VCU alumna influences science education from outside of the classroom
Jennifer Parsons

Jennifer Parsons

Jennifer Parsons has always known how to make an impact both inside and outside of the classroom.

Take her time at VCU, for example. Not only is Parsons a two-time graduate, having received both her bachelor’s degree in forensic chemistry and an M.T. in secondary science education from the school, she also remains one of its most decorated student-athletes.

The all-time leading scorer for the Rams’ women’s soccer team, Parsons’ 16-goal sophomore season in 2002 still stands as a single-season record; in fact, she holds the top four highest single-season goal totals in VCU women’s soccer history. Parson was named the Colonial Athletic Association’s Player of the Year in 2003, and helped the Rams to the conference title and first-ever NCAA tournament appearance as a senior in 2004.

It was her love of science, however, along with the example set by her family that eventually led Parsons to a career in education.

“Both my parents worked in education — one as a college instructor, and the other for the provincial Department of Education and Early Childhood Development in Newfoundland, Canada — so that influenced my career choice,” Parsons said. “But I’ve also just always loved school and learning.”

Following her graduation in 2006, Parsons accepted a position teaching chemistry at George Mason High School in Falls Church, Va. In addition to her responsibilities teaching everything from basic college prep to advanced honors level chemistry classes, Parsons served as the Mustangs’ varsity girls soccer coach and as the school’s student activities coordinator.

Now, after nine years in the classroom, Parsons has taken her influence in science education to the next level, joining the American Association of Chemistry Teachers as its education resource specialist.

A professional community by and for K–12 teachers of chemistry, the AACT supports instructors nationwide by providing quality classroom resources and opportunities for discussions among colleagues and peers.

In her role at the ACCT, Parsons serves as the organization’s content and resource expert.

“Teachers are so incredibly valuable, and I hope that the work I do can help them to a have positive impact on students as well as grow professionally.”

For more information about the association, visit the ACCT website.