Ms. Stites has been teaching for a number of years, the past seven of which here at Hancock. She loves working with her stellar colleagues and students. She grew up in the bucolic hamlet of Wayne, IL, a small town about 40 miles west of Chicago, and attended high school in the not-so-bucolic Elgin, IL. After her parent's insistence that she leave Illinois cornfields behind, she earned her BS (Biology) from Oregon State University (Go Beavers!). Feel free to ask her about her volcano experience while there. She returned to Illinois and earned an MS (Biology/Immunology) from Northern Illinois University (Go Huskies!), which is where she first tried her hand at teaching as a laboratory teaching assistant in microbiology and human anatomy & physiology courses. Later, during a stint as a lab research assistant at the University of Illinois Medical School, she realized that she liked teaching humans far better than talking to lab rats and test tubes, so she went back to school to earn a MEd (Secondary Science) from UIC (Go Flames!). She has also taken various science and science education courses at other area universities: Northwestern, Loyola, & IIT (Go Wildcats, Ramblers, & Scarlet Hawks!). As you might be able to guess, she is passionate about science and science teaching, especially biology. She thinks that working to understand the world around us is one of the very best things to do. She also sponsors/co-sponsors two science and engineering-related clubs: Science Olympiad and Underwater Robotics. Some of the things she likes to do in her spare time (Ha! Who does she think she's kidding?) are seeing live music, reading, biking, hiking, camping, geocaching, and hunting for fossils (really).