Faculty of CNM: Christine Woods Wins Distinguished Faculty Award for Her Ongoing Commitment to Students

As a Biology instructor, Christine has helped hundreds of students see the world through a new lens
November 10, 2020

Christine Woods doesn’t care if a student is majoring in Biology, going on to a medical field, or just taking one of her classes as a requirement. She wants all of her students to feel empowered to think like scientists when they’re in class, and when they’re done. That’s because for her, science is a powerful tool that students can use to understand and analyze the world. 

“I think it’s important for students to have a scientific mindset,” she says. “By using science, my students can make more informed decisions for themselves and for their community.”

COVID-19 has been the perfect case study. As the virus rages across the world, Christine has spent significant time in her Biology classes helping students understand why the disease is so contagious, and why it can be deadly. They’ve also spent time doing case studies and researching COVID-19 to apply course foundational knowledge so that students understand all aspects of disease. They’ve looked at the diseases’ viral structure, the pathophysiology of the disease, how vaccines are developed, and why they’re important. 

“Science has been an important tool for allowing students to put the entire pandemic into context,” she says. 

This commitment to teaching, to her students, and to science is part of why Christine was recently named the 2020-2021 overall part-time CNM Distinguished Faculty Member of the Year. She’s also the winner of the part-time Distinguished Faculty Award for the School of Math, Science & Engineering (MSE).  

“I love biology and I love teaching biology, so it’s an honor to win the awards,” she says. 

Teaching has always been part of Christine’s path. After completing her PhD at New Mexico State University, she completed a post-doc at the University of New Mexico where she trained both as a researcher and a teacher. After completing the post-doc, Christine knew she wanted to continue helping others develop an understanding of the scientific world. When she landed at CNM as an instructor, she was excited to see the entire college’s commitment to students.

“I’ve really come to love the faculty here because they’re so passionate about teaching,” she says. “The college truly cares about students and student success.”

Of course research continues to be a passion, too. Christine says she’s studied everything from cellular biology to developmental biology to medical biology, and it’s helped her see and understand the world as a complicated but fascinating interconnected ecosystem.

“Biology is an everlasting puzzle that I’ll always be excited to put together,” she says.