Scranton Welcomes New Biology Professor to Campus

If you’re a returning student, the start of a new school year is filled with familiar faces. Although we recognize first-years and transfer students, we don’t often don’t think about another group that is just settling in: newly hired faculty.

Dr. Galen performs research in Alaska on the study of birds and parasites.

Spencer Galen, Ph.D. is one of those new professors. He teaches General Biology and General Physiology Lab at Scranton. This is his first full-time job as a professor.

“It has been a dream of mine to become a professor for many years,” Dr. Galen said, “It is thrilling to finally be living that reality.”

This semester, Dr. Galen is teaching both of his classes with a hybrid method of some in-person meetings and some online. Dr. Galen said he wanted to have some in-person interaction while also reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission for both his students and himself.

“My thought was that hybrid teaching would be a good balance between these two goals, though it has not been without challenges,” Dr. Galen said.

The current situation has made Dr. Galen more aware of his students’ varying needs.

“Some people have been affected more than others by the pandemic,” Dr. Galen said, “I have tried to keep that in mind this semester.”

Dr. Galen’s hybrid schedule allows him to interact with and meet some of his students and colleagues. Dr. Galen said his brilliant students and colleagues are his favorite part about teaching at Scranton.

“It’s exciting going to work every day in such an intellectually stimulating environment,” Dr. Galen said.

Dr. Galen spends a lot of time prepping for his class periods, especially because it is his first time teaching these classes. Dr. Galen said he never understood how much time when into class preparation as a student.

“Even if you are an expert in the subject, preparing for a single class period takes far longer than you can ever imagine,” Dr. Galen said, “As a student, I never understood just how much time goes into one class period.”

Dr. Galen earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware, his master’s degree from the University of New Mexico and his doctoral degree from the Richard Gilder Graduate School in New York City. In addition to his academic work, Dr. Galen also participates in scientific research regarding ornithology, the study of birds, and parasitology, the study of parasites.

“I study birds and parasites in the scope of how organisms interact with each other and their environment and evolutionary biology,” Dr. Galen said.

Apart from his teaching and his research, Dr. Galen enjoys hiking, bird watching and taking photos of wildlife.

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