Faculty Stories: Karan Oliver-Tucci

Faculty Stories: Karan Oliver-Tucci

Program: Biology

Karan Oliver-Tucci’s interest in animals first drew her to the field of biology.

Her original goal was to become a zoologist or veterinarian. However, after working in a veterinary clinic and holding a seasonal zookeeper job while in college, she realized it wasn’t the perfect fit.

“I even participated in an Earthwatch research expedition to study black howlers in Argentina just to make sure I wasn’t missing out on a research career,” she said. “I still love animals but instead found my calling in the classroom.”

Oliver-Tucci taught high school biology for several years and was then asked to teach an honors level Anatomy and Physiology course. Although she loved teaching the A&P course, she didn’t feel adequately prepared. So she returned to school and earned a graduate degree in Human Anatomical Sciences.

It was during graduate school when Oliver-Tucci discovered just how much she enjoyed working with college students.

“I feel very comfortable and happy in the classroom. I love the classroom dynamic, interacting with students, getting to know them and helping them reach their goals,” she said. “Plus it helps that I am fascinated by all the intricacies of the human body so the subject matter stays exciting. Anatomy and Physiology is a discipline that constantly keeps me on my toes in order to stay current with new procedures, drugs and technological advancements. Even after almost 10 years here at COD, Anatomy and Physiology courses are still my favorite to teach.

“I hope some of my passion for science rubs off on my students. I also want them to leave the course knowing they are capable of reaching their goals.”

Oliver-Tucci’s children inspire her to be the best teacher she can be, which provides her with the motivation to try new activities and labs, keep up-to-date in the field, and work hard to reach all types of learners.

“All mothers want to make their kids proud,” she said. “It’s nice when a former student sees me out with my family and tells my kids with a smile that I was their teacher.”

More about the Biology program