Instructor Spotlight – Maryam Moussavi

Photo source: Maryam Moussavi

Maryam Moussavi is a Lecturer in the Departments of Botany and Zoology. She has a BSc degree in Biology (Cell/Genetics), MSc and a PhD degree in Medicine (Experimental Medicine) from UBC.

During her PhD Maryam explored therapeutic potential of oncolytic viruses in treatment of prostate cancer.

Maryam has taught a variety of courses at UBC, including BIOL 340 and BIOL 341, plus most of the first year biology courses (BIOL 112, 121, and 140).

What do you most enjoy about being an Instructor?

My students! I gain so much joy from interacting with my students it really makes it easy to get out of bed in the morning (just don’t tell my kids). It’s always exciting to see them learning new things and ideas and then utilizing them; plus, I get to learn lots from them as well!

How would you describe your teaching style?

Interactive & Conversational. I don’t think I have the ability to just lecture as I always found it easier to learn through discussions and so I try and do the same. It’s amazing how often you grasp new ideas and principles without working as hard just through conversations and more relaxed dialogue.

What is a fun fact about you that people may not know?

Between K-12 I attended 7 different schools, in 4 different cities, on 3 different continents.

How has your unique background influenced your teaching?

As a result of numerous schools, teaching styles, and teaching environments, I feel I have a unique ability and opportunity to use my personal feelings and memories of these times and use them to better connect with all of my students.

What is something that you are currently doing in your course that you are excited about?

Turning a very “hands on” Molecular Biology Lab into an online, but still interactive lab!

What opportunities relating to teaching and learning have you been a part of?

I was granted a SoTL Seed Grant to evaluate materials that I have made to aid students in scientific writing. I am now in a position to take advantage of the preliminary findings and more detailed feedback to further incorporate in labs for my students.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love to bake (especially with my kids). I also enjoy my yoga time and who doesn’t like to just sit down with Netflix and chill?

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