Student Profile: Kurt Patzelt


Kurt Patzelt came to Rutgers University as an undergraduate with the intent to become a biology teacher. While studying Marine and Costal Sciences at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS), he was admitted to the Graduate School of Education’s (GSE) Five-Year Teacher Education Program. The nature of this program allowed him to take courses in subjects that were especially interesting to him while also being introduced to the practices and theories of teaching. Courses like Biology and Society taught at the undergraduate level by GSE faculty began to bridge the subject of biology into the practice of teaching. Upon graduation from SEBS in May 2013, Kurt became a full-time graduate student at the GSE.  

In fall 2012 the GSE launched a new scholarship campaign that encouraged students in their final year of study to contribute to the scholarship of their peers in honor of their class year. Entitled Students Supporting Students the scholarship program raised $2,777 last year. Kurt was the first recipient of this scholarship. 

“The fact that the scholarship came from my fellow students makes it much more personal and relevant. We’re all students,” said Kurt. “We’re all in this together. And supporting each other exemplifies that.”

To demonstrate his gratitude and commitment to the values the scholarship supports, Kurt was among the first contributors to 2014 Students Supporting Students campaign.

Kurt is currently student teaching tenth grade biology at East Brunswick High School. This hands-on experience is a regular component of the New Jersey Teacher Education curriculum and allows him to shape his perceptions and techniques in the classroom. Through interactions with the students Kurt is able to witness how they become engaged with course material.

Kurt’s coursework at the GSE exposed him to current practices and policies affecting the teaching profession. Having the knowledge and confidence to converse with upper level faculty at his student teaching site on topics such as the new science standards has been invaluable for Kurt.

After graduation in May 2014, Kurt plans to teach biology while continuing his education. Although his interest is in the biological sciences, he values the importance of having a well-rounded education.


To learn more and contribute to the 2014 Student Supporting Students campaign click here

To learn more about the Ed.M. in Biological Science Education click here