Amanda Brooks, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences
Published May 2017
Amanda Brooks is known for her enthusiastic approach to learning and research. She is highly respected for her ability to motivate and engage her students. She teaches pharmaceutical biotechnology to first-year professional pharmacy students and cardiovascular engineering in connection with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in biology with an emphasis on genetic engineering at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, and her doctorate in molecular biology at the University of Wyoming, Laramie.
How did you decide to pursue your profession?
My parents were in higher education, and I grew up in that community. I have always loved science. When I was a sophomore in high school, a young woman who had a master’s degree in genetics substituted for my biology class. I was so impressed by her and the science. It was the first time I remember thinking how powerful science can be, and that as a woman I can do that.
What do you like best about teaching?
I really enjoy seeing students get inspired and succeed. I like challenging myself to come up with new and better ways to engage the students.
What drives you as an excellent instructor?
I want to challenge my students, but more than teaching them how to pass the next test, I want to inspire them to love to learn and ask questions.
What is the best thing about your job?
The students and professionals with whom I am fortunate enough to work. I love seeing my students come up with new ideas and succeed.
How would you describe your teaching style?
I do not like traditional lecture-style teaching. I would much rather have an active classroom.
How do you connect with students?
I try to convey personal stories and experiences when I teach so the students can hopefully relate to the topic and connect with it personally.
What is the most common trait or traits of successful students?
Above all, successful students want to learn and they are willing to work hard.
What have you learned from your students?
I sometimes have a tendency to get too serious when I have a lot of deadlines coming up. It is at those times that my students remind me how much fun science is. We have a great time in the lab, celebrating each other’s successes.
What is something every student should experience before they graduate from NDSU?
Every student on NDSU campus should experience the thrill of working in a lab.
What is your favorite NDSU tradition?
I really enjoy alumni day in the College of Health Professions.
What makes NDSU a special place?
NDSU is unique in that we have world-class research in a relatively close knit community. The community environment lends itself to interdisciplinary collaborations, which I believe are essential to solve society’s biggest challenges.