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About Mary Poffenroth

During her six years of teaching at SJSU, she has made innovation in science education a priority. Partnering with Wiley & Sons, she created original visual media and became a contributing author to the Visualizing Human Biology textbook and the Wiley iWonder Series (2010-2012). Mary specializes in large lecture formats (125 to 400 students), leads a team of 14 instructional student assistants, and is course coordinator for two general education courses. Leveraging her enormous class population, Mary created an outdoor, environmental student volunteer program. To date, over 2,000 students have volunteered over 8,000 work hours to local, environmental non-profit organizations. In 2012, she was awarded a DRC Outstanding Faculty Award and an IES-eCampus Grant. Her newest endeavor, Global Citizenship, is an integrative, team taught GE course that will help expand the horizons of interdisciplinary courses at SJSU. In 2013, she became one of 15 faculty members to receive a Salzburg Global Fellowship and will be joining the Salzburg Global Seminar in Austria over summer session.


Present Lecturer AY-A, Biological Sciences, San Jose State University



2014 QM Higher Education Online Course Peer Reviewer Professional Development Grant
San Jose State University
2013 ETS Criterion Implementation Grant
San Jose State University
2013 Innovations in Teaching Grant
San Jose State University
Role: Principal Investigator
2013 Textbook Alternatives Project Grant
San Jose State University
2012 eCampus Online Course Development Grant
San Jose State University
Role: Principal Investigator
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Honors and Awards

  • 2012. Outstanding Faculty Award. San Jose State University Disability Resource Center (DRC)
  • 2005. Dierks-Morgan Scholarship
  • 2004. Laurie & Betty Davison Scholarship
  • 2004. Arthur & Karin Nelson Research Fellowship
  • 1997. John F. Kennedy HS Outstanding Community Service Award
  • 2013-2014. Fellow. Salzburg Global Seminar, U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy: National Top Ten Program


  • Human Biology
  • The Living World
  • Human Understanding
  • Environmental Biology
  • Environmental Studies
  • Ecology Lab
  • Animal Biology Lab

Contact Information


Publications (5)

Thesis (1)

Posters (1)