Ms. Boedeker is a molecular biologist with nearly 33 years of laboratory experience in both academic and industry settings. She started teaching as an adjunct faculty member in the biotechnology program of St. Louis Community College in 2004, initially designing and teaching a specialized topics course in forensics. She joined St. Louis Community College full time as the Coordinator of the BioBench Contract Research Organization initiated there in 2009. In mid-2019, she moved into the District Directorship of the Center for Plant and Life Science. She developed one of the more popular advanced topics courses for the Biotechnology program called Quantitative PCR methods, which includes training on droplet digital technologies along with expression analysis using qPCR. Program students along with industry scientists seeking training take this course side by side and learn many of the nuances associated qPCR, including proper experimental controls and data analysis concepts. The course cumulates with a gene expression-based study with lab work, a project paper and short presentation on the findings.

Additionally, she is the P.I. on a current NSF grant, where she and her team are generating relevant curriculum in genome editing with extensive input from the local industry. She remains adjunct faculty and enjoys teaching various program courses and interacting with the biotechnology students. By her interactive relationship with industry in the St. Louis region, she can place the majority of students with companies for their workplace learning experience, and is delighted that about 30% of the time, this leads to full time employment directly from that placement. She continues to work with many industry and economic development partners to address equity and workforce needs of the region.

In education at the college level, I realize how essential it is to ignite interest and love of science at an early age.  The only way to do that is to provide exposure.  Not everyone will love science, but allowing student exploration at a young age can capture those who will and allow them to flourish.  GHV provided much needed outreach around agriculture and plants, and the new center underway will teach so many more kids about science, plants and their importance in our world!  I am honored to be a part of this project and team.