September 6, 2019
Wheaton College welcomes Betsy Leong, who is serving the College as a Visiting Instructor of Education. She is also working on STEM outreach opportunities geared to students in local K-12 schools.
Name: Betsy Leong
M.A., Educational Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2012
B.S., double major in Biology and Secondary Education, Wheaton College, 2007
What was your favorite class in college?
Hard question! Ecology in the Black Hills ranks very high. Really all the classes I took there. It’s an incredible place to study science.
Before Wheaton, what were you doing?
I was a high school biology and physical science teacher in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. But I joined the Wheaton faculty in 2013. For the past 6 years I have been the Science Secondary Education coordinator teaching the methods of science teaching for both middle and high school and supervising science student teachers. This year my role has been expanded to include additional STEM Outreach opportunities the Science Division wants to pursue with our local K-12 schools, as well as partnering with Admissions to host STEM recruiting events for prospective students. I am also serving as a Visiting Instructor of Education.
What big question are you trying to answer through your work?
How can I best prepare our students to become teachers who promote understanding (in their area of science) while also continually pursuing growth in their fields?
What’s one interesting or intriguing thing that you have learned recently?
That as we become experts in our fields through deep work and research, we increase our brains biases towards different fields, which in turn puts a certain lens of understanding over what we are studying. Some forms of bias are good and necessary and some taint and stunt our growth.
Do you get butterflies the night before the first day of school?
Absolutely. Year 13 of teaching, 7th at Wheaton, and I absolutely still get (excited) butterflies.
What would you have liked to tell the freshman version of yourself about going to college? Take more classes outside your majors. There wasn’t a whole lot of space in my schedule due to the double major, but I wish I could have taken more electives in other departments.
When you’re not teaching or researching, what do you like to do?
I am also a wife to a husband of 11 years. Yes, we met while serving on CU together at Wheaton. Adorable! I am also a mom to some tiny humans—two boys, ages 2 and 5. So those 3 people fill my heart and life so much. We live in Oak Park and enjoy everything it has to offer with its proximity to Chicago. We love good food, our church friends who have become family and heading downtown as much as possible.
Read more about the Wheaton College Education Department here.