Laura Blinderman was honored by Mercer County Community College
where she is an associate professor of biology.
AMWELL — Township resident Laura Blinderman
recently won the Distinguished Teaching Award from Mercer County
As an associate professor of biology, Ms. Blinderman has inspired students and fellow teachers
Explaining weighty scientific facts and theories to a class
of students of varying abilities is no easy task, but Ms. Blinderman
loves both the challenge and the subject matter.
"I think that I make science enjoyable because I love
it so much myself," Ms. Blinderman said.
"I am constantly amazed, intrigued, wowed by new discoveries and by
understanding how complicated things work. I approach each class knowing that
I can make biology compelling even though it's challenging. The fact that
it's complicated sometimes is the fun part. There are always interesting
stories to tell about scientists I have known or things I have studied, or
Ms. Blinderman grew up in Massachusetts before moving to San Diego for five years. She earned a
master's degree in biology from San
Diego State University and performed graduate work
in genetics at the San Diego Zoo's Center for Reproduction of Endangered
Species, where she studied zebra DNA. She has conducted research for
biotechnology firms, including Bristol-Myers Squibb.
The work sounds intriguing, and Ms. Blinderman
acknowledges she enjoyed it. Yet it is teaching that has captured and held
"This is more gratifying than anything that could have
happened to me in research unless, perhaps, I developed a cure for a
disease," she said. "Opportunities here are greater for having an
impact. Sometimes years go by, and I get an e-mail from a student, and on a
day-to-day basis I can see the results of my work instantly."
Her students have gone on to varied career paths, making
her proud. Sometimes they return to their mentor.
"I have a few students that come to visit me every
semester," Ms. Blinderman said. "I heard
from one that has been accepted to medical school, two are doing research at
Rider University, one is doing research at Princeton, one is studying special
education at The College of New Jersey, my funeral service students all go
off to work in funeral homes, and I teach many allied health students who get
jobs right after graduation."
Ms. Blinderman moved to
Lambertville in 1991, living on Buttonwood
Street for eight years. She has resided in West Amwell
Township for the past five years
with her husband, Jim Riggs, who is chairman of the Biology Department at Rider University.
They have two children, Wyatt, 14, who attends South Hunterdon
School, and Juli, 10, a student at
West Amwell Elementary School.