Make Your
Own Online Classes
Resources for Academics
Augmented Reality in the Classroom
Science Videos for the Classroom

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

STEM Faculty

San Jose State University, San Jose, California | Department of Biological Sciences

Professor Mary Poffenroth
Mary Poffenroth's class
Mary Poffenroth's class
Mary Poffenroth's class

Curriculum Vitae

Fellowships, Grants, and Awards

PaCE 2024 Grant Award
HATCH: Montana Symposium

PaCE 2023 Grant Award
HATCH: Europe Symposium

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


Ph.D., Psychology
Fielding Graduate University, Santa Barbara, California
Research focus: Stereotype Threat Mitigation Strategies in STEM

M.A., Psychology
2020 Fielding Graduate University, Santa Barbara, California
Research Focus: Stereotype Threat Among Marginalized University Student Communities

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 Course Match 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.