Let’s get to know them better!
What’s been the funniest or craziest thing to happen in your classroom?
McWoods: Several years ago, I was working in my office and my undergraduate lab assistant came running in. Turns out, a wild turkey had flown in the third-floor window of our lab and was wreaking havoc. Everyone gathered around the door with their jaws dropped, staring at this bird prancing around. Security kindly escorted her off campus, but that is something I will truly never forget.
Smith: I think it is funny when we get to the urine analysis lab protocol and see students’ reactions when they realize they provide the class samples. Or they’ll be analyzing their classmate’s pee.
I don’t think they think it’s as funny as I do though…
Where are you from?
McWoods: Kansas City! Born and raised.
Smith: I grew up in El Dorado, Arkansas.
What brought you to Missouri State?
McWoods: I was interested in biomedical science graduate degrees, so that’s why I graduated with one—GO BEARS!
A BMS research faculty member spoke with my senior undergraduate class, and I was super interested. Missouri State does a great job to cultivate supportive and cooperative relationships between faculty and graduate students.
Smith: After completing my doctorate, I was a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Nebraska for two years when I found this opportunity to be an assistant professor of kinesiology.
I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to teach content I’m passionate about while continuing my research interests in science teaching and learning. It’s been a full-circle experience doing what I set out to accomplish and what I enjoy immensely.
What’s your favorite part about working here?
McWoods: The STUDENTS! They are so eager to learn everything they can. Taking them to clinical settings and watching them apply what they have learned in skills lab and the classroom is incredibly rewarding.
Smith: I just love working with students. Whether it be in the classroom, advising or on thesis projects, it’s truly the most rewarding aspect of my job. I remember being a student and having difficulties with navigating academics and life at the same time. My goal is to continually improve students’ educational experiences.
Do you have a favorite class to teach?
McWoods: One of my favorite classes to teach is my BMS 100: Essentials in Human Biology. This class is for nonscience majors, and we have a blast. We look at a wide array of things from the processes of our organ systems to the fundamentals of healthcare genetics.
Smith: I love the challenge of making Applied Human Physiology a student-centered classroom. Students can build upon their understanding of anatomy and dive deeper into systems to learn what makes our bodies tick. By the time they get to physiology, students seem to be more willing to engage in classroom discussion with peers who they have become more familiar with.