AIG Teacher as a Scientist

About My Fellowship (and me)

My name is Lena Deskins.  I am a mother of two wonderful girls-Ellie and Abbie- and a wife to a wonderful  man, Harold.  My family is very important to me.  They are why I do what I do.  They have supported me through many professional adventures- Kenan Fellows is one.  I teach at Sandy Ridge Elementary School in Durham, NC.  I teach students who are academically and intellectually gifted.  This is a challenge I took on 9 years ago.  I have been teaching for 20 years now.  I must tell you that during my internship we had been working together for about 2 weeks when we were out in the field and a scientist asked how long each of us had been teaching.  It is something we really had not discussed yet.  When I answered everyone was so shocked that I had to take a moment to count it up again to make sure.  Yep two decades!

I had heard about Kenan Fellows years ago and had even applied for a fellowship.  I interviewed for it and was very dishearten not to receive it.  I spent several years watching the fellowships come out each year but none really “spoke to me” until this year.  I am so glad to have applied again and continued seeking a Kenan Fellowship.

My Fellowship was a special group called the Citizen Science Kenan Fellows.  There was a group of us who bonded together in unique Kenan fashion.  I worked at the Museum of Natural Sciences with my mentor, Dr Stephanie Schuttler.  The experience impacted my practice in so very many ways.  I strongly encourage anyone considering the program to make the leap.  The Fellowship is something hard to describe.  I have tried on many occasions and I always find myself saying you just got to do it.  Apply and see for yourself!