a light bulb goes off and there is a learning experience that sparks something within the students. Flynn shares a special moment in one of her Human Anatomy classes where she wasn’t able to do the dissection she was planning on. She decided that a mink was the closest to her original plan, so she got creative and worked with students on her first ever mink dissection.
“I have never done a mink dissection before, so the students thought it was amusing that I was right there with them doing a mink dissection,” comments Flynn. “They would catch me having ah-ha moments, because I would see what things were the same on the mink versus other dissections I have done in the past.”
Favorite Event at Cazenovia College
Students participate in many events and activities outside of the classroom. One of Flynn’s favorite events is “Science is Fun! Night” - an event for local kids of all ages who are interested in learning about biology, chemistry, psychology, and forensics at hands-on stations in the College science labs.
Cazenovia College students from several academic programs set up stations in the Eckel Hall Science Labs for students to learn with interactive activities. Some of the most popular activities include human biology and equine anatomy. [Learn more about last year’s Science Night by watching our highlight video.]
Message to Parents
When asked what parents should know about the experience students will have in her classroom, Flynn responds, “In my class students are going to be pushed hard and earn their degree. However, they are going to have fun and develop marketable skills. Marketable skills such as punctuality, problem solving, and critical thinking skills.”
Flynn prepares students with skills that will help them land their first career job after graduation, as well as prepare for graduate programs.
Learn more about Flynn through our Faculty Spotlight video.