Kimia Jahangiri ’22
HOMETOWN: Henrico, Virginia
MAJOR: chemistry; concentration in secondary education
WHAT'S NEXT: working as a chemistry teacher at Glen Allen High School
The best thing about Longwood is the small class sizes. It was the biggest reason I chose to come here. I knew at bigger universities I would be a name on a roster, but at Longwood I would be able to build relationships with my classmates and with faculty, like Dr. Sarah Porter. She pushed and motivated me to be the best chemist and future teacher I can be. She also allowed me to share my love for science with other students by hosting demo shows and trivia nights for the campus community. She was the first person I told when I passed my chemistry PRAXIS test because she has always been one of my biggest fans at Longwood. Dr. Porter has instilled in me that I should set high expectations and that I should never settle or expect anything less.
I participated in the PRISM student research program in the summer of 2020, working alongside Dr. Ben Campbell. The research we conducted helped me better understand why labs are so crucial in science classrooms and what my students will be learning during hands-on experiences. Having this experience not only pushed me outside of my comfort zone but also built up my confidence for my future classroom. My PRISM experience also affirmed that being an educator is, in fact, my dream job.
In addition to PRISM, the hands-on classroom practicums and placements I had here really prepared me for the classroom. In my four years at Longwood, I have been able to observe and teach in three different counties and types of schools, which will help me tremendously in my career. I have learned and grown so much as a teacher through these experiences, and it has all made me more excited to begin teaching this fall at Glen Allen High School in Glen Allen, Virginia. I will be teaching sophomores through seniors in standard and honors chemistry.
During my time at Longwood, I have learned how to communicate better with people and how to be adaptable. I don’t think any of us thought that we would ever be part of a pandemic, but here we are. I have a very Type A personality, and I like having plans and knowing what’s coming. However, I have learned that it’s not only important to have a plan—it’s also important to be flexible and make changes as necessary. Longwood has become a second home to me. I have been able to grow as a student, friend, sister, daughter, and now as a teacher. I will forever be thankful to this community for all it’s given me.