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Since 2007

My Life in


and resources for fellow faculty

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Mary’s ability to translate complex scientific concepts into anecdotes that the general public can appreciate is remarkable. The splashes of humor and intrigue that pepper her presentations engage diverse audiences and connect the public with science.

Dr. Kristen Procko, University of Texas, Austin

Tools for Faculty

STEM Faculty
San Jose State University, San Jose, California
Department of Biological Sciences
Mary Poffenroth, lecturer

Curriculum Vitae

Fellowships, Grants and Awards 


Resilient Course Design Institute, Content Creator

2021, San Jose State University

Humanizing STEM

2021, Online Network of Educators

Innovation for Student Success Award

2020 San Jose State University 

Student Success Analytics Research Cohort

2020 California State University System 

Outstanding Faculty Award San Jose State University Disability Resource Center (DRC)

Research, Scholarship & Creativity Grant 2019 

Open Educational Resource Initiative Grant 2019

The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges 


Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality in the Classroom Research 2018

Cohort Innovations in STEM Teaching Incubator Program UC Berkeley

New Author Award for Write, Present, Create: Science Communication for Undergraduates 

San Jose State University

Quality Assurance Professional Development Grant

Salzburg Global Fellow

Global Seminar, U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy 

ETS Criterion Implementation Grant

Principal Investigator 


Affordable Textbook Alternatives Project Grant

Principal Investigator

eCampus Online Course Development Grant

Principal Investigator 

Independent Film Award, Advocacy & Conservation International Wildlife Film Festival 

Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival Honorable Mention

Mary Poffenroth Field Trip
Mary Poffenroth, San Jose State University
Curriculum Vitae


Ph.D., Psychology

Fielding Graduate University, Santa Barbara, California

Research focus: stereotype threat, immersion, engagement 

M.S., Psychology

2020 Fielding Graduate University, Santa Barbara, California

M.Sc., Science Communication with Merit Honors

2017 Imperial College London 

Research Focus: Fear appeals, persuasion, fear science, climate change communication 

M.S., Biological Sciences

Concentration in Organismal, Conservation and Ecology 

2006 San Jose State University

B.A., Biological Sciences

2002 San Jose State University

Mental Health First Aid Certified, 2021-2024

Teaching Highlights


  • Designed and implemented 7 inaugural, lower division general education courses in the online environment since 2008 with original digital content (Bio 10-The Living World, Bio 21- Human Biology, Bio 54 -Human Understanding, UNVS 96GB - Global Citizenship, GLST 1B - Global Studies in the Life Sciences, ES01-Intro to Environmental Studies, ESCi-19 Environmental Biology).


  • Selected by CSU Chancellor’s Office for the CourseMatch Program (Biology 10).
    Achieved official Quality Matters Certification of Online Education Excellence (Biology 10)

  • Created an outdoor volunteer program in 2009 with roughly 5,000 students contributing nearly 20,000 work hours to local, environmental non-profit organizations to date.

  • Specializing in large (100 student) to mega lecture (400 student) science courses; in person, hybrid and fully digital. 

“Mary is a model for continued professional development and engagement”

Michael Kaufman, Dean, College of Science, SJSU

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